Is my existing Mezzanine floor fire rated?

Is my existing Mezzanine Floor Fire rated? We come across this question quite a bit, and to the untrained eye it can be difficult to tell. Only an expert like Cre8tive Interiors can really delve into the detail. What should happen of course, is once a mezzanine floor has been installed, the company installing must provide a Building Regulation approval document to demonstrate the structure has been inspected, from initial design through to construction. The design of the floor depends on the function required and the areas involved.

Office or Storage?

Small floors that are purely used for storage, dependant on the floor area and means of escape may not need fire protection. If the design has been checked prior to construction, there are certain things like the composition of the floor slab, that need to be considered in the initial design. Depending on the height of the floor, the spans of the beams and what the floor is going to be used for depends on the amount of loading that travels down the pillars. Often assumption have to be made, and the bottom of the posts can have large floor plates in order to spread the loading onto the base floor that the mezzanine structure is going to sit on. So it is not usually an issue.

Fire Protection

Another consideration if whether offices, or people are going to be working on the raised floor area. If offices are built, then there is an extra level of fire protection needed, which is usually where suppliers fall down. Many ceiling fitters for example, will just fix a cheap basic ceiling and no-one will know the difference. However ceiling tiles and grid may not necessarily be fire rated, so in effect you do not have any fire protection for the underside of the floor. You may think so what? As mentioned in our previous posts, the problem with a steel floor is that in the event of a fire, the whole structure bends and softens. The steel will not melt, but the steel beams are stressed formed, rolled sections, so the heat anneals the steel releasing the stresses that are creating in formation of the shapes, so in effect go soft. What happens is that the whole structure twiists and if people are working on it, they have no chance of getting out, and this softening can happen really quickly.

Getting back to the main question, well how do you know? Most people will not. Fore example you be provided a test certificate on a ceiling tile, which may say it has been tested for 60 minutes, and you may get another test report for a different grid also showing 60 minutes, but unless they have been tested together, and in the situation needed, so under a steel mezzanine. then the certification is useless.

Suspended Ceilings - are they important?

On a new mezzanine floor the supplier should provide a test report for the tile and grid, tested to 60 minutes if office are required above, under a steel mezzanine floor. To our knowledge so far there are only a couple of combinations that comply. Just looking at the grid and tile to see is pretty hard if there is no identification on it, however various website are available online to look at the profiles and sections of ceiling grid in order to determine this. The same with the tile, you can look online, and then if you do not have the certification you can contact the support desks from the major suppliers of components.

Unfortunately the distributors of tile and grid still get it wrong, only this week we contacted a supplier, and they gave us the wrong information. Only the manufactures can supply the correct details.

As well as the suspended ceiling, there are other aspects to look at as well. The floor loading, edge protections, escape routes and protection of office / warehouse all have rules. Other things that need to be considered include heating and ventilation, all legal requirements with Building Regulations.

Other links and articles about Mezzanine Floors

Other articles or blog posts can be seen here, as well looking at the projects that we have carried out on the main project page.

  1. Mezzanine floor protection.
  2. Why do I need Building Regulations
  3. Can I alter my existing Mezzanine Floor?
  4. How do I create more office space?

If you would like to have a look at some of our projects, please click the link to take you to the mezzanine floor page on this website. Below the main text will be some filtered projects with photographs of building.

Need to know more? Please contact us on 01380 7388 44 or email us at [email protected]


All Project Categories Dilapidation work Mezzanine Floors Office Refurbishments Suspended Ceilings

Dilapidation Work in Swindon

Client: REPL
Value: £25k

We can carry out Dilapidation work for customers when the customer is required to carry out work by a landlord if they are moving premises, please see our post for more description about what it means by clicking this link.

We carried out quite a major change visually to a worn out factory that looked tired and needed sprucing up. The main elements were a new factory floor, decoration, refurbishment of the offices, and to tidy up the existing mezzanine floor. The existing fire protection on the steel work was not adequate and not fitted correctly, so rather than just paint it, we decided to completely strip it off and install a new fire rated suspended ceiling and a new column encasement system. A quick lick of paint would not have satisfied the fire protection requirements so we decide to do this properly and install all of the correct materials.

Existing Warehouse

The customer has been in the existing building for many years and the unit the occupy is part of the original railway buildings in Swindon, so is probably around 100 years old. As you can see from the photos the the building was quite dilapidated, and this is often referred to as dilapidation work.

Old mezzanine floor

Electrics need sorting!

Wider view

Lots of wires need sorting

Some wires not connected!

Poor fire protection

Poor walls

Toilet to be reduced in size

Toilet block to sort

Kitchen to come out

What was most alarming was the existing fire protection had been carried out by people who clearly did not know what they were doing and there were gaps everywhere, there was no way that the mezzanine floor had adequate protection, so even though the customer just wanted a very basic patch and mend, we took the decision to completely replace everything and do the whole job properly.

Although the photographs do not show it, there was quite a bit of work to completely redecorate the offices at the front of the unit. This included stripping out the kitchen, toilets, stairs, repainting the doors, walls, ceilings and skirting boards.

Construction work

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.

Toilet door moved back

Poor state of mezzanine

Steel work being exposed

Exteriors walls bad

Plasterboard stripped out

More stripped

Bottom office demolished

New fire line board bulkhead

Starting wall treatment

Toilet halved

Walls nearly done

Walls nearly done

Our van

Completed Photographs.

We were very pleased with the final results as there was such a difference between what was, and what we achieved in the end. The client was also very pleased with the work as we completed it on time and within budget.

New tea point downstairs

New floor

Office decorated

New ceiling

Toilets redecorated

Our van

Internal doors painted

Finished floor

Fire exit door

New equipment just coming in

View from other direction

Finishing things properly

On top of mezzanine

New fire rated ceiling

Dilapidation Work

As you can see from the photographs, the work is general office refurbishment, and covers all of the things that we would carry out for office interiors. If you have any requirements for dilapidation work that is relevant to offices or warehouses then we would be very pleased to hear from you, as we find this type of work very rewarding, and that is not from a monetary view but seeing the difference between old and new.

Please call 01380 73 88 44, or use the contact us form on our website.


Why have Building Regulations for my offices?

Building Regulations are a legal requirement enforceable by Law. The building regulations are designed so that occupants of a building are safe in the event of a problem or issue. The chances of anything happening are of course pretty remote but they do happen, and when problems happen people can get hurt. The Regulations have not been designed as a set of rules that prevent people from doing what they want do and to be as obstructive as possible, there are very good reasons for them.

They are designed to protect staff within buildings from unscrupulous owners of buildings or directors who do not care, or do not know that they need to comply with the law. We focus on offices, and there are many Building Regulations that relate to all kinds of properties, but offices is our speciality. Building Regulations for offices are not too onerous, and the main thrust of them covers fire protection and access routes for staff to get out of a burning building as safely and as quickly as possible. Associated with this is that it is a mandatory requirements that all commercial premises must have a fire risk assessment carried out every five years, we can organise this if the customer does not have one in place.

Non Compliance to Building Regulations

We come across many offices that have not had any consideration to the Law, offices have been built in the wrong place with no fire rating when they should be and this may be for a number of reasons, it could be that the Interiors company installing the partitioning did not understand the regulations and the customer has instructed the company to install the partitions in on price. Unfortunately it will be the directors of the company who will be in trouble if people can’t get out quickly enough or can’t get out of a building because they employed a fit out contractor that did not give them the right advice, people die and Directors go to jail. Ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law and it is incumbent on the directors to understand their legal obligations to their staff.

Mezzanine Floors

We have covered Mezzanine Floors in a few places, but this is one of the improvements that people do in offices that is fraught with risk if it is not built properly. If you take on a new space with the floor in place, it may not comply depending on what you are using the floor for. Although you can plead ignorance if you have not determine the proper levels of fire protection, and in the very unlikely event something happens then the Directors are in trouble.

General Advice

We offer a service where we can provide a report which highlights areas that need to be looked at. It will not go into formal detail such as quoting for any work, or actually producing plans and drawings to get Building Regulation approval, it is designed to be before this stage is initiated as it may not be required. The report is designed for Directors to at least highlight areas that should be looked at prior to any work being commissioned as many Directors and owners of buildings do not know that things need to be considered in the first place.

Please give us a call on 01380 73 88 44 to see how we can help

Fire damaged office

Fire damaged office

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.