Roof Lifting 101 for Warehouses


What is Roof Lifting or Roof Raising?

Industrial roof lifting is the process of taking an existing building with a low clearance and hydraulically lifting the roof to create a high ceiling warehouse. The solution typically applies to older existing distribution properties with obsolete ceiling height.

By lifting an industrial roof, tenants and owners can transform existing those obsolete low clear height buildings into modern dry or cold storage manufacturing or distribution facilities. Almost any roof can be lifted including those in high seismic areas.

Step 1: Building is gutted
The building gets undressed by gutting the entire facility to the bare bone skeleton. The roof lifting equipment is set in place: a series of temporary crib posts that are assembled to support the roof during the whole process. The crib posts are welded to the ceiling and anchored to the floor. Each post can support up to 25,000 tons giving the ability to lift a variety of different size roofs. For a 70,000 sq. ft. building, around 100 crib posts are used.

Step 2: Shoulders are set in place
Before the lift begins, the temporary support system is put in place to act as the shoulders for the roof to sit on once it is separated. Once in place, lifters go around and physically cut the columns and separate the roof from the walls preparing for the initial separation. If any part of the ceiling was to still be attached it could compromise the lift.

Step 3: Roof Lifting process begins
The roof lift process begins, the hydraulic lifts initiate lifting the roof from the perimeter at a rate of ½ ft. per hour. The lift is controlled by a synchronization system that measures the raising process & the hydraulic lifts are always closely monitored throughout the lift to ensure safety and accuracy.

Step 4: New Steel beams are installed
Once the roof has reached the targeted height, new columns are put into place and the hydraulic lifts are removed. In a matter of hours, a building with an inferior ceiling height can be lifted into a building with a clearance congruent to the needs of today’s distribution centers

Step 5: New walls and figures are installed
After the roof lifting process is complete, the walls are upgraded and fixtures such as sprinklers and lighting are installed and the new high ceiling warehouse is ready for occupation.

  • Many roof lifting projects are considered remodel or renovation projects so the time frame for conversion is much faster than traditional construction.
  • Reduce development and construction costs. Minimize regulations, zoning restrictions, and taxes associated with new construction.
  • Minimize disruption of your business. Downtime is significantly less as the roof can be lifted complete or in sections without completely vacating