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Autotrade fixtures and fittings: Layout, lighting and flooring

A dealership’s workshop and showroom design is a crucial part of its appeal.So, whether it is franchised or independent, every aspect must be carefully considered to ensure the materials chosen are right for the job and enhance the look of the site.

One of the most important aspects is lighting where the favoured choice is bright white light which emulates natural daylight.

James Turnell, sales assistant at City Electrical Factors, in Peterborough, recommends daylight tubes for a showroom as they give out a bright white light to clearly show off a new vehicle’s colour.

The tubes come in a variety of lengths from two to six metres so can be matched to different sized rooms.

Turnell says: “Every time I have been to a dealership the lighting has been a bright white daylight tube. 

“It is always best to go for white light rather than colours because it will show off the cars in a natural light.

“A louvre over the bulb is also recommended as this will ensure the light is well dissipated.”

Bodyshop lighting

In bodyshops, Turnell says it is essential to have a diffuser covering the bulb and electrical components to protect the lighting from moisture, dust and chemicals and prolong the life of the equipment.

For showroom areas or receptions a low bay light, which comprises of four tubes in a box section in the ceiling, works effectively.

The boxes can house tubes up to two feet long and are either 250 or 400 watt to provide adequate lighting for a particular area.

Tubes from two to six feet cost £1-2 while a diffuser, depending on length, ranges from £12 to £18. 

When it comes to layout, Roger Adams, owner of Bissett Adams architects based in London, says the key is to maximise space.

Consideration should be given to ensure the maximum number of ramps can be fitted which should be weighed against how many service bays will be required.

Lighting is often overlooked

Adams also believes lighting is one of the most important considerations. He says: “Lighting is quite often overlooked. Sometimes I have seen workshops with sodium lights.

The trouble is that these can confuse technicians because it can make modern vehicle wiring look a different shade of colour.”

With regard to design, Adams adds: “There is always a lot of debate over how workshops are laid out. “Do you have a central aisle or two aisles? It is all about utilising space.
“You must also consider whether there is enough room for a turning circle.”

Manufacturers have a standard size of fitting bay. Volvos, for
example, are seven metres long by 3.9 metres wide as their vehicles tend to be large, so consideration must be paid as to what size a manufacturer requires.

  • Read this story in full in the 14 Nov 08 issue of AM. To subscribe to AM magazine click here or call 01733 468659.

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