Mezzanine Floor Systems
The cost efficiency of warehouses, factories, and office storage, above everything else, comes down to effective utilisation of available space. Maximizing how one’s space is best used for storage is the single easiest way to reduce operating costs.
As your storage needs grow, instead of renting a larger building you can keep operating costs to a minimum by making the best use of your current space. High-density storage solutions, modern shelving, and smart flooring design will save you money on energy costs, building costs, local authority charges, removal costs, and improve your company’s day-to-day efficiency.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to increase the storage capacity of your building is to use mezzanine floors systems. These platforms are constructed above your existing workspace and are typically accessed by forklift, a goods lift, and stairs.
What Does Mezzanine Level Mean?
Mezzanine floor systems are partial floor levels between two others in a building. It does not fully cover the floor below.
Storage mezzanine floors in a warehouse is typically a semi-permanent freestanding structure on the ground floor that can be dismantled and relocated in the future. The raised floor can be used for production, storage, or even office space.
While the area of a mezzanine in comparison to the ground floor can vary, some insurance companies only define a partial floor covering 25% or less of the floor area to be a mezzanine level for their calculations.
If your building has unused space above the facility floor, a mezzanine level allows you to reclaim that space and solve your storage needs quickly and affordably. You’re effectively doubling the useable space that the mezzanine floor covers.
What Is the Loading Capacity of a Mezzanine Floor?
One of the benefits of mezzanine floor systems is flexibility. As the floor is supported by a grid of high gauge structural steel columns, you’re free to build your mezzanine floor to fit your needs.
Mezzanine floors are built to completely different specifications for different end uses. This includes different specifications for load ratings, deckings, layouts, access, railing types, etc.
Having said that, a typical mezzanine floor installed by professionals and designed for storage will use 38 mm tongue and grooved particleboard supported by cold rolled steel beams. This will support a load of 960 kilograms per square metre (9.6 kilonewtons per square metre).
A mezzanine floor used for office space will typically be designed to support 350 kilograms per square metre (3.5 kilonewtons per square metre).
Mezzanine Floor Building Regulations
Another benefit of mezzanine floors is that planning permission is not normally required. However, there are cases where you will require planning permission in the UK:
- When the mezzanine level will be used for workers or office space
- When you need to alter the exterior of the building to accommodate the new floor
- When the flooring will be for retail use and over 200 square metres
- When previous planning permission for a floor area increase has been denied
Mezzanine floors are not exempt from the usual government building regulations. In particular, the sections for structural safety, fire safety, protection from falling, and access to and use of buildings must be adhered to.
Fire safety regulations state that freestanding mezzanine floors or floors supported by racking must have fire protection with one-hour fire protection similar to other floors. These rules are relaxed if the mezzanine floor has only one tier, is only used for storage, will be stood on by only a few employees at a time and never by a member of the public, is less than 10 metres in length or width, covers less than 50% of the area of the floor underneath, and the means of escape is clear.
As designers and installers for your mezzanine floor, we’ll ensure that your floor adheres to the structural safety regulations.
Mezzanine Floor Installation
Some steps in installing mezzanine floor systems can be performed outside of peak hours to reduce the impact on operations. The site first needs a detailed survey and calculations are performed to decide the safest and most efficient way to install the mezzanine floor as well as maximize the storage efficiency of the final product. A mezzanine floor should provide plenty of height for foot traffic below the deck.
However, another one of the benefits of a mezzanine floor is that it can be installed relatively quickly with minimal disruption to the site. Most of the mezzanine structure is prefabricated offsite, requiring us to simply transport the floors to the site and quickly erect it on-site.
Compared to stick-built construction, a mezzanine floor system installation has minimal waste materials, minimal mess, and clean-up can be fast and simple.
What Is the Cost of a Mezzanine Floor?
Mezzanine floor system costs vary on requirements. For an approximation, expect between £75 and £150 per square metre.
Mezzanine floors for office space will be on the lower end of the scale, as they need not support such heavy weight. The more weight that needs to be supported, the more steelwork that is required. Mezzanine floors for industrial storage and machinery, usually rated to 960 kilograms per square metre, need to be stronger and therefore require more steelwork.
Contrary to some expectations, the larger the mezzanine floor the less costly it becomes on a per-square-metre basis. This is because small mezzanine floors still require a structural steel staircase and may require a tighter gridwork of steel to reach the required load rating. However, smaller mezzanine floors will not need to be fire rated.
The location of the mezzanine floor also affects the final cost, as various factors such as fire safety, access staircases, and handrails need to be considered.
Finally, finishing will play a factor in the final price. A simple timber deck storage mezzanine floor will be less costly than a mezzanine floor kitted out as an office.
Your Experienced Mezzanine Floor Supplier
Get in touch with IAW logistics to discuss how we can improve your company’s efficiency with a cost-effective mezzanine floor system. We have years of experience consulting and installing on mezzanine floors for our trusted clients.