With over 28 percent of all office furnishings expenditures typically spent on storage equipment, and space at a premium in most industries, high density mobile storage is a “smart” solution. It is the most space efficient of all storage equipment in terms of optimizing space utilization, yet initial costs, per storage inch, for high-density mobile equipment are less than for most other storage products:
Compact or high-density mobile storage systems may assist projects in obtaining a LEED rating in five of the six categories:
Category 1 – Sustainable Sites:
By allowing a dramatic increase – as much as 50 to 100 percent – in on-site storage over conventional, stationary storage methods, high-density mobile storage systems may help to reduce building size, thus reduce site disturbance and preserve open space. By greatly expanding the on-site storage capability, an existing facility could be renovated, thus allowing the shell to be retained.
Category 2 – Energy & Atmosphere:
By compacting storage to reduce building size, high-density mobile storage systems may also help reduce energy consumption over the entire life of the building, since smaller buildings typically take less energy to heat and/or cool. Choosing an aisle-lighting option that illuminates only the occupied aisle of a high-density mobile storage area and turns lights off automatically after a predetermined period of inactivity may further contribute to energy savings realized by a project seeking LEED certification.
Category 3 – Materials & Resources:
Recycled content in the high-density shelving could also contribute towards a project earning points. LEED allows you to assume that 25 percent of the steel content is post-consumer materials, however, since a manufacturer’s recycled steel content may be as high as 80 or 90 percent, it is preferable to document the actual recycled steel content of the shelving. So always check your vendor for actual recycled content. Retaining the shell could assist a project in achieving points in the building reuse category. Depending on the location of your project, the use of high-density mobile products may also earn points for local/regional materials.
Category 4 – Indoor Environmental Quality:
High-density mobile products that are finished with a powder-coat paint that emits no volatile organic compounds may contribute towards low-emitting materials. Space planning, densification of storage areas – especially to the interior of a project – and/or limiting of storage system height may also contribute toward daylight and views.
Category 5 – Innovation & Design Process:
If a project’s environmental goals cited in any of the above categories are significantly exceeded, additional points may be earned for innovation in design.
Since the CAGBC evaluates each project individually, the role high density mobile storage systems play will be different for every project. It is the design professional’s responsibility to ascertain a project’s eligibility for any of the credits proposed and prepare the necessary documentation for submission to the CAGBC. The final determination, however, will always be in the hands of the LEED Steering Committee
*Excerpts from the White Paper: “The Role of Compact Storage in Green Building Design”
by Alfred J. Herzog and Christopher T. Batterman
®LEED is a registered trademark of CAGBC.