Increasing usable floor space to create more storage areas without extending the structural building may seem impossible, but when you add a storage mezzanine floor into the equation, it’s very possible. So what do we mean by mezzanine floor?
A mezzanine floor is an overhead platform and is constructed within the walls of the original building. The platform creates a new, usable floor which is situated between the ground floor and ceiling. There’s no need to adjust the original foot print of the building and the floors can even be multi tiered where height space is generous enough to permit.
The storage mezzanine floor
Storage mezzanine floors are widely used in warehouses and manufacturing facilities where adequate storage space is essential. When used for storage the sustainable, semi permanent structure can incorporate racking and shelving systems both bellow and above the new floor level, completely transforming your operation as a result. What’s more a storage mezzanine floor is specifically designed to hold the weight of your intended storage systems and support your operation.
Why demand for storage mezzanine floors is on the rise
The need for more storage space has risen sharply over the last twelve months for many businesses, especially for ecommerce, healthcare suppliers and essential retailers. The ongoing pandemic was unprecedented which meant that many businesses were unprepared for such a surge in demand and have needed to act quickly to achieve what is expected of them. A large proportion of these businesses have turned to the storage mezzanine floor solution because moving to larger premises would incur huge costs and take time, as would extending their current building. A building with a larger footprint area could also result a larger carbon footprint, and as businesses work to drive down their greenhouse emissions, the mezzanine floor could be seen as an eco friendly solution.
The storage mezzanine floor offers a viable yet cost effective solution. From the mezzanine design to installation the platform can be completed in a matter of weeks. As a mezzanine floor manufacturer, WSL has continued designing, fabricating and installing mezzanine floors throughout the pandemic to ensure such businesses are able to accommodate their change in needs effectively.
Planning your storage mezzanine space
Planning your storage mezzanine space demands the same level of attentiveness as it does when planning a new warehouse. Things to consider are storage system options as you will need to accommodate your inventory characteristics whilst making optimal use of your new space. You’ll also need to carefully plan the layout to ensure a streamlined and efficient operation. As part of our service, your WSL design technician can design a solution which includes storage and layout planning. Combined, our designed technicians have an impressive one hundred years of experience and knowledge which is utilised for each project we carry out, however large, small, simple or complex. As a UK leading storage solution provider we can design and implement all aspects of your project inclusive of the mezzanine floor, storage solutions including pallet racking, shelving, and all necessary ancillaries including access and safety features.
Accessing a storage mezzanine floor
To access a mezzanine floor, the most likely option is a staircase and when you source your mezzanine from WSL, we don’t just manufacture your mezzanine floor; we can manufacture your staircase and handrails too. This way we can provide more flexibility in relation to the design of your staircase whether you require one set of stairs or more. Your staircase may be an essential ancillary, but this doesn’t mean it can’t match the look of your mezzanine floor too. You can choose the shape, style and colouring of your staircase with the assistance of our designer who will ensure your staircase access feature is designed to your specifications whilst ensuring all UK Building Regulations are met.
It’s highly likely that your storage mezzanine floor will require additional access features in order to move inventory to and from the mezzanine floor. Here are a few options:
Lifts – A goods lift is an effective way to transport large loads between floors. Suitable for loaded pallets, trolleys, carts or multiple singular boxes, the goods lift works by placing the items in the lift at the starting level before sending the lift to the destined level where they are taken out of the lift. Goods lifts are available in various styles and some can carry more weight than others so to be sure you adopt the right type of lift; our designer will provide the options available for your particular operation. A passenger lift is also worth considering, especially if your mezzanine floor is multi tiered or you want to provide a disabled access option.
Pallet Gates – Another way to load pallets to and from the mezzanine level safely is the use of a pallet gate. This method requires the use of a fork lift truck which will lift the pallet before loading it onto the mezzanine at the gated area. The gate acts as a shield around the area to make sure the edge remains secure and operators are protected throughout the activity. Manufactured by WSL, the up and over pallet gate is a common sight on storage mezzanine floors.
Goods Chutes – Using gravity the goods chute transports singular items quickly and effectively from the higher to lower levels. This is ideal if your operation is fast paced and you’re looking to move inventory quickly and efficiently.
Conveyors – Perfect if your inventory is constantly on the go, conveyors ensure the operation is none stop and streamlined and can move items between floors without manual effort.
Do storage mezzanine floors need planning permission?
Because the mezzanine floor is an internal structure added within the building, there’s no requirement to obtain planning permission. If the exterior of the building is affected, for instance an external emergency staircase fitted to the outside wall or a window is implemented, these particular elements would require planning permission. A storage mezzanine floor is a steel structure used by employees and visitors, which means that although planning permission isn’t a requirement, the UK Building Regulations must be adhered too. These regulations are in place to ensure the structure is safe for use with adequate access and is easy to evacuate in an emergency. Fire rating is also an element of UK Building Regulations which states a mezzanine used by members of the public which includes employees, must be fire rated. As part of our process, WSL ensure this on your behalf by submitting the plans to a Regulation Officer for approval before any works begin. On completion the officer will visit the site to ensure all safety regulation approved in the plans have been met. Once satisfied, you will be handed documentation which states all building regulations have been met.
How much does a mezzanine floor cost?
The cost of an individual mezzanine floor will depend on many factors including its size, weight bearing and number of floors however the cost is significantly lower than relocating or expanding the building. For maximum cost-effectiveness, source your mezzanine floor direct through a manufacturer who will design, fabricate and install the mezzanine floor. At WSL, we offer this complete service so our customers have no third party mark up costs to meet and this isn’t the only advantage. Our in-house service means we can offer more flexibility, a better timescale without common delays when relying on third parties and our designs are truly bespoke without limitations. Our site survey along with our proposal and quotation is completely free, so if you’re looking obtain costing and potential plans to see if a storage mezzanine floor is the right solution for your facility our expert team are always happy to assist.
How is a mezzanine floor made?
A mezzanine floor is a steel structure is made up of steel columns, beams, purlins and decking. WSL fabricate all steel structural components at our in-house factory in Leeds, West Yorkshire as well as staircases, pallet gates, hand rails and column protectors. Quality and safety standards is WSL’s priority, which is why we are a UKCA (previously CE) accredited manufacturer and a Full Member of SEMA (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association).The process of manufacturing your mezzanine floor is straight forward at WSL and because our design team and fabricators work under the same roof, any last minute changes are easier to accommodate. We can produce your mezzanine in a matter of weeks depending on its size and although manufacturing lead times may vary from mezzanine to mezzanine, we guarantee the process will be complete and the mezzanine will be ready for installation within the agreed timescale.
Following this the mezzanine part components manufactured in our factory are loaded onto a HGV and delivered directly to your site. On arrival our professional installation team and your WSL Project Manager will be ready and waiting to offload the parts and begin the installation of your mezzanine floor.
A little bit about health and safety
Principal Designers and Principal Contractors
A mezzanine floor project involves a number of participants to complete. This means that the health, safety and wellbeing of all involved must be managed throughout. As the project owner it’s your legal obligation to involve a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor. This is another area where WSL can alleviate the pressure from you as both our design team and project management team are proficient in CDM 2015. This means they have the knowledge and skills to take on the roles of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor which is included as part of our service.
Storage Mezzanine Floor Safety and Maintenance
Although your mezzanine floor will be a very robust structure a warehouse mezzanine or a mezzanine situated in a manufacturing facility would benefit greatly from column guards. This are steel guards fitted around the base of each mezzanine floor column and are there to take the impact should moving handling equipment collide with the structure. Constant bumps can over time weaken the structure and this can result in great injury and costs. WSL manufacture mezzanine column guards and these can be made to suit the dimensions of your columns and coloured to your preference, although a bright colour is recommended so that visibility is increased.
As you will be using your mezzanine floor for storage purposes, is even more advisable to display weight load notices. This will ensure that all persons using the mezzanine floor are aware of its maximum weight load capacity.
It’s also advisable to have your mezzanine safety checked periodically. WSL recommend every twelve to eighteen months and can provide this service for you.
Do you want to discuss your storage mezzanine floor requirements?
If you’re considering a storage mezzanine floor for your facility and would like our expert advice, contact our friendly team today. We can be reached on 0113 2045350 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org