Mezzanine Systems Part III: Catwalk Mezzanine Platform Systems

Mezzanine Systems Part III: Catwalk Mezzanine Platform Systems

This week, we’re wrapping up our discussion of the three main types of mezzanine systems offered by Specialized Storage Solutions.

As a reminder, the three types are:

  1. Free-standing Structural Steel Multi-level Mezzanines, designed to maximize floor space and take advantage of unused overhead space.  Read Part I about free-standing mezzanine systems in detail here
  2. Shelving Supported Mezzanines consist of a second floor of decking over an entire lower level of shelving or pallet rack. The second level consists of rack, shelving, offices,  
  3. or work areas, and allows relatively unlimited placement of items on the second floor.
  4. Read Part II about shelving supported mezzanine systems in detail here.
  5. Catwalk Mezzanine Platform Systems consist of high-rise racking or shelving with decking placed only in aisles. This mezzanine requires shelving to be the same on all levels, but makes catwalks less expensive to construct. This structure is useful for the staff to get from one point to another.

Which type of mezzanine system is right for your warehouse needs? That depends on your budget, your ideal warehouse layout and design, the type of product to be stored, the height of your building, and local building codes. The experts at Specialized Storage Solutions would be happy to consult with your business as to the recommended type of mezzanine for your work.

Today, we’re focusing on the logistics and applications of catwalk mezzanine platform systems.

Catwalk Mezzanine Platform Systems

Catwalk mezzanines consist of high-rise racking or shelving with decking placed only in aisles. The mezzanine platform, or catwalk, allows team members easy access to upper level storage by simply walking through the aisles above. These systems are also convenient if your warehouse holds large tanks, equipment, mechanical equipment, or manufacturing towers that need access from above. This mezzanine requires shelving to be the same on all levels, but makes catwalks less expensive to construct.

The benefits to this type of mezzanine platform include:

  • Virtually doubling your floor space, as with most mezzanine types
  • Good cube utilization for products of similar size and weight
  • Customizable designs
  • Tax benefits because the product is treated as capital equipment rather than property
  • Multiple picking aisles increase productivity

Typical Applications

Common applications for storage include small automotive parts, tools, samples, archives, or any common-sized items. Catwalk mezzanines are often used for warehouses that house large tanks that need regular access from above, such as breweries. Others might house large mechanical or manufacturing equipment that need safe, routine maintenance access. These double or triple level systems usually require stamped and sealed drawings from an engineer registered in your particular state who is familiar with local code compliance.

Decking Options

The type of decking used in the aisles depends on the application. Resindeck installed over corrugated decking is typically used in scenarios where there is heavy cart or pallet jack usage, and where long-term durability is a major concern. You will typically require the installation of sprinklers below the deck to compensate for product density even though the corrugated steel deck acts as a fire baffle. Bar grating is a very common and durable method of deck used with the catwalk mezzanine platform and is typically used where there is a desire for air flow or light needing to penetrate through the deck to the lower level. Even though the steel grating allows for 80 percent pass-through of air and water, most building code officials will still require the installation of sprinklers under the deck to prevent fires from spreading.

Handrail Considerations

The type of handrail required at the row ends will be determined by the local building code and whether the multi-level structure will have personnel walking up and down the system on a daily basis. Vertical picket railing is typically required in high traffic areas and IBC code regulations state that the stair must have an internal rail to make it handicap accessible.** The horizontal railing on the row ends of the multi-tier mezzanine will typically be three-rail (BOCA) or two-rail (OSHA) compliant. Self-closing swing gates or sliding gates are used in instances where product must be lifted through an opening on to the mezzanine structure with a lift truck or vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC).

Stair Types

The type of stair required also depends on the application. Local fire codes typically state that you cannot have more than 75 feet from a primary means of egress in order to be in compliance and if you have that condition a second set of stairs will be required. IBC code regulations state that a stair must have an internal rail to make it handicap accessible railing.**

**See your local building code for compliance.

Success Stories

mezzanine platform systems

North American Parts Distributors

NAPD moved into a new warehouse across town and needed help transferring their racking systems, as well as reconfiguring their new space in general.

They called on Specialized Storage Solutions to help. We installed a catwalk mezzanine platform that gave them increased capacity in their small parts picking area and a protective barrier rail throughout their new facility to protect personnel. Together with their double-deep racking system, North American Parts Distributors now have expanded their square footage significantly.

buywise mezzanine platform systems

Buywise Auto Parts

Buywise Auto Parts was expanding into an area that was in dire need of a wholesale supplier of car parts. They needed a company with parts storage expertise to design the best system for their needs and maximize the total storage space to fit the most inventory.

Specialized Storage Solutions sat down with the owner and asked the right questions to determine what his need was, and we came up with a cost-effective warehouse layout optimization solution to meet those needs. We engineered and installed the system, worked with the local building department, and furnished signed and sealed drawings to make the process go smoothly.

Specialized Storage Solutions has been working with our customer to make the best use of their storage space in all five of their facilities since 1998. We will be called in again for warehouse layout optimization when the customer expands his business or if his needs change.

Specialized Storage Solutions is Proud to Support Eco-Friendly, American-Made Mezzanine Systems

If your rapidly growing business demands additional storage space, our Strongbox MezzanineTM Systems offer an alternative to expensive, inconvenient facility renovation or warehouse relocation. Engineered to bring you the strength of structural steel at an economical roll-formed steel cost, a prefabricated Strongbox system lets you turn any unused space into new office, warehouse, or production areas. You can actually double your storage capacity in any space. What’s more, since free-standing mezzanines are considered capital equipment, installing a Strongbox system rather than expanding your building is a tax saver.  

When you invest in steel mezzanines from Specialized Storage Solutions, rest assured in the knowledge that our product is made in ways that impact the environment as little as possible. Additionally, there’s the fact that it was made completely in America – which is by and of itself a guarantee of good quality.

Learn more about our eco-friendly manufacturing practices here. Specialized Storage Solutions today to discuss your warehouse’s mezzanine needs.