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Former U.S. Air Force Base Converts to Mixed-Use Sustainable Self-Storage Project in Denver

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Unique Construction Features

Self-Storage at Hangar 2Despite the massive column-free plot, alterations were necessary to adapt new building and fire-code systems. H2P contracted The Rabco Corp. to build a new one-story building within the larger hangar shell without affecting the historic features. The connection of storage walls, roofing and other components to the atypical shape and size of the building caused some clever challenges for Rabco and Janus International, the supplier of hallway components and roll-up doors, as they didn’t always match up with a typical 10-foot module.

“Each unit that backed up against the historic hangar doors had to be fit differently by our installers,” explained Pat Nesbitt, technical sales manager for Janus. H2P chose gloss-white doors and partitions for a clean look, brightness and lighting efficiency. Flush panels were also used, which furthers assists in light reflection.

With a roof peak of 90 feet, temperature control was also a factor. Rabco brought down the roof system to harness the temperature from 12 feet and lower, the optimal cubic space for the project’s climate-controlled storage.

Covered Loading at Hangar 2H2P was able to incorporate a drive-through unloading corridor that allows customers to be totally out of the weather when accessing their storage units. The joint venture has found that protecting tenants from the rain, snow or sun provides a unique marketing advantage that attracts residential and commercial tenants. However, it was complicated to achieve this goal; it required a great deal of negotiating to reach an agreement with the building and fire departments.

H2P ultimately achieved a creative, custom code solution that includes an engineered smoke-exhaust system, fire walls to break the floor plate into smaller zones, specialized multi-zone fire-sprinkler and -alarm systems, and a carbon monoxide exhaust system for the drive aisles.

Successfully integrating and testing those systems and making them operational was a real challenge, but one that was essential to achieve full code compliance.

Solar Energy

Hangar 2 offers vast amounts of natural daylight through its existing glass doors, and its curved, southeast-facing roof is ideal for producing solar power, which plays a significant roll in the project. More than 500 solar panels were installed on the roof by Martifer Solar. The three rows of panels were designed to replicate the look of the old hangar's skylights, preserving a little touch of building history.

Solar Panels at Hangar 2

The photovoltaic panels convert solar radiation into direct-current electricity. They’re expected to provide at least a third of the energy required to run the building. Due to its energy-efficient features, Hangar 2 has the ability to use only half of the energy required by typical buildings of the same size. The project incorporates energy-efficient lighting, heat controls, motion-sensor light switches and premium insulation. Together these sources of clean energy will promote environmental sustainability, combining sophisticated energy technologies with the historic integrity of the building.

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