Construction can be an intimidating and confusing sector filled with jargon. Today, our team breaks down what is meant by mezzanine flooring to support you in making an informed decision on whether mezzanine flooring is the right solution for your commercial premises.
What are mezzanine floors?
A mezzanine floor is essentially an intermediate floor that is located between the main flooring structure of a building. Mezzanine floors are not a whole new floor to a building, they are partly open and are often excluded when counting the overall floors of a building. The below image shows you how these levels are generally designed though they tend to vary significantly in size depending on a business’ requirements. As can be seen, you will often find that mezzanine floors are constructed in the form of a balcony within a building.
What industries use Mezzanine Flooring?
A range of different industries utilise mezzanine floors to support their business’ growth and expansion. From retail and office-based businesses to warehouses, mezzanine floor can be tailored to suit the bespoke needs of industries across the sphere.
The retail industry may want to add a mezzanine floor level to help expand their stores. They can benefit from mezzanine flooring as they are not required to move from their current customer base to another property with high commercial premiums and a new location. This solution allows the retail business to store and offer more stock to their customers which, in turn, can assist in revenue growth.
Mezzanine flooring solutions also offer SMEs that are quickly outgrowing their offices an affordable alternative to commercial premiums and relocation. These floors can be tailored for privacy and to create meeting rooms by our engineers by adding partitions to the construction plan. The new office space can improve staff productivity through providing a more organised workplace with strong storage solutions. Office mezzanine flooring services are usually combined with a full office fit-out including partition walls, plumbing and heating, floor coverings, ceilings and office furniture.
Warehouse mezzanine flooring is growing in demand due to the large variety of mezzanine flooring that can be used for the storage of heavy or long length goods. Depending on building regulations, flooring can be supplied and installed to support your staff’s equipment use. Usually, you will find that warehouses use mezzanine flooring alongside alternative shelving or storage systems to support heavy goods activity.
Storage and Production Mezzanine Floors
Standard storage mezzanine floors tend to be designed to carry approximately 500kg on a standard pallet. Where heavier loads are required, a specialist engineer can create solutions to meet specific weight and capacity needs. Multi-tiered installation is also offered to maximise the available space. This means there is more than one level added to a building.
Production mezzanine floors can also be installed over multiple levels where building regulations allow. They also provide a flexible workplace that can be developed further to match the demands of a warehouse. If your facility needs more floors due to increasing numbers in staff, stock and machinery, production mezzanine floors can be added at any point of the year. Mezzanine flooring costs are reasonable and an ideal option for more space without commercial property premiums.
Building Regulations for Mezzanine Floors
There are strict building regulations around construction and mezzanine floors. Firstly, an assessment has to be carried out by industry experts to ensure a building is eligible for mezzanine flooring. PRO-DEK engineers are qualified to complete these surveys before design and construction begins. Applications may also need to be made to keep practices designed and installed inline with Building Regulations and design standards. A quality provider and installer should ensure this paperwork is done accurately on a clients behalf.
Planning permission is not often required for an installation of mezzanine flooring. There are only particular requests that may need building regulations approval and planning permission, a mezzanine installer will assess whether this is necessary before commencing their work.
Examples of when further permissions may be needed:
- Mezzanine floors are used for work or as an office
- The Mezzanine floor will be used for retail purposes (over 200m²)
- The Mezzanine needs to carry a weight load of over 500kg
Mezzanine Floor Construction
The process will begin by a team of experts finding out what your exact requirements include. This could range from multi-tiered flooring to the usage of the floor. You will need to inform the reasons for the floor and what it will be used for your mezzanine floor suppliers as planning permission may be required.
Following this stage, an engineer will assess your property including height, width and risks. The minimum height of a room where a mezzanine floor can be built is 440cm. The inspector will also make note of potential areas which may require planning permission or building regulations approval before construction. If this is required, an experienced team will be able to complete the necessary paperwork alongside you for guidance.
Once the necessary permissions have been granted, the design process begins. A team will design a bespoke floor that is tailored to your requirements. Popular mezzanine floor features include:
- Multi-tier floor
- A protected staircase (necessary for office mezzanine flooring)
- Mezzanine floor balcony
- Heavy goods storage abilities
- Steel floors
After you approve and sign off the design, construction commences. Typically build time takes three or more weeks, but does vary due to the size of a project. It does tend to be a quicker option for a business to expand in comparison to relocation or purchasing new property. Once your mezzanine floor is complete, a good supply and installation team will ensure you are satisfied with the project outcomes.
Mezzanine flooring changes the current lighting structure of your premises. During the design stage, correct lighting conditions will be planned for below and above floors. There are safety concerns to consider when deciding which lighting is appropriate for the building.
An appropriate ceiling can help slow down the spread of fire and every ceiling has a fire rating depending on how effective it is in slowing the spread of fire. A fire hood may be required to keep the fire safety of the building intact during mezzanine construction.
A smoke detection system will be installed for the above and beneath sections of each mezzanine floor. This is a building regulation that must be met to ensure the health and safety of your workforce. The smoke detection for the mezzanine floors can also be integrated with your buildings current fire alarms.
Choosing the right Installers
When investing into your business you want to ensure the right team are there to help you from start to finish. Mezzanine flooring projects are a long term investment made to maximise space and support business expansion. You need experienced engineers who are trained in designing and constructing mezzanine projects. There are some companies, such as PRO-DEK, that will also take care and lead all the associated paper work needed for the right permissions to be in place before the work commences. In turn, this makes the process quicker saving you valuable time and money.
One way to make sure a company is qualified to support your project is to browse their mezzanine flooring case studies. You can get a general idea of project built time, what type of mezzanine floors they offer and see images of real life examples of work completed. This can also give you a better idea of what scale of projects the team have done, for example a company who has installed mezzanine flooring for large warehouses may have more resources available than a company that mainly works with offices. Another pro tip is to see what other services they provide, do they offer office partitions that your mezzanine flooring may also require? Getting a team that can complete multiple tasks will help get your office, warehouse or store, up and running quicker at a more cost effective price.