Considerations in Storage Racking

Many times people will rent business, warehouse or storage spaces in British Columbia without first looking at the requirements for occupancy and the storage racking system they plan to use. In both new and older buildings, there are key things to consider when moving and planning for storage racks in BC.

LOOK UP: Fire Suppression System

The first consideration is if the building is suitable for your intended occupancy use. The sprinkler system for the building is required to have enough capacity to suppress any fire that breaks out. If you have to upgrade the sprinkler system yourself, you could face significant costs. In addition, the structural support of the ceiling must be taken into account. The weight of the required plumbing could exceed the ceiling’s capability.
Fire suppression becomes even more critical when you consider your use of the space you are moving to. Storage racking system in BC that may be used for hazardous materials, or are over eight feet tall, are required to meet strict standards. If you plan to store flammables, your suppression system may require additional upgrades.

LOOK DOWN: Building and Occupancy Permit

Different municipalities in BC and Vancouver may require a slab and soil report before a permit can be obtained. Permits are mandatory for vertical storage systems or racking eight feet or more in height. Slab and soil reports should be available for newer structures. If you are looking at moving to an older building, the report may not be available. A new geo-technical assessment can cost up to $5,000.
This report is often not something that the average business is thinking about when a new building space is considered. However, if you are planning for storage racks in BC slab and soil reports become critical.

The building construction may also factor into your consideration. Slab-on-grade construction is the most common construction style in the Vancouver area. Slab-on-grade is the most stable construction style. A building that is built on buried piles may have some serious load limitations that could limit your storage possibilities.
Before you consider moving your business, do ask about these issues. The building owner or property manager should provide the answers. Without the required sprinkler system and building permit, you could face delays and additional expenses.