Client: Henrich Hardware
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.
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