Garden Apartments: Labeling Floors & Unit Numbers

Garden Apartments:

Trying to use unit numbers to help label your floors can lead to confusion.

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Looking at your typical 1950's-70's era Garden Apartments we will see something like what is in the pictures below, 3 floors in the front and 4 in the rear. 

Typically, we should be labeling the floors from the outside. On your alarms and calls with nothing showing you may feel an urge to wait and get inside to label so you can correspond to the unit numbers. But this can be confusing, and here is how. 

With the main debate being how to label the lowest floor. Basically, there are 2 choices, Terrace or 1. 

What is hard to tell from the outside is how the units are labeled on the inside. A good guess based on the pictures would be the units on the lower floor would be labeled with a “T” for terrace. In many cases the units will be labeled as a "T" unit on the lowest floor designating it terrace level unit and then work up from there. The upper floors being labeled in the tens or hundreds. Example being 1stfloor units labeled 11, 12 etc. or 101, 102 etc. 1 This makes it easy to label the floors Terrace, 1, 2 and 3 so the floor numbers coincide with the unit numbers. 

However, the units in the pictures here are labeled #1 and #2 on the lowest floor, #10, #20, #30 and #40 on the next floor up, #101-104 on the floor 2nd to top and #201-204 on the top floor. So, in this case because the unit numbers only go to the 200's we are left with 2 floors needing to be labeled appropriately. 

In this case what would you label the first two floors to coincide with the floor number? To me there is no good way. So, if we abandon trying to use the unit numbers, we can make life easier!

If we label this building Terrace, 1, 2 and 3 the unit numbers and floors will not coincide. This is ok if we abandon trying to use the unit numbers. Instead, label the units by what quadrant of the building they are in rather than trying to orient by floor and unit number.  Now this building becomes simple. There are 4 units per floor and 4 quadrants per floor. This allows us to start labeling the building on arrival without the need of any extra information from the inside, thus eliminating what could be a lot of confusion. 

Example: “E307 on-scene 3 story garden apartment, nothing showing” “BC33 from E307, 360 complete, 3 in the front and 4 in the rear. We’ll label the floors Terrace, 1, 2 and 3.”

Just some quick thoughts this morning. Be hard to kill!