STEVENS POINT, Wis.—Whether it's for new warehouse construction or a distribution center overhaul, the last thing a facility manager needs to hear is that the opening will be delayed by weeks, or months, due to building permit delays.
"In the material handling equipment industry, permits are required for—but not limited to—storage rack, pallet rack, rack picking systems, conveyor systems, and mezzanine/storage platforms used in warehouses and home improvement centers," says Tony Landeros, president of Permit Services of California, a material handling permit expeditor servicing the western United States.
"While the permit process usually takes from three to six weeks from beginning to end, it can take as long as 16 weeks," cautions Landeros. "Each city, county, and state has its own ordinances that must be met; and some cities require full compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) before issuing a permit." Any error, of course, usually translates into costly permit and operational delays.
To help facility managers avoid permit delays and keep operation plans on track, some suppliers of warehouse rack storage systems, such as Steel King, provide comprehensive building permit services. For instance, the company offers a calculation package for the permit process and deals with all national, regional, or local agents necessary to handle permitting.
It accomplishes this with in-house professional engineering staff and a network of permit specialists. "Building departments will not release the storage rack permit until you provide them with Fire Department High Pile Storage (HPS) approval," adds Landeros, commenting in regard to fire codes in particular. "Most rack permit delays are due to poor HPS approval planning.”