Avoiding Delays in Your Warehouse Build-out
If you’ve participated in designing and building out a new warehouse or distribution center or even simply made an addition to an existing facility lately, you’ve learned that municipalities have increased the permitting requirements over the last several years.
Understanding what’s needed and staying on top if it can make all the difference between meeting your project’s completion date and a month or more of delays, redesigns and other problems. Below you’ll find what I and the other DAK project managers have learned about working with municipalities to complete the permitting portion of material handling projects.
First and foremost, you need to understand what’s required by the municipality so start as early as possible. The cost and level of cooperation you get from the local government will vary wildly depending on your location. For example, some communities are remarkably helpful while others drag their feet and throw up roadblocks.
Below are some bullet points on things to do to get started.
- Start Early! Yes, it really is that important.
- Visit the Community Website. You can often find helpful information on permitting requirements by digging around a little. If nothing else, you will probably find a point-of-contact or email address that may help. If all that fails, the chamber of commerce can probably point you in the right direction.
- Fire Safety is Always the Biggest Concern. Be ready to provide detailed info on sprinkler systems and how high your storage will be, egress paths and signage, and how everything fits together. Be aware that fire department inspectors are almost always big fans of wire decking in your storage bays. If a high pile permit is also required, it may need to be obtained through a different process before a building permit is issued.
- Be Ready to Provide Drawings. CAD drawings of your system are almost certainly going to required but again, what will be asked for will vary by location. Some are happy with partial drawings, others want full, and some require seals and stamps from an engineer.
- Get Your Contractors Involved. Obviously if you’re having the facility built a whole other layer of permitting is involved but you need to be sure that your material handling systems provider can produce what’s needed for their part of the project as well. This is particularly important if your distribution center is in a seismic zone.
- Ask About a Temporary Permit. Plan ahead for something to go not quite right with scheduling the build-out versus receiving the full permit and find out if a temporary permit is a possibility. It could buy you the breathing room you need to hit your targets.
These six points only cover the big items for getting ready for permitting. Along with many other things, a municipality may want details down to the kind of welds used to connect the endplates on the beams or the elevations on the individual bays. Food storage facilities open up a whole other slew of requirements.
As you can see from the above, the permitting aspect can make or break your warehousing project. The project managers at DAK have years of experience handling material handling permits for our customers–It’s just part of the service we provide to meet your business needs. After all, your success becomes our success as well.