How Split-level Industrial Could Work in Forgotten Industrial Sites

Originally published on June 9, 2023 by Kathryn Hamilton, CAE for NAIOP.

Every day, developers drive past prime industrial real estate sites that could be warehouse-perfect, were it not for the sloped grade that would cost too much to excavate to make the facility level. Enter a new solution: a split-level building that doubles the space by creating efficiencies in construction costs and land use.

This unique multistory prototype design solution by Ware Malcomb can help utilize forgotten sites that were previously deemed unsuitable for industrial development due to their complex topography.

Frank Di Roma, OAA, MRAIC, regional vice president, and Luke Corsbie, PE, PLS, LEED AP, regional director, civil engineering, both with Ware Malcomb, walked I.CON East attendees through this exciting new concept and discussed the benefits of using split-level industrial in unexpected locations.

Di Roma said the design approach is to take advantage of grade to maximize coverage by trading construction of a retaining wall, which would have been required to manage the grade change for development of a one-story facility, for construction of basement walls of the lower-level portion of the two-story project.

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