Construction starts on first ‘smart marina’

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USA: Carroll Properties has broken ground on a new state of the art boat storage facility at Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Gulf Star Marina is the region’s first smart marina and the first in the world to feature Automated Storage and Retrieval (ASAR) technology.

ASAR replaces the forklift traditionally used in drystack marinas with a railed solution thereby allowing for consistent rack-to-water vessel delivery in just seven minutes. Designed by LTW and manufactured for the US market by GCM Contracting Solutions, ASAR is also being used by companies such as Mercedes and Ikea to optimise storage and reduce risks of damage.
“Boat owners are challenged with finding dry boat storage in this area and concerned with protecting their boats from environmental damages such as diesel soot from forklifts and from the sun, if kept outside,” said Todd Carroll, owner of Carroll Properties and Gulf Star Marina. “Owning a boat is a big investment and this new technology greatly minimises those risks and the associated maintenance costs. There’s also a huge convenience factor because, with the push of a button, your boat is in the water and ready for a day of boating in a matter of minutes.”
GCM Contracting Solutions, an industry leader in commercial construction and design-build services, will construct the 29,000ft² (2,694m²) structure using the tilt-up concrete method, which offers supreme sturdiness, fire safety protection and hurricane resistance in addition to a quicker build time.
“The previous facility on the Gulf Star Marina property was built in the 1950s and had metal siding, which kept boats dry but didn’t offer much protection from tropical storms and hurricanes,” said Robert Brown, owner and president of GCM Contracting Solutions. “The new storage facility is designed to withstand wind speeds up to 200mph [322km/h] – a Category 5 hurricane.”
GCM has selected MHK Architecture & Planning of Naples, Florida to provide architectural services for the marina project (CGI above), which has an estimated completion date of May 2019.


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