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Old 03-01-2014, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
Unlike an office building or residential tower, whatever sort of processes are done inside a factory, it's going to need a lot of open space. The problem with buildings having a lot of internal space is that it often means poor air circulation. It's very hard to keep a huge open room cool, at least not without some sort of costly a/c system. In a multistory factory or warehouse, the upper floors collect a lot of heat and that becomes pretty unbearable for any workers there. Thus why the shift to single floor facilities. Because of the single-floor shift, that obviously means you need quite a bit of land to build on. It's always cheaper and easier to build out in the open rather then in an already developed urban area and in most cases, the suburbs (or perhaps the edge of a developed city) are the only areas in a metro with plenty of open space.

GM actually had built one of their newer factories in the middle of Detroit during the 80s and it upset a lot of people. Something like 4,200 residents had to be relocated in order to build the factory (which in turn only employs 1,200).

PTthumbs
Poletown Photos

There's also a few other car factories in Detroit that have had to expand and reconfigure over the decades due to modernization though luckily not as destructively as Poletown. There's really no efficient way to build large factories in a city unless you really plan it out before the area is built.
The industry in China (especially in denser cities like Shenzhen and Guangdong) is largely multi-storey though, and they presumably need to cool their buildings too, perhaps more so since the climate is hot and humid for much of the year.

They seem to have moderately sized floorplates, about the size of a typical large office building in the US, and larger buildings are often more elongated or have wings/courtyards which might help with ventilation. Buildings are often 3-5 storeys, but it looks like it can be up to 10 stories.

Ventilation can be an obstacle, but an obstacle that companies were willing to overcome if there were other benefits from building dense related to lack of space/needing to be in a specific location.

As you know, even auto assembly plants in Detroit were built denser in the past, with more elongated structures/wings/courtyards presumably for air circulation.

I think the main thing that changed since that time is the nature of the industry that still remains in the United States, mechanization, abundant transportation and the ability of workers to commute longer distances.

Nonetheless, American industry also has a lot lower building coverage than is typical in other countries with a lot of single storey industry like Thailand, Taiwan or much of Europe.

Last edited by memph; 03-01-2014 at 03:23 PM..
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:17 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,816,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
The industry in China (especially in denser cities like Shenzhen and Guangdong) is largely multi-storey though, and they presumably need to cool their buildings too, perhaps more so since the climate is hot and humid for much of the year.
Ah, but they do not care if their factory workers drop from heat exhaustion, there are always more where those come from.
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:21 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Cost of land. Noise and odor problems with neighbors.
Large land requirements for parking and trucks or rail.
Some factories are not a good visual match for cities.
Ha, ha! While I actually agree with you (shocking! ), I think it's funny. Yeah, a lot of urbanists wouldn't like looking at a steel mill, a meat-packing plant, even a computer manufacturer like the old Storage Tech in Louisville.
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Ah, but they do not care if their factory workers drop from heat exhaustion, there are always more where those come from.
Singapore then? Afaik they have a better reputation for workers' rights but still have comparably dense industrial areas.

I know being overworked, low pay, underage workers are often listed as problems, but is heat stress a common issue in Chinese factories as well, especially in the more modern factories of wealthier cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou?
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:11 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Ha, ha! While I actually agree with you (shocking! ), I think it's funny. Yeah, a lot of urbanists wouldn't like looking at a steel mill, a meat-packing plant, even a computer manufacturer like the old Storage Tech in Louisville.

They'd **** themselves. But, they could walk to work. Or bicycle.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:22 PM
 
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In most cases they needed more space. Many suburbs had rail connection, for those industries that needed them. Many employees lived that direction from central city. And one overlooked factor: the land night be less heavily taxed.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:04 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Singapore then? Afaik they have a better reputation for workers' rights but still have comparably dense industrial areas.

I know being overworked, low pay, underage workers are often listed as problems, but is heat stress a common issue in Chinese factories as well, especially in the more modern factories of wealthier cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou?
I think it's common for factories to be unairconditioned in China though I'd assume it's getting more common, I remember reading somewhere striking workers biggest demand was for A/C.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:05 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Ha, ha! While I actually agree with you (shocking! ), I think it's funny. Yeah, a lot of urbanists wouldn't like looking at a steel mill, a meat-packing plant, even a computer manufacturer like the old Storage Tech in Louisville.
You sure? I thought it could add to the hipster appeal.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:13 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post

If you have a 1500kg car that's worth $20,000, that's $13/kg. Compare that to a 0.5kg pair of $40 jeans and that's $80/kg. A $5 100g toy would be $40/kg. If you were to buy a car made in Japan, vs a car made in America, I suspect you'd be paying a fair bit more in transportation costs for the Japanese car, while the difference in labour costs is not that big (even if it was made in China instead of Japan). Products that are more labour intensive, and worth more/kg are more likely to be made overseas. However, this is exactly the type of industry that as you said would be viable to put in multi-storey factories. Car factories, less so, especially now that they're considerably more mechanized than in 1925.
Manhattan used to be filled with garment factories, particularly in Midtown Manhattan (70% of American women's clothing in 1910 was produced there!). I think buildings like these may have been garment factories:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/W+...c75842bec3a43c

They survived until the 70s, mainly killed off by cheaper overseas labor.

https://zady.com/features/18

There's still small scale production for fashion designers to see the results of their design immediately.
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Manhattan used to be filled with garment factories, particularly in Midtown Manhattan (70% of American women's clothing in 1910 was produced there!). I think buildings like these may have been garment factories:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/W+...c75842bec3a43c

They survived until the 70s, mainly killed off by cheaper overseas labor.

https://zady.com/features/18

There's still small scale production for fashion designers to see the results of their design immediately.
Yeah, there are still some small scale designers that have manufacturing places in Manhattan. There are also some small scale Asian clothing makers of some sort. I have seen a few of them when walking around, such a weird thing to see when walking around in Manhattan.
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