Construction of a new mezzanine or support structure is a big investment, and there is little room for error. In this Technical Tip, we will break down some of the initial steps for getting a new project started.
The 2021 version of the International Building Code (IBC) has been released and is now available. With the release of any new code, there are concerns and adjustments for changes in code language. Fortunately, the 2021 IBC release has few changes that affect the structural design, specifically the material handling industry.
An equipment platform’s design needs to satisfy two significant constraints to meet code: Strength and Serviceability. Designing for strength ensures that the platform will resist all the required load combinations for vertical and lateral loads without exhibiting any failure. In addition to meeting the strength requirements, the individual members and structural system must also meet specific serviceability requirements. Serviceability is the acceptable amount of deformation under the daily use of the platform. The equipment platform’s performance is typically examined by the serviceability of the structure and the human comfort associated with it.
The International Building Code (IBC) defines the “means of egress” as a continuous and unobstructed path of vertical and horizontal egress travel from any occupied portion of a building or structure to a public way. A means of egress consists of three separate and distinct parts: the exit access, the exit, and the exit discharge. This discussion’s focus will be on the exit since most material handling platforms and structures are located in open buildings with little to no separation of areas within the building. When laying out the structures and access to the building structures, the distance to an exit discharge must be considered. This results in creating an egress plan.
Safety is one of the main concerns when designing a structure. After determining the structure’s use, knowing what codes and requirements need to be followed as key in creating the proper design. This month we are taking a look at two different standards that are used when building a structure: the International Building Code and regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
In every industry, many standards need to be met, and certifications required to get a project executed. Choosing the correct partner to help with a plan is critical because not all companies meet specific standards to complete a project. One essential qualification is a company’s ability to provide a PE Stamp on their drawings. A PE Stamp demonstrates that a professional engineer placed his/her “registration seal” on the drawing or designs.
When planning the space for your equipment platform, the area that will be used for the equipment and storage space may be the easiest to determine. Planning for the components of the platform used for accessing it may be a little bit harder to identify but could be critical to the success of the platform in the space provided. These components include stairs, ship ladders, and vertical ladders.
When starting a new project, there are many variables for each platform. To ensure that each project is a success, here are the top items to know when you start platform design. The three critical elements that an engineer needs to design a platform are location, slab capacity, and platform use.
The goal of an elevated equipment platform is to support equipment, storage, or human traffic. This discussion focuses on the gravity or vertical loads and how to determine the proper load rating or specified loads for your platform. Gravity loads are separated between dead load and live load. Dead load includes the self- weight of the structure and components that are securely attached to the permanent structure. Live load is a variable load such as human traffic and product weight.