Manufacturing & Fabrication Buildings
There are a lot of manufacturing buildings and fabrication buildings in the Houston area. Houston is the home of the Energy Industry which directly impacts the supply and demand for manufacturing building real estate. We see much of our industrial real estate development projects built for manufacturing of the equipment and parts to serve the Energy industry as well as the companies which support the companies directly serving the Energy industry. There are facilities for fabrication of large pressure vessels to refine petroleum, large valves for pipelines, rubber products for industrial seals, down to tiny microscopic tubes for metering fluids. The chemical process industry utilizes the large supply in the Gulf Coast of inexpensive natural gas in the production of plastics products which are then stored as “pellets” in a large segment of the distribution warehouses known as “public warehouses”. Manufacturing facilities could be a machine shop utilizing machine tools to cut metal for valves and pipeline fittings. Fabrication facilities could be large crane served buildings. Both manufacturing and fabrication buildings, however can take many forms. We think of fabrication facilities to have heavy overhead cranes, heavy electrical capacity, high clear heights for large equipment and heavy slab capacity as well as additional acreage for outside storage. We think of manufacturing facilities to perhaps to have climate control, heavy power, paint shops and bright lighting. Climate control and good light is important for the comfort of the workforce occupying the buildings. Additional ventilation, whether air conditioned or not is almost always desirable. Both manufacturing buildings and fabrication buildings are located throughout the city and may or may not be located in business parks, as distribution buildings generally are. However, if the materials processed are large and bulky they may be brought in by ship or barge, which might dictate the location near the ship channel. If there are large numbers of key employees, the distance to their homes could be a factor. Customer locations also may contribute to the facility location decision.