If you’re exploring the possibility of having a mezzanine floor installed in an industrial environment, you probably want to ensure you make the right decision. As the industrial sector is generally one that relies on every second, you need to have a vivid insight into exactly what you want to achieve.
Having a new floor incorporated within your existing setup may seem like an easy solution but that doesn’t mean you should jump in two-footed. With a huge range of functionality and purposes, these structures are far more than one size fits all solutions.
1. How Much Space Do You Have?
If you’ve got this far, you’re probably well aware that mezzanines rely on overhead space. That means that you’re going to need a fairly high ceiling. There has also got to be no pipes or other obstructions hindering any potential installation.
Exactly how much is enough depends on a number of factors. Whilst there isn’t strictly a minimum, you’ll obviously need ample room to effectively carry out operations, especially if you’re planning on using the floor as workspace.
2. What Is It For?
There are a lot of tasks that an industrial mezzanine floor can perform. The work-heavy setting of the typical industrial workplace can often get cramped given the machinery, end product and personnel involved.
Whether you want a bigger storage or work space, a mezzanine can give you the solution. You’ll need to know the definitive answer before any manufacture can take place though as regulations will vary depending on this.
Load specifications will have to be accounted for accordingly. Obviously, the heavier the use, the greater the specs have to be. For example, Mezz Floors’ load specs are:
- 480 kg per m2 for light use
- 750 kg per m2 for medium use
- 960 kg per m2 for heavy use
People, machinery and stock will all add up so you should be accounting for the heaviest potential use. Even then, it’s a good idea to account for extra.
3. What Permissions Are Required?
When building a new structure, there are usually a number of permissions that need to be granted. Industrial mezzanine floors are no different. Building regulation approval is a must for mezzanines.
Your local council or inspector will need to see information which may including drawings, calculations and floor plans. Most mezzanine suppliers can help you with this, though.
Planning permission isn’t usually required but there are a couple of points that have to be taken into consideration. If your car park is shared or belongs to the local council, permission must be attained.
It’s also important to note that if you rent your premises, landlord approval will be needed.
4. Will You Need Access to the Area during Installation?
Downtime is an unwanted concept for any business. The industrial sector in particular though is a merry-go-round of production. That usually means that any pause in workflow is likely to affect finances.
The capacity of your mezzanine is going to impact downtime. For health and safety reasons, unauthorised personnel won’t be allowed on the construction site. Work areas will be out of action for a set time. Although there is an impressive installation rate of around 60m2 per day, higher capacity floors will take longer to erect.
Weekend and evening erections can be catered for if you need use of the area during standard working hours.
5. Do You Have a Forklift?
This may sound like a strange question, but if you have one it could help to keep costs down. During the installation process, engineers will need access to a forklift. If you have one onsite that you could spare during these works, it’s easy enough for installers to use it.
If not, one will have to be hired. In such a case, you should budget for this in an attempt to not be surprised when the time comes.
6. Do You Need a Bespoke Creation?
Most industrial mezzanine floors are tailor-made to suit the requirements of their facility. As the majority of work and storage areas are unique in shape and size, this tends to be the best course of action.
Exactly what is included in your design will be dictated by intended purpose. Staircases, handrails and pallet gates are a must for safety and access. Working in unison with CAD designers, you can craft the perfect prototype. You’ll be able to see 3D models before manufacture begins to ensure it works for you.
7. Is Fire Rating Required?
Fire rating is not absolutely necessary. Of course, it would do you no harm to have it in place. In the following instances, one-hour fire rating is an obligation:
- The area of the floor is above 400m2
- Mezzanine installation results in a 50% increase in floor space (takes up half of the room)
- More than three staff members will be using the mezzanine for work at any given time
- The purpose of the floor is anything other than storage or maintenance
If you fit any of these criteria, building regulations state that fire rating is essential for the underside of the floor.
Industrial mezzanine floors have the capability of transforming your operations. With more space, comes more opportunity for production and ultimately money.
By carefully considering the demands of your business, you can install an effective solution for capacity issues. If you take all of this into account, you should have no dramas and be up and running in no time at all.