Catwalks are usually found in theaters and in industrial buildings. In industrial situations a catwalk allows you to observe or access a process. Occasionally, a catwalk is part of a tour allowing observation without encountering or interfering with the industrial process.
In theaters the purpose is usually to access stage equipment or a control booth. Whatever its purpose, a catwalk is primarily a structural element that also affects other structural components. A catwalk usually spans 20' - 30' and needs to be strong enough to carry whatever the equipment and occupant load that is expected. The supports for the catwalk are hangers attached to the structure above.
The example below shows two types of catwalk used in a theater - the detail on the left is for accessing equipment, the other two are for loading counterweights onto scenery fly rigging. In each case the safety provided by the railings is tweaked to accommodate the job at hand.
- This detail is suggested to specify the configuration, construction and materials required for the catwalks, especially the non-structural elements provided by the theater equipment subcontractor.
- This detail can eliminate the need for specifications covering these conditions.
- These details are referenced on the floor plan of the catwalk.
- Check headroom against other structural, mechanical, sprinkler and electrical equipment locations.
- Coordinate with structural design and details.
- You may want a specification covering the quality and installation aspects of these materials.
- These details should be placed on the Interior Detail sheets, the A-400 series of sheets per the National CAD Standards, contrary to the designations shown here.
- Download PDF of detail.