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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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How do I create more office space?

How do I create more office space?

How do I create more office space? Is a question we get asked regularly. There are many things you can do inside an office and the requirements maybe to fit more people, to open out the space as it is too cramped. If the building has height that can be used then the introduction of a mezzanine floor is very cost effective if the customer has the space.

What is a mezzanine floor?

Many shops, offices and warehouses make use of the height of a building to increase the floor area without the need to extend the building. The simplest way to do this is by building a false floor across any void.

Focusing on offices and warehouses there are stringent rules and legal regulations that apply to the construction and fire protection of mezzanine floors, the aim of the rules is to ensure that people in the offices working above or below can get out safely in the event of a problem, usually a fire. We do come across structures that have been built by general builders and there is no way that anyone would survive a fire if one took hold and the floor would collapse.

What are Building Regulations for a mezzanine floor?

It is very important for any Business Owner to get a floor installed properly, and one that meets the Building regulations as the Business Owner would ultimately be responsible if the worst happened and people lost their lives. Lack of knowledge is no defence. If the construction work does not comply with Building Regulations and the floor has not been signed off by an Inspector then the Law has being broken, quite simple really.

The design of the floor is crucial, as well as taking into consideration the use of the floor, travel distances are really important to fire exits, if over a certain distance then the exit routes need to be protected out of the building. The actual floor itself is made from steel. The steel is stressed steel in rolled formed sections or beams, with timber floors. The whole structure is stressed with triangular support pillars usually at the corner to ensure the floor does not twist. You may think steel is fine in a fire, steel does not catch fire until extremely high temperatures, but it is not the catching fire that causes the problem. If a fire gets hold even in a small area at one end of a floor the steel will start to bend, it’s structural properties start to change and as the mezzanine floor is stressed it will twist and collapse very quickly. Fir protection to the columns and floor is therefore important particularly if there are offices or people up on the mezzanine floor level.

How much weight can a Mezzanine Floor take?

It is actually quite important to understand the purpose of the floor as the structure will be designed to take certain weights. General light storage and offices mean that the beams can be thinner and therefore cheaper. If you storing a bit of weight on the floor then we need to know. We have two grades that will be fine on a normal floor but if there is considerable weight needed to be supported the beams get alot bigger reducing the head room below and the structural slab of the floor will need to be assessed and taking into consideration in the design to ensure that the support pillars can take the weight and do not disappear into the ground.

What Mezzanine Floor projects has Cre8tive Interiors carried out?

Some of the projects we do are just purely floors, so maybe for storage or for sorting out the fire protection. Other projects are wider in scope and the floor is only one aspect of what the customer wants to achieve overall. There are some links below.

  1. Mezzanine floor in Devizes (light storage)
  2. Fire rating of a Mezzanine Floor in Warminster for Offices
  3. Fire rating of a Mezzanine Floor in Milton Keynes for Offices
  4. Converting / Fire rating an existing storage mezzanine in Corsham for use into Offices
  5. Installation of a new mezzanine floor into an existing warehouse to create offices in Gloucester
  6. Installation of a new mezzanine floor to extend existing offices at first floor level and below in Salisbury
  7. Construction of Fire rated partitions on top of an existing mezzanine floor to meet Building Regulation in Corsham

How do I create more office space?

How do I create more office space?

Any questions on floors?

Every project is different, so the easiest thing to do is to just give us a call or email us for further details and someone can visit to discuss any requirements.

01380 73 88 44 or email us at [email protected]

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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

Categories
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.