What are Mezzanine Floors?
Mezzanine Floors are semi permanent structures which when built within an existing building create a new floor level between the existing floor and roof. They are a particularly economical way of creating additional space within an existing building. If you need to expand your business and the costs of relocating or extending your premises seem prohibitive a mezzanine floor could be the answer by doubling the available floor space.
Mezzanines can have many applications they can be used for storage (Raised storage platforms), plant support structures, working areas, manufacturing areas, office areas and retail areas. There is no limit to the versatility of mezzanine systems and it is a very cost effective way of potentially doubling your useable floor space.
Mezzanine floors aren’t only a cost effective solution for expansion but can also be a great way to consolidate a business into smaller and more cost effective premises by making full use of the available space. If you currently operate out of two sites why not look in to the feasibility of bringing the two operations together into one with the introduction of a mezzanine floor to give the additional required floor space.
Things to consider before buying a Mezzanine Floor
The most important consideration for any mezzanine floor is available headroom. Generally an existing minimum roof height of approx. 4.500m would be the minimum requirement to achieve suitable headroom at both ground and first floor levels.
Mezzanine floors are designed to suit customer requirements but also in accordance with the loading requirements of the Building Regulations and BRE Digest 437. Mezzanine loadings start from 2.5kn/m2 (250kg/m2) for light offices with no partitions and increase to some extremely heavy loadings for specialist operations, however a common design loading would be in the region of 5kn/m2 (500kg/m2) which is suitable for most applications. Further consideration should be given for the amount of allowable deflection (bounce) within the design. Mezzanines are generally light weight structures which allow deflection within its design, this can however be reduced by reducing the deflection limits within the design, Warning…..cheaper mezzanine floors generally have more deflection (bounce).
The use of a mezzanine floor is extremely important as this will affect the implementation of the requirements of Building Regulations. If the mezzanine floor is to be used as a working area or used for retail purposes consideration must be made for suitable access for disabled persons in accordance with Part M of the Building Regulations. This can be usually be achieved through the provision of a suitable (Part M) staircase. Furthermore mezzanine floors used as working areas or for retail purposes will be required to conform with more stringent fire safety and escape requirements than storage platforms. All mezzanines are risk assessed based upon there proposed use and designed accordingly.
Access to mezzanine floors is generally via a staircase. You should consider where best this would be positioned to suit your operation although consideration should also be given to its position in relation to fire exits from the building so as to minimize escape travel distances. Maximum travel distances are a Building Regulations requirement and as such on larger mezzanine floors additional staircases will be required.
Mezzanine support legs
Mezzanine floors are generally free standing structures independent of the existing building and they are supported on there own columns. The position and frequency of these columns is very flexible and can be designed around specific site conditions and customer requirements. However as a general rule the fewer columns in the design the more expensive the structure becomes.
The majority of mezzanine floors have 38mm high density particle board decking which is extremely versatile and gives a strong hard wearing surface suitable for many applications. Other decking types are available including Plywood’s and various steel surfaces.
Choosing a supplier
Central Mezzanines are a leading British manufacturer of mezzanine floors, having our own in house design and manufacturing team we are able to offer mezzanine solutions which are both tailored to the needs of each individual client but also offer the most competitive solutions to achieve customer satisfaction in full accordance with the statutory requirements of The Building Regulations.
In its 30 year history Central Mezzanines is proud to boast many household names as satisfied customers including the MOD, Boots, Sunseeker Boats, Travis Perkins, Anglian Windows, Smallbone Kitchens, TNT, Europa Worldwide and Howdens Joinery to name but a few. We also have had the great privilege of being able to help thousands of small to medium size businesses expand and realize their full potential.