“Owners are taking advantage of the opportunity for energy efficiency by putting solar systems on top of these RV- and boat-storage roof-only buildings to run the facility,” Huebner says.
Hendrix has also seen owners sway toward green options. "The obvious benefits are lowered costs and a smaller carbon footprint, which appeal to both owners and customers."
While lower operational costs is appealing to some owners, many are still unwilling to fork over the upfront costs to implement solar and other energy-efficient building methods without incentives. "From my perspective, if you don't have incentives, it's still too costly," Plunkett says. However, he does think building more energy-efficient buildings will soon play a bigger role in self-storage development. "Energy consumption is going to be more of an issue in the future. It's coming."
There are many routes owners can take to initiate and complete a new build, but there’s one important factor to keep in mind—information is key. Researching materials, developers, costs and manufacturers can help to keep costs in check and mistakes from happening. “Getting the right people involved early on and understanding what the costs are can save you a lot of time, energy and headaches before you get too deep into a project,” Plunkett says.
There are many resources for new owners and even seasoned pros, including presentations hosted by developers, webinars and other online avenues. "Go to presentations, go to webinars about construction, get to know each and every company. Visit the manufacture plants and just ask a lot of questions," Huebner advises.
With the right guidance and ample knowledge, owners and developers will continue to push self-storage new construction to new levels. “[Developers] are building a better product these days,” Plunkett says. “Each year, we take it up another notch."
Rachel Adams graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in Spanish. Her passion for writing and culture propelled her journey through college and has continued to inspire her endeavors with VIRGO Publishing, where she contributes to "Inside Self-Storage" and "Professional Door Dealer." Contact her with questions, comments or ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.