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SS/20 Building Systems Creates a Better Way to Build Multi-Story Self-Storage


Looking to create a faster, more economical way to build multi-story self-storage facilities, Chris Woodward started SS/20 Building Systems in 1995. Based in Bradenton Fla., the company has constructed millions of square feet of self-storage. Woodward’s philosophy is simple: Take care of customers at all cost, and form partnerships with them so everyone can be successful.  

A New Design

SS/20 designed a new concept for multi-story storage facilities using structural tube steel on a 10-foot-by-10-foot grid. This revolutionary system consists of steel tube columns running vertically from floor to floor, with each column stacking into the column below it. The company was awarded a patent on this stack-frame system.

Because the system was designed to be free-standing, building erection is fast and efficient, with no bolts protruding through the upper-level slabs. This unique framing offers many advantages:  

  • Flexibility of floor plan: Interior partitions are not required for support, enabling them to be removed at any time to reconfigure the unit mix. 
  • No need of full-height interior partitions: No need for in-unit lighting, sprinkler heads and HVAC outlets. No interior partitions for trades to work around.
  • Hallways and partitions installed last: This avoids damage from other trades.
  • Faster system erection: Because no drilling is required, there is no waiting for elevated slabs to cure. Erectors get back on the job the day after floor is poured.
  • No need for heavy equipment: The majority of jobs require only a lull.
  • Larger pool of steel suppliers: SS/20 is not tied into any one supplier and has fabricators located nationally.
  • Compatibility with all types of roof systems: The system works with built-up, standing seam, etc. 

“After 15 years, there is a sensible, quick and easy system for ‘high-rise’ self-storage buildings,” says Tim Burnam of Storage Mart. “SS/20 has a great versatile system that gets us out of the weather and closer to renting units sooner than any other system we have used. It’s so simple, bringing to high-rise structures what pre-engineered steel buildings brought to the self-storage industry 20 years ago.”

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