The Nitty Gritty on Mezzanines
Our industry is beginning to see a move from using the word mezzanine to using the term “work platform”. We’re finding using the word mezzanine can muddle the permit process.
The building codes and permit officials often interpret a mezzanine to be part of the building rather than a piece of equipment. The confusion stems from the word itself. Buildings can be constructed with a “mezzanine level”. That type of mezzanine is not the kind Beaton Industrial sells. When this misinterpretation occurs, it can cause expensive modifications in building plans, including the possible need to add bathrooms, handicap accessibility, elevators, and potentially higher tax rates.
To avoid this potential misinterpretation, Beaton Industrial recommends our customers use other terms when speaking with all parties involved, from the architects, to the insurance agents, to the building inspectors.
Some replacement words include, Work Platform, Equipment Platform, and Elevated Structure. The verbiage does not change anything with regard to the design, or how the platform will be utilized; it simply helps prevent a misinterpretation of the structural permanence of the platform.
Advantages of being a Work Platform
There are definite advantages of referring to the structure as a work platform
- Smoother building approval process
- Work platforms are viewed as capital equipment. This offers the ability to depreciate the purchase over 7 years vs. 31 years.
- Lower assessed value and taxes – Platform space is not counted with regard to total square footage.
So the moral of the story is be careful which word you use to describe your structure. Using the wrong term can cost you valuable time and money.