Flat truck yards may not be high on the occupiers wish list for their new industrial space, but its inclusion may save them time and money over their occupancy. Flat truck yards are actually truck yards without the typical gradual slope towards the building’s loading docks. Instead, the truck yards are sloped away from the building.
Why does this matter? It has to do with rain and what happens to the precipitation after it hits the truck yard. In the traditional truck yard, since the slope is towards the building any precipitation run off will also run towards the building and drains installed to prevent pooling. These drains will be connected to sump pumps, which are tasked with pumping the precipitation quickly out of the yard areas.
In addition to the wear and tear on sump pumps in wet areas, in areas where rain in infrequent (such as Southern California) the solenoid in the sump pumps often dries out. This causes the sump pump to fail, leaving the occupier with a flooded yard, bill to repair the sump pump, and costly disruption to their operations.
Enter the flat yard, which eliminates the need for the drainage / sump pump system in the yard by grading away from the building. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Neil Mishurda at Pacific Industrial about their inclusion of flat truck yards in the construction of their new developments. Neil says that since Pacific and their partners are long-term owners, they believe the additional $1 PSF on the building cost to install a flat yard is worth the investment. I would suspect their tenants feel the same.