Roof Lifting: The Good, The Bad, The Investment.

In the last two decades, the industrial market has expanded at an unprecedented rate. Because of this, industrial properties have become in demand, and with that demand comes an increased scarcity. As it stands, availability for occupiers looking to lease is hovering between 1-2%, and the available rates for purchasing industrial properties that are suitable for modern industries are even lower, sometimes at under 1%.  However, the problem with the current industrial market isn’t just that vacancies are low, it’s that most of the vacancies available are actually unfit for modern industrial practices. 

According to Goran Brelih;

“A large percentage of inventory is outdated with lower clear heights, minimal shipping, smaller square footage, and overall, less efficient than the modern warehouses we see going up around the periphery. It is incredibly difficult and becoming increasingly expensive to perform the site selection process, and go through planning and development, so if you’re looking to grow your business operations by finding additional space, there is no easy solution.”

Enter Rooflifters, our industry partner for this week. Rooflifters revamp industrial spaces by increasing the amount of clear height in a building structure and solving many of the industrial space shortage issues the industry is facing today.

 

Roof lifting in progress

 

 

How Roof Lifting Works 


Using a series of temporary hydraulic post-shores, known as the CribPost system, posts are built up with bolted sections proportional to the size of the roofing system in question. The bottom of the post is contained within a frame that holds a 25-ton capacity hydraulic jack, which pushes upwards and allows new sections to be added incrementally. By using a synchronized central control system for all hydraulic machinery, the system ensures that the roof is raised without any damage to the existing structural framing and roofing at a rate of up to one foot per hour.

Once the roof is raised to the desired height, the wall structure is built up to the new height. Roof Lifters installs the new system, keeping in mind any electrical or HVAC elements that need to be adjusted or reconnected. Depending on the size of the roofing project, the building can even be in use while the construction is going on. 

When We Recommend Roof Lifting


Often, buildings that are located in coveted locations fail to meet the specifications for prospective buyers. Low existing roof heights just don’t cut it anymore. Most often, the buildings that benefit from roof lifting are those where square footage is prime, but low clear height is ruining the property value.  According to Marty Shiff, president of Roof Lifters;

“By modernizing the height of these under-valued properties, owners and users have been able to create value. Raising the roof is allowing the rejuvenation of buildings that have often sat vacant over extended periods.”

Why You Should Consider Roof Raising 


Raising the roof has enormous possibilities. Not only are you maximizing the cubic space of your structure, but you are creating opportunities for adaptive reuse. With the roof raised, buildings that have been vacant for years now have the option to completely transform into workspaces or industrial spaces that suit the needs of modern warehouses. 

roof lifting hydraulics
Roof lifting hydraulics in action

 

The Benefits of Roof Lifting Vs. Demolition


You may ask, why not just completely rebuild the entire structure of a building instead of raising the roof? Isn’t it better to start from scratch in dated buildings? The answer is no, for many reasons. Many buildings in urban areas have extremely restrictive zoning restrictions, making a complete demolition near impossible. Complete demolition is also expensive and wasteful if the building in question is still in good condition. With roof lifting, the benefits are clear: 

  • Limited construction costs.
  • No new land is required.
  • Simplified permit process.
  • No heavy construction.
  • Increased usability without sacrificing horizontal spaces.
  • Existing roof and ceiling systems remain intact. 

 

Is There a Limit On Raising The Roof? 


Unfortunately, yes. Currently, roofs can only be raised up to 45 feet, but this increase is usually more than enough, considering many of the restrictions that clients were working with before the roof was raised. 

How Much Does Roof Lifting Cost? 


Of course, as with any construction project, raising the roof of a building depends on the size and age of the structure in question. As a general rule though, roof-raising can be done for as little as 25% of a new build.

Increasing The Value of Your Property 


There is no doubt that raising the roof of your building is something that will increase its property value. Industrial real estate is rising as strongly as ever, and with the increased demand for production and the shortage of space, looking upward is placing your bets on the future of industrial space.

As it stands, many industrial buildings were constructed at a time when 16-18 feet of clearance was more than enough. With far fewer limitations than traditional demolition, reclaiming your industrial space with roof lifting could be the solution to revitalizing your investment.