Construction Corner is a Q&A column committed to answering reader-submitted questions regarding construction and development. Inquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I own a storage facility with multiple buildings, the newest of which is actually across the street from the other buildings, with an under-the-street conduit being used for all wire runs. The problem I am experiencing is my cameras on the new building have a rolling line through the image, but my local cameras do not. Our local security vendors have tried everything they can think of—any ideas what could be causing these lines?
—Jack in Gilbert, Ariz.
A: Seeing that I don’t know what has been tried, I will give your local security vendors the benefit of the doubt on the more obvious solutions. Taking the obvious out of the equation, this sounds like a grounding differential between the two buildings. This occurrence is rare, but can cause the exact problem you are describing.
The most common reason for this is when two buildings are being powered by separate power-pole transformers (for example, two buildings being across the street). A few companies make devices specifically to fix this problem. One such company is Jensen Transformers in Southern California (www.jensen-transformers.com/iso_vid.html). Good luck!
Q: I am interested in opening a mini-storage warehouse in Louisiana. I am new to the storage industry, but have a general idea of the layout in my head. I would appreciate your feedback on the different types of perimeter fencing and walls that could go around a facility.
—Fred in Monroe, La.
A: Your perimeter walls will depend on the type of facility you will be building. A good strategy to use when designing perimeter security is to try and use your buildings as much as possible. For example, a common design is a “U”-shaped site with the buildings themselves acting as the perimeter walls. With this design, you will usually only need to have a sliding gate for controlled access. Other options including wroughtiron, cinder-block or chain-link fencing. Be sure to check with your local Building and Safety Department for restrictions on height and materials allowed in your zoning district.
Tony Gardner is a licensed contractor and installation manager for QuikStor, a provider of self-storage security and software since 1987. For more information, visit www.quikstor.com.