6 important considerations when designing a strong room for medicine storage

Darran Bailey
Posted by Darran Bailey
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When building a strong room for controlled drugs in the pharma business, thinking through proper design from the beginning can be the key to success. In this blog, we present some design tips you may want to consider.

Strong room design can be complex. Here we go through some major design aspects that can help make sure your new strong room for safe storage of medicines fully meets your needs – for a smooth logistical operation. 

strong-room-location1. The location

The location of a strong room should always be at least 1 m from any external walls of your warehouse. Considering logistics to keep your goods moving smoothly, without any bottlenecks, the location of your strong room relative to goods and lorries coming in and out must be carefully thought out. This is an important first step that must be done correctly, since it is quite difficult to rectify any positioning and logistical flow issues that might arise later.

strong-room-size-racking2. The size and racking layout

The size of the strong room should be suitable for the chosen racking storage system. The forklift truck used inside must also be compatible with the height and layout of the racking, so that it can easily reach the highest levels. The positioning of the racking in relation to the turning circle of the forklift is also very important. The layout must be designed in a way that it works with any internal support structures that are needed, such as pillars for the roof.

strong-room-door-accessing3. The door access and issuing

Door dimensions must be suitable for the forklift truck needed to transport pallets. A special consideration should be given to accommodating both the height of the mast on your forklift and the pallet width used. Door access for issuing must also be considered, to make sure that unauthorized people are not easily walking in and out. Depending on the situation this can be accomplished with a separate cage area and interlocks, although other measures are possible. Other security devices, such as CCTV, alarms and vibration sensors, are important to consider at an early stage. Also, the strong room door should be protected on a separate circuit from the main alarm.

strong-room-forklift4. The type of forklift used

The type and size of forklift used and the matching of the forklift to the dimensions of the room, racking, doors and pillars is critical. This is covered in other sections above, but it is worth repeating it here.

strong-room-door-opening5. The door openings

A standard door opening is 900 mm wide but that is not wide enough for a Euro pallet. Therefore, a non-standard door with a minimum 1225 mm clear passage is required and this needs to be specified from the beginning so price offers can be properly compared. On 5-sided rooms the threshold of the door is sunk into the concrete floor, to allow level access for pallet trucks. Emergency exits, to allow personnel to leave rapidly in case of emergency, also need to be assessed.

strong-rooms-building-design-regulations6. The building design regulations

Concrete floors on 5-sided rooms must be at least 150 mm thick and the slab must of course be able to bear the weight of the strong room. In addition, consideration must be given to the positioning of penetrations or openings in the wall panels, so they can safely suit cable, alarm, sprinkler or any other service requirements.

Want to learn more about the important factors to consider when planning a strong room and the key things you should look for in a supplier? If so, download our free PDF entitled “Strong Rooms for Controlled Drugs: A Guide for the Pharma Sector” by clicking here.

Free guide - strong rooms for pharma companies

Based on our long experience at Gunnebo as a trusted supplier of strong rooms for controlled drugs, we are happy to support you in any project in which you are looking to work with a professional, well-reputed and reliable partner. Get in touch with us, click here

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