NAIOP Publishes 'How To Guide' For Distribution/Warehouse Facilities Design

"Rules of Thumb" Addresses Facility Storage, Market and Design Requirements

Washington, D.C. - The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) today announced the publication of Rules of Thumb for Distribution/Warehouse Facilities Design, a new handbook that will help developers and owners of warehouse and distribution facilities to plan, design and develop facilities incorporating best practice methods for achieving peak operational efficiency for their tenants and build-to-suit clients.

"Rules of Thumb provides a road map to assist industrial owners and developers in navigating myriad development options and avoiding the most common pitfalls associated with planning warehouse and distribution facilities," said Thomas J. Bisacquino, NAIOP national president. "The handbook is an extremely useful resource users can rely on to build facilities that meet their customer requirements - now and in the future."

The publication was written in conjunction with HPA Architects Inc., a Newport Beach, California-based, multi-disciplined design corporation that offers services in both architecture and planning to institutions, corporations and developers throughout the United States. NAIOP's Editorial Steering Committee assisted in the development of the handbook and included input from such renowned industrial players as Hillwood Properties, Keystone Property Group and Trammell Crow, among others.

Byron Pinckert, principal with HPA, said: "Rules of Thumb employs a clear-cut methodology to help owners and developers understand the functionality of column bay dimensions, lift aisle stacking and roof systems by product and storage type. Armed with this knowledge, they can better assist their individual clients to get the most bang for the buck and position themselves for future expansion and growth."

Best Practices Drive Value

The handbook primarily addresses the design requirements for medium- to large-scale industrial and warehouse distribution facilities (100,000 square feet and larger) and discusses best practice considerations as a framework for decision-making.

Rules of Thumb comprises three key chapters:

§ Chapter I examines the functional requirements of the primary elements used in operating a distribution facility: trucks, forklifts, pallets and racking. The actual geometries of trucks and their maneuvering capabilities are displayed in easy-to-understand graphics. Forklift configurations, pallet sizes and racking systems strategies are evaluated with regard to their implications for site plan layout, truck door spacing and column bay spacing.

§ Chapter II looks at the methodologies for building the horizontal layers of the floor slab and roofing assembly. Floor slab construction is heavily influenced by subgrade conditions and the material handling equipment to be used on it. The ideal roof assembly varies geographically, as weather conditions like snow and humidity interact with local traditions.

§ Chapter III examines the issues that come into play as product is stored vertically to maximize the "cube" utilization of a facility. Ever-increasing clear heights can place special requirements on floor slabs, column spacing and fire suppression systems.

"In light of a resurging industrial market and the demands the global marketplace is having on the supply chain, it's become increasing important for developers and owners of industrial facilities to keep a close eye on the needs and requirements of their customers," said Bisacquino. "The handbook's methodology will enable developers and owners to 'marry' specific product types with the right lift, stacking and roof systems to achieve maximum value and operational efficiency."

Rules of Thumb follows on the heels of another book recently published by NAIOP, Exceptional Industrial Projects: Beyond the Box, which details cutting-edge industrial case studies and in-depth interviews with industry experts on what's behind today's new industrial trends.

To request a review copy of Rules of Thumb for Distribution/Warehouse Facilities Design, contact Sandy Hudson at (703) 904-7100. Additional copies may be obtained online by accessing the NAIOP Web site at and clicking on the Bookstore. The member price for the book is $49.95; non-member price is $69.95.


About NAIOP: The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties is the nation's leading trade association for developers, owners, investors and other professionals in industrial, office and mixed-use commercial real estate. Founded in 1967, NAIOP is comprised of more than 12,500+ members in 50 North American chapters and provides networking opportunities, educational programs, research on trends and innovations and strong legislative representation. For more information, visit

About HPA Architects, Inc.: HPA Architects, Inc. is a multi-disciplined design corporation that offers services in both architecture and planning to institutions, corporations and developers throughout the western United States. Headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., HPA is nationally known for its knowledge of industrial facilities design and construction.


Edward Remington

Vice President for Marketing and Communications, NAIOP

(703) 904-7100, ext. 112

Kathryn George

Director of Communications, NAIOP

(703) 904-7100, ext. 165


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