5 Tips for Repurposing a Building for Your Cannabis Venture
The cannabis industry is booming - and for a good reason! The legalization of cannabis has increased the demand for indoor cultivation facilities where cannabis can be safely and effectively grown to meet consumer needs. The result is nearly $17.5 billion in revenue for professional growers!
Enterprising cannabis businesses are finding ways to capitalize on this trend by repurposing vacant buildings into thriving indoor cannabis cultivation spaces.
Redesigning an old building to become a new cannabis indoor cultivation facility design can be a daunting task. There are many architectural, logistical, and strategic choices to make throughout - and missing one step in the process could lead to disaster.
If you want to stay competitive in the industry, you will need a top-notch cannabis site for your operations. To be successful with your investment, you must think ahead of time about how you're going to repurpose your building for indoor cultivation purposes.
From the team at ARCH7 architects, here are five tips when repurposing a building for a cannabis venture:
5 Tips For Turning An Old Building Into Your New Cannabis HQ
1) Strategically Design Your Floorplan
It is essential to think about what your indoor cultivation facility design is going to entail – there are so many facets of a successful design! One of the first decisions you will need to make when designing an indoor cannabis cultivation facility is deciding where your operations will happen within the space, aka “workflow”. This will entail every step of the plant’s cycle from propagation to packaging. Similar to the life cycle of a plant, the workflow process should be designed to emulate not only the living cycle of the plants but also post-harvest.
Spaces that support the growth of the plant from Mother rooms, Propagation, Vegetation, and Flower rooms should be laid out in a way that the plants can be transferred from room to room without having to cross paths with other activities or spaces when feasible. This will promote cleaner areas which lead to less potential for contamination.
An optimized workflow for post-harvest operations is crucial in preventing contamination which can be achieved by isolating those post-harvest spaces from the cultivation spaces as well as limiting staff access. Having dedicated cultivation and post-harvest teams really helps prevent cross-contamination. This becomes even more important as you scale up your operations to meet market demand.
2) Identify Where Hazardous Materials Will Be Stored
The cannabis cultivation process may include the use of hazardous chemicals or materials. Your indoor cultivation facility design process should involve identifying where potentially dangerous materials used for cultivating cannabis - such as pesticides or fungicides - will be kept and stored safely.
For those implementing a manufacturing or extraction operation alongside cultivation operations, many solvents used in those processes will need to be stored in flammable storage cabinets. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for each material or chemical should be readily available on site.
Your indoor cultivation facility needs to have a designated area where anything hazardous can be stored safely without risk of exposure to those working around the substances. Having a dedicated space will also help with productivity and efficiency!
3. Remember, Size Matters
Of course, every business wants to maximize the size of their canopy square footage. While that goal will provide the largest ROI, the supporting spaces are just as important to facilitate efficient workflow.
Wide corridors, ample storage spaces, fertigation, vault, restrooms, change rooms, offices, and electrical and mechanical rooms are just a few spaces that many owners seem to overlook when taking a first stab at a facility layout. Most are even more surprised when the ratio of canopy square footage to gross square footage is nearly 50/50 with the most efficient layouts closer to 1/3 support spaces and 2/3 canopy space.
The reality is that you cannot shortchange yourself when it comes to post-harvest spaces such as dry/cure, trim, and packaging areas. These spaces are not part of your canopy space yet require space to get your high-quality products to the market. An architect experienced in designing indoor cannabis cultivation facilities can help you achieve an efficient canopy-to-gross square footage ratio without wasting usable space.
4. Invest in Strategic Security for Your New Building
Security should be a significant aspect of your planning, not an afterthought. The last thing you want is someone breaking into your new building and taking all of your hard work as their own!
Consider installing the latest high-resolution security cameras in all indoor cultivation facility rooms to ensure a safe environment for everyone involved in the operation. This can also help you monitor progress as well as stock.
You may not know exactly where and how to implement a security system. Fortunately, an indoor cannabis cultivation facility architect can help you plan your security system, as well as provide expert advice on how to install this equipment for maximum effectiveness and minimal intrusion of privacy.
5. Plan for the Future
Finally, you need to keep the future in mind. Scalability is a buzzword often used in the cannabis industry. Why? Because every business is a start-up and only the successful ones have a vision for the future. You cannot scale your business if you’ve painted yourself in a corner. Allow room to grow. Make sure your spaces are laid out such that they can be expanded when demand increases while minimizing disruption to your ongoing operations.
The last thing you want to do is demolish perfectly good spaces to fit new spaces because those original spaces were not planned correctly. Think about how those spaces will function 1 to 3 years from now and do your best to incorporate a workflow that embraces expansion.
Keeping expansion at the forefront is important when considering utilities as well. Utilities should be sized to accommodate future expansions in the original project’s scope of work. Consider installing plumbing loops and electrical subpanels for ease of future distribution and expansion. Even if you don’t use the total capacity for a few months or years, it will be much more economical to plan for, or even install, those systems now rather than later.
Build Your New Cannabis Venture in Confidence with ARCH7.
Every new cannabis project is different, and the process of retrofitting an existing building to meet your needs can feel overwhelming. If you want the confidence that comes from knowing that your new cannabis venture has been built to exceed expectations, trust a skilled and experienced architecture team with a history of helping cannabis companies succeed.
At ARCH7, our team of experienced architects can help you bring your cannabis business to life in nearly any existing building or structure.
From our initial consultation through schematic design to construction permits and beyond, ARCH7 commercial architects work with you from start to finish on your business's unique building needs. Our consistency ensures that the final product meets all codes while providing exceptional quality. Together, we will bring your vision into reality!
There’s a lot that goes into successfully launching your facility, and ARCH7 is here to help. With the right team at your side, you will be amazed at the possibilities.