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What are the “gotchas” when retrofitting a facility?

In this episode of FAQ with AGIQ, we discuss the challenges and considerations required when retrofitting a facility for cultivation purposes. From electrical load to air handling equipment placement, learn how to navigate these hurdles for a successful project.

Episode Transcription:
In this episode FAQ with AGIQ, I'm going to talk about some of the gotchas that exist when you're retrofitting a facility. By retrofitting a facility, I mean, putting new equipment or a new room in a facility that either wasn't originally that, as in, you bought a warehouse that wasn't designed as a cultivation space, and now you're trying to turn it into one.

Or when you've got an existing cultivation space and you're trying to upgrade it to the latest and greatest, both of them represent some pretty significant challenges that you need to think about. The number one is electrical load, particularly if you're trying to convert a not purpose-built building. Cultivation facilities, as we all know, are hugely power-hungry buildings.

And if you're in your average warehouse space, you're going to be an order of magnitude low on power. So that's going to be your single biggest challenge. The other one, of course, is where to put your air handling equipment. Your roof probably doesn't have the load to support the many tens or hundreds of pieces of equipment that you need for your facility.

And so, it leaves you either putting equipment on the ground beside your building, retrofitting the roof to support that additional weight or using indoor split equipment. And some combination of all three of those things may be appropriate in any given circumstance. This is one of the really hard parts about an answer like this is there is no single answer, but you've got to look at every aspect of your facility and really design it from the ground up, knowing that the shell you've got is just that.  It's just a shell and you're probably going to have to significantly change its operation.

If you're retrofitting an existing cultivation facility and trying to bring it up to your new standard. The nice part about that is, you probably have the power situation figured out. You probably have existing equipment in that facility. And so, at least some way of supporting that equipment, which means that your retrofit opportunities are probably easier to accomplish.

That said, you may be looking to go a different direction with your air handling or your lighting type, and all of those factors will play into how your retrofit looks. Don't expect a retrofit to be cheap and quick. Neither of those two things are going to lead to a successful project. It really does require a concerted effort and a long-term realistic project plan to make it happen.

And again, I always suggest get some trusted advisers, get some good consultants to help you design your facility in a way that makes sense. Whether it's a retrofit building or a cultivation facility that you're taking over. Take a holistic look at it. It's definitely required.

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