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All Project Categories Mezzanine Floors Mezzanine Floors Office Refurbishments Partitioning Suspended Ceilings

Offices on a Mezzanine Floor

Client: H J Knees of Trowbridge
Value: £45k

We are asked to look at making some office alterations to a new office for HJKnees in Whitehorse Business Park. The customer wanted to fit some new offices on a Mezzanine Floor. At first glance we could see straight away that the work would need extra work to make the project comply with Building Regulations as none of the existing mezzanine floor had any fire protection on it at all.

Mezzanine Floors and Building Regulations.

Our first consideration when considering an office project is Building Regulations, does the existing structure comply?, and whatever we do as far as changing things also has to comply. In each case we consider the Regulations and obtain approval before the work starts, during the work we usually have an inspection carried out before the walls all get closed in, and then a post project inspection.

We can then give the client a proper certificate from a Building Regulations Inspector that certifies the design and our work to confirm that all legal requirements have been met.

Please see our articles on Mezzanine floors and what you need to do with Building Regulations on the News section of this website. Unfortunately the customer has never been aware that their existing floor does not comply, and we do come across this quite a lot, so we are always on the back foot before we even start talking about what they want as the whatever work is done, adequate fire protection, escape routes and distances need to be considered to comply with the law.

The additional problem in this situation is that it is a legal requirement to have a 1 hour fire rated separation between offices and warehouse. The construction of a 1 hour wall is not an issue, often it is the height that is the problem as you have to construct the wall to meet the plasterboard and metal stud work manufactures specifications.

The most expensive parts are the doors and windows, so the plan is always to keep these to a minimum.

Initial site Photographs.

Original upstairs rooms not meeting fire regulations

Another view of old offices

Another view of old offices

Another view of old offices

They stored things next to the offices

They stored things next to the offices

Underneath the mezzanine, hardboard used a potential fire hazard!

Toilets needed doing

None of the mezzanine floor steels protected.

Edge of mezzanine not protected.

As you can see from the above photographs, a general builder has built the offices ontop of a steel mezzanine floor with no fire protection using timber windows and non fire rated materials. The offices look ok but does not comply at all. The whole lot needed to be stripped out and started again. All of the mezzanine floor underneath needed a 1 hour fire rated suspended ceiling, along with column encasement protection (1 hour) and some re-organisation of the access routes with toilets, a small office and warehouse access with some basic security.

Construction Photographs

The other constraint that we had is the whole job had to be completed in 3 weeks as a new machine was due to arrive in the unit. The reason why the toilet block had to be halved, was that the new machine was 26 meters long and so it would not quite fit.

Staircase needed to be scaffolded

Main fire wall plastered ready for decoration

First fix electrics underneath mezzanine

Demolition of existing offices

Timber frame exposed to be removed

Timber frame exposed to be removed

Start of dry lining the walls

Boarding of the main fire wall between the offices and warehouse

Building the frame under the angles steels of the building

Suspended ceiling grid is quite quick to go in.

Construction of the new offices started

Outside walls plaster drying out

Ceiling tile just starting to go in.

Fire rated ceiling going in under mezzanine floor

Underneath of stairs

Windows dry lined around and window boards fitted

Offices starting to take shape

LED panels fitted

More office walls going in

Column encasement system fitted to steel uprights

Offices starting to take shape

Offices starting to take shape

Window boards fitted, insulation for ceiling arrived

Completed column encasement and ceiling tiles fitted.

More fire rated walls downstairs

Mezzanine floor edge protection

You can see the back of the light fitting has a 1 hour smoke hood fitted.

Downstairs work nearly finished

Offices nearly done

Offices nearly done

Offices virtually done

Final Result

We do not have any finished photographs as the customer needed to move in straight away. We kept to the dates that we advised the customer and we did have a couple of snag items to deal with which was not a problem once they were in. The project was inspected by Building Control and a passed certificate was issued to the client, as well as the Health and Safety file. The Health and Safety file included all of the as built drawings, certificates and evidence of emergency lighting and fire detection equipment that acts as a reference binder for the client to use in the future.

We chose demountable partition for the main office upstairs due to the speed of construction and the final finish looking much more modern and professional that a traditional stud and plasterboard wall.

Summary on Demountable Partitioning

  1. Using Demountable Partitioning is very tax efficient as they are seen as movable items and so can be treated differently in writing down allowances in the accounts.
  2. We can also lease Demountable Partitioning as they are movable, this spreads the costs of having the work done as Demountable Partitions always cost more than customers think.
  3. Leasing of demountable partitioning is very tax efficient and Cre8tive can provide illustrations, please contact us for further information.
  4. Most landlords insist on Demountable Partitions being used for offices as it is much easier to take them out should the tenant renting the space leave for any reason. The benefit is that is saves making a huge amount of mess and destruction that would be need with a conventional stud and plasterboard constructed wall.

Questions on Demountable Partitioning?

If you are not sure about anything as well as taking about all kinds of partitioning including Demountable we love to talk about projects and sort out problems and issues with space, please give us a call on 01380 738844

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Mezzanine Floors News

Can I Alter my Existing Mezzanine Floor?

The short answer is yes, but you will need to take some specialist advice from someone like Cre8tive Interiors. The above photo shows a problem mezzanine that is none compliant with Building Regulations. Hence the question Can I alter my Existing Mezzanine Floor?

Just give us a call or email. The main question that we will ask is what is the purpose of extending, for example offices or storage. We will need to assess the existing structure to ensure that anything we do to it in terms of changing it will comply with current Building Regulations.

My existing Structure was built a few years ago, will it still comply?

The regulations have not really changed over the years as the main aim of the Building Regulations for Mezzanine Floors is to ensure that the floor is adequately fire protected for people that may be under them or on top of the floor. If the existing structure has no fire protection and the upstairs is used as offices, the fact that it was built a few years ago does not mean that people will be safe in a fire, so our advice is for us to examine the overall layout of any alteration, including the existing structure, to ensure that people can exit the building safely.

We will look at exit routes as well as look at fire protection for the overall situation with the extension.

We regularly see structures which have been built by general builders and there are no design calculations to determine what weight can be put on the floor and no evidence that the floor has been submitted for Building Regulation Approval. I am sure in some cases that the structure will be strong enough but often there is no approval to say it is ok. The problem with this is that the owner of the building probably has never been aware that the structure is not safe, and of course to fire protect it will cost money. If nothing is done, there is a high chance that there will never be a problem, but there is a very slim chance that if there is a fire in the building and the owner has not taken adequate steps to look after the safety of the tenant or staff then the owner of the building is in big trouble.

My existing Structure was built by a Builder and is not a designed Structure. What can I do?

Always pretty difficult, and the easiest answer is if you are not sure, strip it out and Cre8tive Interiors can put in a properly designed and calculated structural mezzanine floor that will meet Building Regulation approval. Often it will be cheaper. The above photo shows a problematic structure. The main cross beam as well as not being fire rated just sits on the pillar that supports the outside frame of the building. The building is a portal frame construction and so will have been designed to be a free standing structure without having a massive great steel sitting on one of the pillars taking lots of weight.

We can get around this problem though. If you are unsure about your existing mezzanine floor structure please give us a call.

What else needs to be done to a Mezzanine Floor once built?

Cre8tive Interiors can carry out all of the work required so that the client can just use the space straight away. This will include the following:

  1. Initial design and layouts for the new space along with costs
  2. Building Regulation Approval
  3. Planning for the work to be done, understanding what needs to be carried out prior to the install date.
  4. Supply and Installation of the mezzanine floor, including relevant fire protection
  5. Electrical work
  6. Partitioning and suspended ceiling work
  7. All lighting, emergency lighting, air conditioning and ventilation
  8. Construction of any toilet areas, canteen or warehouse areas
  9. All types of flooring and decoration.
  10. Office furniture if the extension is for offices.

Can I alter my existing mezzanine floor?

What Mezzanine floor projects has Cre8tive carried out?

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All Project Categories Mezzanine Floors

Mezzanine Floor installation

Client: Henrich Hardware
Value: £6k

A lightweight steel mezzanine floor installation is often the cheapest way to provide additional storage space in a warehouse where you can use the height of the building to create the additional space. The customer in this case had an existing mezzanine floor installation which covered half the industrial unit. This design is not uncommon, and usually the existing mezzanine floor has been built as part of the integral structure of the framework of the unit. You cannot simply bolt on to the existing structure without effecting the loadings and stress designed into the original building so the easiest way to do this is to build an independent structure which is fully designed properly that can slot in the hole that needs to be filled. This is the type of floor we fit, in effect you could pick it up and build it in a carpark and it would be fully stressed and supported.

Building Regulations

There are also other important factors that must be considered when designing a floor and we bring this expertise in our advice of what can and cannot be done. The floor must be submitted for Building Regulation Approval which we do, and this is a legal requirement by law. Steel behaves in strange ways when it gets hot, before melting the steel can twist and as the floor is a fully stressed structure it can collapse and so there are all kinds of rules relating to travel distances and fire protection that must be adhered to.

There is more information about Building Regulations here.

Existing open space.

The primary requirement was to increase the stock storage space. The central staircase would remain, and the new independent floor would sit the other side of the staircase. Access onto the floor would be from the top of the existing staircase. If you look at the photographs the customer had the height of the unit, but not the floor space. So adding a mezzanine floor allows you to increase the floor space and maximize the height of the unit. We had a few issues to sort out as the existing light fittings had to be shortened. We also had to fit some new lights underneath the floor for obvious reasons.

Consideration also had to be taken to make sure there was enough space for the security grills at the front of the building did not interfere with the new floor.

Building the Mezzanine Floor.

As you can see from the photographs below, it is essential a fork lift is used. It allows the main beams to be lifted to the height required fully supported whilst the upright support posts are installed. We also use the forklift to lift up the 38mm thick particle board onto the floor which saves time. Each board panel is then cut to fit and is secured from the underneath of the floor.

Find out more about Mezzanine Floors on our news page.

We have written several articles about Mezzanine Floors, if you click the news / blog tab on the main menu of the website.  Mezzanine Floor installations are also governed by Building Regulations and so approval is needed which we obtained for the client in this project, but every project needs Building Regulation Approval. Sometimes if the floor is small, then fire protection is not required, particularly if the floor is used for storage only. In this project fire protection was not required. However if the customer wants to expand their office space upstairs in the future then the Building Regulation approval would not apply, and the floor would need to be protected as you have people working on the floor and different rules apply. There are also complications with the fire exit as at the moment it empties out into the warehouse. This may have to be enclosed and have direct access outside, so not quite straightforward. If you have any questions about this then please give us a call.

Do you want extra storage space?

Please give us a call and we can help with any aspect of interior office fit out, along with space planning and design work.

01380 73 88 44

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All Project Categories Dilapidation work Mezzanine Floors Office Refurbishments

Factory Refurbishment

Client: Image Factory
Value: £350k

Office and Factory Refurbishment project

This customer wanted a Factory Refurbishment having taken on the old Royal Mail building in Chippenham.

The first photograph below shows a £1m printing machine and Image Factory invested in two of them, along with taking over the old NHS distribution building on Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate. The complete building had to be refurbished, so the main factory along with the offices along the front of the building.

Factory Refurbishment

A large part of this project was electrical. The main factory had no power infra struture at all to power all of the print machines that the Image Factory owned as well as the new ones; so we had to install a heavy power buzz bar system into the factory and prepare the base and ground works for a new substation to be fitted.

In the main factory the floor had to be scrabbled to remove old oils in the concrete floor and then a high quality epoxy paint applied to the floor. All of the beams, walls and other surfaces also had to be painted.

Factory Refurbishment Photographs

Office Refurbishment

As well as the factory itself, the offices at the front of the building had to be completely stripped out and refurbished.

The mezzanine floor had to be turned around and a new jumbo stud fire wall constructed. Below the mezzanine floor we created a new reception area with fire rated ceiling, decorations and flooring. Upstairs included new ceilings, carpets, plastering and decorations as well as a new kitchen. Also fitted upstairs was a new office constructed from Komfort Kameo 75mm demountable partition.

If you need any advice or are thinking of an office refurbishment project please give us a call, we would love to talk to you, on 01380 738844

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Air Conditioning All Project Categories Mezzanine Floors Mezzanine Floors Office Refurbishments Partitioning Suspended Ceilings

Office Refurbishment in Milton Keynes

Client: Edwards International
Value: £187k

Office Refurbishment

We were  invited by this customer to have a look at their existing office space as it needed an office refurbishment in Milton Keynes and the customer did not know where to start. They found us on the internet and liked our website as it showed real photos of actual projects rather than nice photo shopped images.

Out of the few that they contact we were the only ones to respond to their enquiry within a day.

When we first visited the client it was very obvious that the while area needed stripping out and starting again. What was surprising, although in reality we are not surprised, was that the existing partitions and mezzanine floor were not fire rated. We recognised the system below the mezzanine as a 50mm wide demountable partition system which has no fire rating at all. None of the exit routes out of the building were 30 minute protected and the mezzanine floor had a suspended ceiling fitted but it was not fire rated. The staff were working in a death trap. If there was any problem in the building then there would be a lot of trouble. The customer specialises in fire detection equipment, so for them to be in a building that was a potential death trap as it was not properly fire protected was nonsense.

Building Regulations

There were three different mezzanine floors installed at various times at different heights, and no paperwork to show that they had been passed Building Regulations, so from a fairly straightforward requirement to refurbish the offices there was a need to look at the whole building, design and specify it properly and get Building Regulation Approval. In the design we had to consider:

  • Fire protection of the mezzanine floors using the correct grade of suspended ceiling tile and support  column encasement
  • Correct design of protected fire exit routes throughout the building, checking of escape distances and signage
  • Full electrical design to suit.
  • New fire rated partitions where needed to meet Building Regulations
  • Supplementary fresh air systems to enclosed offices
  • Changes to air condition systems
  • Heating were needed.

CDM

There was no doubt that we were going to be on site for more than a month, and have more than 5 people on site, the whole project was quite a bit of work and so the work comes under the Construction Design and Management Regulations. The purpose of the regulations is to protect the employee and employer in making sure that a construction project is run safely. If you do not notify the Health and Safety Executive that the project is being carried out and there is a problem then directors of the company where the work is being done can go to jail.

Where do we start?

The first step is to measure everything and take lots of photos to see exactly what has been fitted. The next was to understand from the customer how they wanted to work in the space, so this included some basic functional block drawings identifying where they wanted Sales, Accounts and Technical. Once the broad locations were identified then the detail layouts were carried out identifying voice and data positions, partitioning and ceiling layouts and the work that had to be done on the mezzanine floor. Once the layouts were agreed we had to submit the plans to Building Control and get their approval which we did.

We produced many many drawings. All showing everything that was needed for each trade. Some shown below. The important document was the Building Regulations Approval document that is a legal requirement.

Existing Photographs

The first two photographs below show the immediate and obvious problem. The partitions are 50mm wide demountable and are not fire rated at all. The third photo shows the the vast storage area out the back. The rest just show the general bland and dated look of everywhere needed some tlc.

Stripping out and Construction work

We produced a plan and submitted all of the documents to the local Building Control people who assessed the drawings and arranged for some visits throughout the work. We also employed a Health and Safety Consultant who oversaw the work and kept all of the sub contractors on their toes, and they submitted the F10 to the Health and Safety Executive.

Refurbishment Projects

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All Project Categories Mezzanine Floors Office Refurbishments Partitioning Suspended Ceilings

Office Expansion in Corsham for Coombe Castle

Client: Coombe Castle
Value: £48k

Office Expansion in Corsham

This project consisted of converting a storage unit in to office space in order to provide some much needed office expansion. The project would involve fire protecting a mezzanine floor as this is required by Building Regulations if you have offices above, steel work and a suspended ceiling.  Ventilation had to be put round a chiller and fire sensors had to be installed within the chiller as it could not be moved to fit the fire protected board. Office windows had to be installed to match the rest of the building.

Upstairs needed a complete office fitting, so a suspended ceiling, dry lining the outer walls, decoration of the outer walls,  some fire rated partitioning to create a fire barrier between the offices and warehouse, as well as demountable partitioning within. Full electrical work including CAT2 lighting, 3 compartment perimeter trunking, flooring and new windows were also required. As always we follow our process, so the first step is to understand what the client wants, and then to assess what they have by taking photographs, and drawing everything.

Existing Space Photographs

It is a bit difficult to see from the photos, but essentially we had several areas to deal with. Underneath the mezzanine and on top of it was the main area, but included absolutely everything we do.

Building Regulations

It is crucial to consider Building Regulations when looking at layouts for offices. In particular fire ratings and Building Regulations which is a legal requirement. This particular project needed offices to be fitted on top of a mezzanine floor and so this is why it had to comply to the law.

If you need more information about Building Regulations, we have written a few things here.

Construction and finished photographs.

Office Expansion?

If you have a problem with your existing office space and need it altering as you are running out of space then Cre8tive can help. Please give us a call on 01380 738844.

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Air Conditioning All Project Categories Mezzanine Floors Office Refurbishments Partitioning Suspended Ceilings Toilet Refurbishment

Office Refurbishment in Gloucester

Client: Scott Law
Value: £160k

Mezzanine Floor installation

Cre8tive Interiors completed an office refurbishment fit out project in Gloucester. The original building consisted of an occupied warehouse with a split level floor and block walls which needed to be converted to offices. We are calling this project a refurbishment project, it involved taking an industrial unit and changing it (refurbishing it?), and then fitting out the inside to provide a complete office space by fitting a mezzanine floor inside. So it is probably a mixture between a refurbishment project and a fit out project.

The offices had to include toilets, reception area, new staircase, kitchen, boardroom and further offices as well as full integration of electrics, data and air conditioning. The project was also run under the Construction Design and Management regulations, so adherence to Health and Safety was paramount. All activities had to have risk assessments carried out as well as method statements for the type of work. Cre8tive was also Principle Contractor for the work, and this meant that there were some things that the client wanted to do within the time frame on site which we managed to do.

Pre-construction Photographs

All of the internal walls, ceilings, toilets and electrics would have to be stripped out including the spiral staircase and small room above it. The two units had a gap inside joining them which would need to be blocked up. The block walls inside would have to be modified. In the end it was easiest just to rip it all out and start again.

Construction Work

The following photographs show the stripping out as well as the construction and finished photographs. The photographs show the sequence of events and all of the work that goes into creating offices over a mezzanine floor. Complete network cabling, power and data, heating and cooling with air conditioning, flooring, external windows, there are many things to manage and get to work properly which is what we do at Cre8tive.

We used demountable partitioning for the offices upstairs and downstairs for a few reasons, the first is that is is easy to reconfigure if you want to change it, and one of the other main benefits is that it can be leased and treated as a ‘moveable item’ as well as the mezzanine floor. The mezzanine floor itself is fully self supporting and not fixed to the fabric of the building so is also ‘demountable’. It could be unbolted and then re bolted in the car park outside if needed.

Why Demountable Partitioning?

  1. Demountable partitioning is tax efficient in that they are seen as movable items and so can be treated differently in writing down allowances in the accounts.
  2. We can also lease Demountable Partitioning as they are movable, this spreads the costs of having the work done as Demountable Partitions always cost more than customers think.
  3. Leasing of demountable partitioning is very tax efficient and Cre8tive can provide illustrations, please contact us for further information.
  4. Most landlords insist on demountable partitions being used for offices as it is much easier to take them out should the tenant renting the space leave for any reason. The benefit is that is saves making a huge amount of mess and destruction that would be need with a conventional stud and plasterboard constructed wall.

Office Refurbishment

This particular project was more complicated that many that we do in that it involved the mezzanine floor. If you need any advice or are thinking of an office refurbishment project please give us a call, we would love to talk to you, on 01380 738844

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All Project Categories Mezzanine Floors Office Refurbishments

Mezzanine Floor Extension Project in Salisbury

Client: Quality Lifts
Value: £44k

Cre8tive were asked to look at a new mezzanine floor extension for Quality Lift Products based at Whaddon Business Park in Salisbury. The project was really interesting as there were many different things to consider.

As well as working out the office layout and lighting, we helped the client organise a number of things themselves in order to keep costs down to a minimum and in effect only used us for doing the specialist work of dry lining, tape and jointing, demountable partitioning, commercial flooring, suspended ceilings and contract wall covering. A small detail was that inside the lower room, the customer wanted the floor plates sunk into the concrete so maximise the space and so that there were no unsightly bolts sticking up out of the floor. The difficulty with this, is that you cant just cut a hole in a concrete floor, you have to check that the composition will be strong enough to support the weight of the mezzanine and that you do not go down too deep affecting the structure of the floor. Cre8tive obtained some specialist advice before carry out the work. The floor was extremely hard to cut and needed a petrol disc cutter with water cooling to achieve it.

Initial Space

Mezzanine Floor Construction Photographs

Final Photographs

Office Extensions

If you have warehouse space and want to extend your offices then we would be delighted to offer some free advice. We are interiors specialists and not a dedicated mezzanine floor manufacturer, as we just sub contract the steel work out, we do what we always do and use our experience in looking at the inside space to make sure it works for the client. In this case, they did not want the cost of moving the lift and needed more space, and so we advised them that we could build around the problem which they did not think was possible. Over the years we have experienced many problems like this and we can usually come up with a solution.

Please give us a call to discuss any projects on 01380 73 88 44, or email us on the contact form of the website.