Cornerstone Specialty Wood Products, LLC® | More than Mezzanine Floors

Study Finds ResinDek® Flooring 34% More Cost Effective Than Concrete for Elevated Industrial Platforms

When a facility owner makes the decision to add an elevated industrial work platform, the next step is to consider potential designs for the structure, then evaluate those options based on a variety of factors, including cost.

To figure out which flooring surface would be more cost effective in such an application, Matt Rescorla of Rescorla Engineering conducted an independent research study. Rescorla - a registered professional engineer and 30-year veteran of the material handling industry whose primary design focus is on work platforms, mezzanines and related structures - compared ResinDek® composite engineered wood floor panels against concrete.

His findings? The ResinDek flooring was up to 34% more cost effective than concrete.

Rescorla published his calculations and conclusions in the report "Work Platform Deck Cost Comparison Study".

The Study's Methodology

In his assessment, Rescorla compared the costs associated with the construction of three hypothetical elevated work platforms typically considered when comparing potential design options. His design specified a structure measuring 225 x 225 feet and utilizing different flooring surfaces and framing shapes:

  • ResinDek panels over metal deck with cold-formed, c-channel framing
  • Concrete over metal deck with cold-formed, c-channel framing
  • Concrete over metal deck with hot-rolled, wide-flange framing

The work platforms were designed for a live load of 125 pounds per square foot and the appropriate dead and seismic loads for each platform. Both concrete options specified a 3- inch concrete thickness above the 1.5-inch corrugated deck ribs. The c-channel framing design options sought to maximize the most efficient joist spacing and member gauge; the wide-flange framing option sought to maximize joist spacing by utilizing the maximum deck capacity.

Based on both the design calculations and the industry standards for live load deflection limits, Rescorla created three models using commercially available structural analysis software. He then obtained three estimates for the concrete work and averaged the costs. His cost comparison calculations included:

  • Interior footings (material and installation)
  • Columns, joists and metal floor deck (material)
  • Columns, joists, and metal floor deck (installation)
  • ResinDek or Concrete (material and installation)
  • Total freight to site for all material

Based on the calculations, Rescorla concluded that constructing an elevated work platform with ResinDek panels was more cost effective than either of the concrete flooring options. Overall cost per square foot (excluding freight) was 31% and 34% higher for the two concrete designs, respectively.

Why Concrete Costs More Than ResinDek

In the report Rescorla noted that, on a percentage basis, the largest contributor to this gap is the cost of the concrete with installation. Based on the installed cost, he wrote, using concrete as the elevated work platform flooring surface is 77% higher than the cost of ResinDek panels.

Another contributor to the higher cost of concrete construction is the greater expense of the additional steel joists and larger footings required to support the heavier concrete platform options: 33% and 26% higher than ResinDek.

The installation costs for the concrete designs' additional and heavier steel framing members are also higher due to the increased number of joists needed to support the heavier flooring material, the special equipment and rigging necessary to handle the components, and the additional manpower required.

The "Work Platform Deck Cost Comparison Study" is available as a free download.

Have questions, or need more details to help calculate the cost of utilizing ResinDek flooring in your next elevated work platform project? Call us at 513.772.5560?

Posted on January 24, 2021