What is Racking in Construction?

January 30, 2024

Structural racking systems are a vital component of modern warehousing and distribution operations. They are designed to support a variety of loads, including the weight of stored materials and dynamic forces exerted by forklift traffic. To ensure their structural integrity and safety, racking systems must adhere to strict principles during construction and maintenance.

What is Racking?

Racking in construction refers to the lateral movement or swaying of a structure, such as a building, as a result of external forces like wind or seismic activity. A racked structure may be subject to severe damage, or even collapse under certain conditions. To mitigate these risks, structural racking systems are constructed using robust materials and engineering techniques. For instance, diagonal bracing and seismic anchoring are used to strengthen a racking system's lateral resistance. These measures prevent excessive swaying or toppling during adverse conditions and safeguard occupants and property.

A key element of structural racking construction is site preparation. This process involves ensuring that the storage area is level and adequately compacted to ensure a stable base for the racking system. Moreover, the connections between beams and uprights must be secure to withstand vertical and lateral forces. This is accomplished using high-strength bolts and welding techniques, as well as specialized connectors.

Rack-supported buildings are a cost-effective solution for warehouse and distribution operations that require a large amount of space to store goods. In addition to their high level of flexibility, they can offer tax benefits such as accelerated depreciation and write-offs. Nonetheless, it is important to note that these structures are not exempt from permit requirements. To avoid costly delays and disruptions to your business operations, be sure to consult a building permit specialist to review the permit requirements for your facility before constructing a rack supported building.


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