General Storage  



The General Storage space type includes subgrade, attic, or other spaces with minimal finishes that are designated for storage of merchandise, materials, or equipment that is not hazardous in nature nor requires special HVAC, security, machine access, or utility needs. Supply areas, storerooms, and file rooms not finished to typical office finish level, but with only perimeter partitions and doors are included in this space type.

Office roller racking shelf storage unit

Office roller racking shelf storage unit.
Image courtesy of Southwest Solutions Group

Space Attributes

Important design considerations for the General Storage space type are efficient use of space, energy cost savings, and minimal HVAC requirements. Typical features of general storage space types include the list of applicable design objectives elements as outlined below. For a complete list and definitions of the design objectives within the content of whole building design, click on the titles below.

Functional / Operational

  • Occupancy Group: General Storage space types fall into Storage Group S Incidental Use in Group A, B, E, I, M, or R Occupancy Classifications, assuming sprinklered construction and one-hour partition separation from other occupancies.

  • Efficient Use of Space: Open space is maximized while providing adequate circulation paths for personnel and merchandise handling equipment such as hand trucks.

Stacked storage with open shelving is accessible via trucks and forklifts.


  • Incorporate appropriate stabilizing mechanisms, such as bracing, to prevent items in storage from falling off shelves and causing non-structural damage, especially in earthquake prone areas.

  • Use enclosed systems that are lockable to reduce theft and damage.


  • Energy Cost Savings: Distinguish between areas for storage and circulation in the lighting plan to reduce unnecessary fixtures. Incorporate Energy Efficient Lighting.

  • Minimal HVAC: Exposed HVAC ductwork with suite thermostat control and ducted air return is sufficient in the General Storage space type; however separate zones can be designated for larger storage areas.

  • Use Low- or No-VOC semi-gloss enamel paint and durable flooring and shelving materials.

Example Plans

The following diagram is representative of typical tenant plans.

General storage in office basement floor plan

Example Construction Criteria

For GSA, the unit costs for general storage space types are based on the construction quality and design features in the following table . This information is based on GSA's benchmark interpretation and could be different for other owners.

Relevant Codes and Standards

The following agencies and organizations have developed codes and standards affecting the design of general storage spaces. Note that the codes and standards are minimum requirements. Architects, engineers, and consultants should consider exceeding the applicable requirements whenever possible:

Additional Resources


Building Types: