Green Office Solutions - Special Report

Mobile Storage - The Green System

By JL Bell

The environment and, more importantly, our impact upon it is fast becoming the most pressing issue faced across the globe. With each new study or documentary, it becomes more and more clear that something must be done, and soon, if the situation is to ever improve. It has become so critical that governments, both in the U.S. and abroad, are beginning to legislate environmentalism in every day life.

One area where this has become particularly noticeable is in the construction industry. New projects and existing buildings alike are now being scrutinized for their sustainability, energy emissions and environmental impact. In an effort to create more “green” friendly spaces, the industry as a whole and architects in particular, are searching for new and innovative solutions to old problems.

The use of mobile storage has presented itself as one of these solutions. Built on the premise of creating aisles only where needed, rather than between each row of shelving, mobile filing is an excellent alternative to traditional methods and offers both cost and emissions savings. With less room needed for storing files and other equipment, space can be used for other purposes or left out altogether to decrease the building footprint. It also equates to less heating and cooling of space that was not necessary in the first place, thereby lowering the energy needs of the building.

Built of steel that is completely recyclable, the filing systems are themselves sustainable and may provide credits for various rating systems. Secure systems can be designed to ensure privacy laws, such as HIPPA, or inventory control is maintained.

As the project designers, more and more architects are moving to mobile storage in initial plans to have the tracks laid in the foundation. It allows them to better determine space needs and the overall emissions created by the building. The “green” nature of the product itself makes it a natural choice for a profession on the leading edge of sustainability.

A closer look at the room needed to store paper records, magnetic media, janitorial products, office supplies, hospital supplies like surgical products or any stored items, reveals a saving of anywhere from 50% to 75% of the total space.

The four drawer file, the first storage cabinet introduced in 1896, required 5.9 Sq. Ft. of space to store 100 inches of files. The modern replacement for the four drawer file, the typical side style drawer cabinet, requires 5.2 Sq. Ft. per 100 inches. On the other hand, its counterpart, the lateral shelf file, requires only 1.8 Sq. Ft. of space.

While the shift from the technology of 1896 to the lateral shelf file created an incremental reduction in the size of buildings, the next step, Mobile Storage, offers a quantum leap. Planned correctly and with all but a few aisles removed, Mobile Storage can require only 1.3 Sq. Ft. or less per 100 filing inches, allowing business to reduce the space needed for storage and the residual heating and cooling expenses for that wasted room.

Contrary to popular perception, Mobile Storage is not a product intended solely for large corporations. The latest U.S. Census shows that there are 60 firms with 20 or fewer employees for every company with 250 or more in the United States. By realizing that a system can be created to meet their specific needs, smaller firms can utilize Mobile Storage to reduce their space needs and lower their energy use and emissions. And if enough of them take advantage of these new opportunities, the savings can equate or surpass that of multiple large corporations.

Sustainable products, such as Mobile Storage, are also “green” in another respect – dollar savings. With the cost to build or rent regular space at anywhere from $25 to $250 a Sq. Ft and even higher for hospitals or other specialized facilities, Mobile Storage can reduce space needs by up to 75% and greatly reduce the cost of doing business. That, coupled with return on investment to Mother Earth, makes Mobile Storage something all owners and shareholders can treasure, and “green” is PR friendly.

Finally, it should be noted, that Mobile Storage is not only a solution for new buildings. Current spaces can have systems designed and built on existing floors and units can be adapted for small closets to warehouses measuring thousands of square feet.

The time is at hand to consider the future, both of business and the Earth as a whole. Use this opportunity to get an evaluation of your storage needs and what you can do to both save money and the environment.

Contact a specialist in your area for a complimentary survey.

Copyright :J L Bell 2007

About the Author. JL Bell
He is currently Chairman of The Board for My Office Planning Group, a National Association of 65 Offices who supply Record Management products and furniture across the country. He received a A.A.S. Degree in Computer Sciences in 1969, Has worked in the Record Management field for 37 years, 32 years as the CEO of The Office Planning Group in Albuquerque, and Des Moines, he has served as Local Chapter President for the Association of Record Managers and Administrators’ for three years in two different cities.