Raised Work Platforms

A Thoroughly Modern, Modular, Mezzanine Alternative

Raised Work Platforms, sometimes referred to as Mezzanines, are a proven cost-effective way to expand capacity because they allow you to utilize your already existing vertical space. Optimizing vertical space provides additional storage or workspace, increasing productivity and worker safety. CIP’s new Modular Raised Work Platforms have taken this great idea and made it even better.

Our engineers have developed a “simply smarter” solution to factory and warehouse capacity issues with the launch of our new Modular Raised Work Platform that delivers superior design flexibility, a superior strength to floor load ratio, quicker installation and unmatched scalability.

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This Blog details everything you need to consider before making a Raised Work Platform selection.

What Makes Our Raised Work Platforms Better?

First, we did what we do best. We fabricated 10-foot by 10-foot solid steel raised platform structures. The structural beams have a yield strength of 50,000 psi (pounds per square inch). The hollow structural sections are rated at 46,000 psi. The baseplates that connect to the floor are ⅝-inch thick steel and are anchored with solid steel bolts. So yeah, they’re strong.  They support up to 125 pounds per square foot. 

You can also choose to use our 20-foot by 20-foot modular structure. This option provides easier access and flow underneath the Raised Work Platform with the same 125 pounds per square foot weight capacity.

But that’s just the start. This universal section, or modular unit, can be bolt-connected to other sections on any of its four sides. At the point of connection, the unit straddles the foundation post perfectly. All associated parts, such as stairs, guardrails and handrails, can align to any side. In short, we’ve engineered the first truly flexible Raised Work Platform.

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Picture of a CIP mezzanine and VRC

The Advantages of Raised Work Platforms Over Mezzanines

Aren’t Raised Work Platforms the Same as Mezzanines?

Not exactly. Although most people will refer to a Raised Work Platform as a Mezzanine, because they look and perform relatively the same function, there are differences between the two. Mezzanines are platforms that typically connect to the physical structure of factories, warehouses, or distribution centers. They serve as intermediate levels between floors. On the other hand, Raised Work Platforms are free-standing and self-supporting structures. They do not rely on existing building infrastructure for support, allowing for greater flexibility in placement and installation. Because of this key difference, there are different levels of investment, building rules and regulations, and tax treatment between them.

Summary of Raised Work Platform Advantages

Raised Work Platforms Cost Less and Can Be Installed Faster

One of the key advantages of Raised Work Platforms is their lower initial build cost and faster installation time compared to Mezzanines. Our Raised Work Platforms are pre-engineered and modular systems that can be assembled swiftly, resulting in reduced labor costs and minimal disruption to ongoing operations. In contrast, Mezzanine installations involve more complex construction processes, leading to higher upfront expenses and longer installation timelines.

Raised Work Platforms Can Be Bigger

Mezzanines have inherent limitations when it comes to size. They are generally limited to occupying a maximum of one-third of the floor space below them. In contrast, Raised Work Platforms can utilize up to two-thirds of the floor space, offering significantly larger storage or workspace areas. This increased capacity makes Raised Work Platforms more suitable for businesses that require ample space for storage, equipment, or operations.

Raised Work Platforms Have an Easier Building Permit Process

When it comes to building permits, Mezzanines often come with more stringent requirements. Due to their structural connection to the existing building, Mezzanines typically necessitate more complex construction approvals. In contrast, Raised Work Platforms, being free-standing structures, often have simpler permit processes. This streamlined approach saves time and minimizes bureaucratic hurdles for businesses looking to optimize their space quickly and efficiently.

Less Stringent Egress Requirements

Egress, or emergency exit, requirements can be more demanding for Mezzanines compared to Raised Work Platforms. Mezzanines typically need to adhere to specific safety regulations regarding the number and placement of exits to ensure the safe evacuation of personnel in case of an emergency. Raised Work Platforms, while still adhering to safety standards, offer more flexibility in terms of egress design and placement, making them easier to accommodate within existing layouts.

Raised Work Platforms Provide Substantial Tax Advantages

Raised Work Platforms offer potential tax benefits over Mezzanines (you should consult your tax attorney to fully understand the tax implications of both raised work platforms and mezzanines). As Raised Work Platforms are considered equipment or temporary structures, they can be depreciated over a shorter period, typically seven years. In contrast, Mezzanines, which represent permanent construction, need to be depreciated over a longer period, often spanning 31 years. This difference in depreciation schedules can result in significant tax advantages for businesses investing in Raised Work Platforms.

Common Configurations

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Design Flexibility

CIP’s modular approach allows you to think and solve capacity issues at a much more strategic level. You don’t have to choose your solution based solely on the size and shape of your current facility, but rather, by simply asking the better question of “how much more capacity does my business need?”

You’re not custom building to fit your facility. Instead, you’re using a flexible solution that meets your current business needs.

Our 10-foot by 10-foot sections each provide 100 square feet of capacity, and at 125 pounds per square foot L.L., can support up to 12,500 pounds of material. How many of those units you need, and how you choose to arrange them, is completely up to you. 

Of course you’ll need at least stairs to access your mezzanine. And, you’ll need handrails and guardrails. How many of those you’ll need will be based on your unique configuration. They are also standard and interchangeable. 

If you want to put together the ultimate productivity solution, you can combine your mezzanine with our modular or custom VRC material lifts. 

The images on the right show just how flexible the designs can be. The more sections you add, the more flexible options you can utilize.

Available Options

  • Bar grating floors
  • IBC stairs
  • 4’ x 4’ landing

Quicker Installation

Our Modular Mezzanines are based on a system of interchangeable, 10-foot by 10-foot standard sections. This allows for shorter lead times and quicker installation. 

  • Nut and bolt assembly. No onsite welding necessary.
  • All parts, from railings, base plates, flooring and stairs are also interchangeable.
  • Installation can be done in days, rather than weeks as with most custom mezzanine solutions.
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Built Strong

The CIP Modular Mezzanines are fabricated and assembled here in the U.S.A.

Material Specifications:

  • Completed Mezzanine rated at 125 pounds per square foot L.L.
  • Industrial heavy-duty columns and base plates.
  • Structural beams meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) of 50W specifications of a minimum yield strength of 50,000 lbs. per square inch.
  • Hollow structural section (HSS) square tubing meets ASTM 500 class H requirement of 46,000 lbs. per square inch.
  • Column base plates 10” x 10” x 5/8” thick steel factory punched for four 1/2” anchor bolts.
  • Connection hardware is high strength (ASTM A 325-10) hardened structural steel bolts and fasteners.

Unmatched Scalability

Because our industrial steel work platforms (mezzanines) are modular, you don’t have to buy more than you need now, just because you might need more space later. Being agile means you want to operate more efficiently and profitably now, and maintain enhanced profitability at all times. With our system, you can add one or more sections now, and expand as you need grows.


Rest assured that as long as you have the space, you can add and bolt your new sections up to the old ones. Your existing units can even be relocated or reconfigured to create a new workspace that completely meets your needs. This means no wasted space now with the ability to accommodate expansion.

Modular Mezzanines are the perfect solution for any size business, big or small, as long as it is a growing business.

Minimal Structural Load

Some competitive Mezzanines have printed specs that show as much as a 14-foot span between support posts, with capacity ratings up to and over 200 pounds per square foot. This is where you need to be realistic as to the weight of the material and the number of personnel you plan to put on your mezzanine. Remember that no matter what your mezzanine is rated, your actual floor and foundation need to be able to support that weight, as well as the weight of the mezzanine structure itself. 

At full capacity (125 pounds per square foot), our system, which places a support post or column no farther than teen feet apart, disperses that supported load across your floor to apply no more than 12,500 pounds per square foot. That, plus the weight of the mezzanine, is what your floor and foundation need to be able to support.

A thorough slab analysis needs to be completed to determine the strength of your floor, slab, and even the soil underneath before you make any decision regarding a mezzanine.

But keep in mind, if you decide on a mezzanine that is rated up to 200 pounds per square foot, and it uses less support posts, or the support posts are farther apart, each one of those posts is going to be placing a greater stress onto your floor and slab. 

The CIP Modular Mezzanine solution provides an efficient balance between load capacity and applied load stress onto the floor and foundation.

    Column Load

    In the configuration below, if loaded to full rated capacity of 12,500 pounds, Column D in center transfers only 12,500 pounds per square foot due to 10-foot column spacing.

    Don't Waste Space

    Empty space is wasted space. Especially space you are already ventilating, heating, cooling and lighting. Optimize your factory’s vertical space now and increase your productivity and bottom line!

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    Tax Benefits

    It goes without saying that the space gained by a Mezzanine comes at a fraction of the cost of new construction. But what some people don’t consider is that in most cases Mezzanines qualify for a 7-year tax depreciation schedule, while the fastest new construction can be depreciated is 39 years. Check with your accountant before making any decision regarding taxes.

    Greener Solution

    Here’s why, if you need to expand, you should look to expand “up” rather than “out”. For facilities that have the empty vertical space, that space is being wasted. Beyond that, you are already ventilating, heating, cooling, and lighting that space. With mezzanines, you can almost double your workable floor space, without any additional utility cost. Secondly, if you expanded outward to double your space, that also means additional green space would be removed. We need to spare as many carbon munching trees as we can. And lastly, mezzanines use less building material than the expanding out.

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