A mezzanine steel structure is technically defined as a permanent intermediate level within a building that is part of its physical structure, such as in an auditorium or theater. Most people refer to the structures that we sell as “mezzanines.” That’s fine for the most part. What you call the structure doesn’t change what it is. However, when it comes to permitting, these should be referred to as a work platform.
Work platforms, elevated work platforms, and equipment platforms are terms that should be used when discussing your pre-fabricated mezzanine structure with your local permitting office. The building codes and regulations for these two structures are different and confusing the two can be expensive. We use the term ‘mezzanine’ to more easily communicate what our product is to our customers.
An elevated work platform is a piece of equipment that increases usable space or provides support and safe convenient access for storage or access to equipment. It is not treated as a permanent part of the building. This is critical to know. A permanent addition to your building can bring costs with it like higher tax rates and require additional construction.
When working with people who don’t deal with these mezzanine structure designs all the time, such as building inspectors, insurance agents or permit processors, it is very crucial to communicate what you are adding to your facility accurately. If these folks think that the actual building is being changed in any way, it opens up the possibility for more building plans such as bathrooms, elevators, handicap accessibility, etc.
Using the wrong terminology can make it difficult to get what you need.
Using different terminology, such as work platforms, equipment platforms, or free-standing mezzanine will hopefully eliminate this confusion. Free-standing is a critical term that notes the structure will not be connected to the building in any way. It is technically seen as capital equipment as opposed to changes to the physical building.
Advantages to using this different term include a smoother building approval process, along with your platform being classified as capital equipment which leads to tax advantages. Also, since work platforms do not count towards the square footage of the building, it does not affect any building taxes.
At Mezzanine Distributors, we want your permit and construction process to be direct and straightforward. Clearing up confusion like this beforehand can save you money and headaches. We want to be able to optimize your workspace with as few hurdles as possible.