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Airport Heated Sand Storage Building

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    Jeff McNally

    We are in the early phases of building a new facility provide overhead and floor heating,
    ease of ingress and egress, and interior vehicle maneuverability. Has anyone recently gone through this process?

    David Sims

    Our sand storage is in an end bay of our SRE building. It has its own 18 foot wide door and the bay is about 42 feet deep. We have overhead radiant heat. We usually store about 200-300 ton of sand in the bay at max capacity. This leaves us enough room to park our loader and a sand truck in the bay as well.

    As for maneuverability, there really isn’t any. The loader is straight in and straight out with loading of the truck occurring outdoors.

    One thing we have noticed is the heat dries the sand out too much. Sand that has been stored for too long becomes very dry and does not adhere as well to the ice. To combat this we use a hose and sprinkler to add moisture to the sand occasionally. You don’t want it too wet, but damp enough that it does’t just blow off in the wind.


    Good info David. Do you have a heated floor? Our old one does and it acts like a humidifier keeping the dry-out time extended. It runs off an old boiler that we are constantly dumping money into but has been to our advantage to do so.

    Is your sand delivered wet, frozen and clumpy from your supplier?

    David Sims

    We don’t have infloor heat, only the overhead radiant. Our sand is usually delivered frozen and damp, with some small clumping. They usually have to bust into the pile just to get enough loose sand to deliver, so the clumps are minor, and usually disappear within 24 hours. The sand usually will surface dry in 24 hours, but the inside of the pile retains moisture fairly well. The only time we really have to worry about wetting it is beginning of the season or if it has sat for months.

    For what its worth, I’ll be glad when this winter is over. We have used more sand in the last few weeks than we have in the last few years. The strange part is it has been a fairly cold winter, but it always warms up significantly just before and after the precip.

    Charles J Cook

    Hai David,
    Very informative post. I was planning to buy a sand heater. And now i think i can buy one which is has all the above specifications.


    In the pre-design phase, we have identified some project challenges. 1). Adequate storage and flexibility for varying seasonal storage needs. 2). in-season delivery and material handling challenges via facility layout. 3). Future expansion of our FM and sand storage facilities. 4). Maintaining a secure perimeter around an active maintenance facility without interrupting operations. I’ll continue to update as we move through this painful process 🙂

    Ben Jachim

    It is unbelievable as to how many pre-construction meetings are attached to such a small sand storage facility. Heated uppers and heated floor. Bing bang boom—site is chosen—just break ground and get it done.

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