Production Management

Relative Values of Single-story vs. Multistory Factory Buildings

the relative values of single-story vs. multistory and general-purpose vs. special purpose factory buildings


Fundamentally, when management is faced with the problem of designing an industrial building, there are just two types of buildings that can be built single-story and multistory. The decision for one or the other is inescapably an executive responsibility. It should turn on the relative advantages and costs anticipated. Generally speaking, the advantages of the one are the disadvantages of the other.

Advantages of the singles-story building:

Let us first consider the advantages of the singles-story building. Among these are the following

1. Ability to carry a greater floor load, since no structural strength is diverted to supporting upper stories and their loads.

2. Relative in-susceptibility to building vibration and so less subject to noise transmission.

3. Greater ease and lower cost of building expansion, either upward or outward.

4. Easier access to natural light and ventilation.

5. It is exacting soil requirements for the foundation.

6. A higher percentage of the total floor space is usable for processing; stairwells, elevator shafts and duplicate service facilities are eliminated.

7. Concentration of non-duplicated service facilities in central locations speeds service and lowers operating costs.

8. More efficient layout and material handling are puss possible, together with more efficient routing of the product through processing. In particular, difficulties faced in multistory buildings in placing one or more whole departments on single floors are precluded.

9. Facilitation and lower cost of supervision. Supervisors certainly never have to run from one floor to another to deal with departmental emergencies.

Advantages of multistory building

A multistory building likewise has its advantages, among which the following are important

1. The available land area is more efficiently utilized, since more usable floor space for processing can be crowded onto a plot of land of given size,

2. Heating the plant is easier and less costly because hot air rises and the roof-escape area is much smaller for such a building than for a one-story building having the same total floor space.

3. Beginning with the foundations, greater structural strength is required, meaning that the building will be of higher class, fireproof construction, and so will be a better building.

4. Upper stories will be more free of street or processing odors, street noise, and dirt particles floating in the air.

5. Downward, inter-floor movement of materials ins process by gravity flow becomes possible, either by chutes or ramps, inclined roller conveyors, or pipeline.

6. Layouts may be made more compact and efficient (but if forced layout compactness results, processing may be inefficient and cost of operations too high).

It is a moot point as to whether a single-story or multistory building is cheaper to build per square foot of usable floor space. Most experts feel that multistory buildings are less costly. If true, this constitutes a, material advantage over single-story buildings. Some highly capable experts hold the reverse is true. Both groups are sometimes right, at least, as there are cost variances between regions and between cities located in a single region.

In some, single-story buildings are cheaper, in others, multistory buildings are cheaper. There may also be opposite cost variations in a single community over a period of years.

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