Measuring A Warehouse for Racking

What To Consider When Measuring A Warehouse For Racking

Outfitting or retrofitting your space with racking isn’t as simple as selecting and erecting the material. While racking capacities, applications, and environment can vary wildly, the same can be said for the buildings that house them. As we all know, most buildings are different in size, scope, layout, and obstructions (or lack thereof). There are many things to consider when measuring your warehouse for pallet racking to house the storage systems you want. Below, we will cover how to properly analyze your building for measuring for pallet racking.

Clear Height

Clear height refers to the amount of vertical space that is available to utilize for your racking systems. Clear height isn’t as simple as how high the ceilings are in your building, although that is where that calculation starts. When determining clear height obstacles such as sprinklers, heating and cooling systems, and building trusses should be considered.

Usable Space

This calculation is pretty self-explanatory, but it comes into play in calculating your total storage capacity. Simply take the total square footage of your warehouse and subtract the non-usable square footage. This can include but is not limited to, bathrooms, office or cubicles, loading docks, building columns, and anywhere you can’t store material. Simply subtract the non-usable space from the total square footage of your building and you have your usable space figure.

Once that figure is calculated, multiply your total usable space by your clear height to determine your storage capacity in cubic feet. For example

Total square footage – 200,000 sq. ft

Non-usable space – 20,000 sq. ft

Usable space = 180,000 sq. ft

Clear height – 25 ft.

Storage capacity = (180,000 sq. ft) x (25 ft.) = 4.5 million cu. ft.

Building Features

Like we mentioned, most buildings are different and have unique design quirks and layouts. Depending on what you are storing, your floor print may require space for pedestrian traffic or multiple forklifts operating at once. If you’re loading material in and out on a regular basis, it’s a good assumption there are one or more docking doors or other entrances, including your typical entryways for workers and visitors.


While not specifically a part of the building itself, your forklifts are an important piece to the puzzle. You can have all the vertical height and clearance one could want in a building, but what good is it if you can’t reach it? Making sure your forklifts have the vertical ability to reach those heights, and handle the weight of your loads, is an often overlooked piece of the puzzle you should not forget about.

As always, our goal is to help you. Please contact us with any questions, concerns, or help with measuring your warehouse for pallet racking.