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Due to their specific function there are a low number of Refrigerated Distribution buildings in existence.  The design of this building type resembles warehouse structures.  The features of coolers and freezers drive the use of Refrigerated Distribution Facilities.  The most common tenants of these facilities are food processing and distribution companies.  The Refrigerated Distribution category does not include manufacturing buildings, which also have freezers and coolers,

The ratio of square feet to docks is a distinguishing feature of Refrigerated Distribution facilities.  The number of square feet per one dock rarely exceeds 10,000; the average is 7,000 to 8,000 square feet to one dock.  Interior docks distinguish refrigerated distribution buildings from other warehouse building types.  The type of goods stored in these facilities warrants the use of interior docks, especially in warmer climates.  In some facilities the entire interior dock area is temperature controlled.  In addition, the exterior docks are usually weather sealed in order to minimize the exposure of products to outdoor temperatures.

Refrigerated Distribution buildings occupy 50 percent of total site size; the remaining 50 percent of space is typically utilized for parking and truck courts.  This ratio is the result of a lower car parking requirement and infrequent need for trailer parking.

Refrigerated Distribution buildings can have a unique physical design.  A typical facility consists of four sections.  The freezer floor section is an integral part of the physical structure.  Because of this unique floor, it is not economical to convert refrigerated distribution buildings to other types of warehouse distribution facilities.  In some cases the freezer floor can be utilized as a standard floor.  The building will have a cooler, in which the temperature is maintained typically just above freezing.  The freezer and cooler sections can account for a minimum of 25 percent of the building.  Dry storage is a third section and is present that store more than one type of goods.  Most refrigerated distribution buildings will have dry storage areas.  The fourth section is allocated to office build out.  Large refrigerated facilities can have a minimum office space of approximately 5 %.  Smaller facilities the ratio can be 15% of office build out.  Additional, a processing area typically exists in certain food buildings, that usually does not exceed 10%.  The processing area is usually cooled.  Buildings with large processing areas and small freezers and coolers are normally classified within the Manufacturing category.