Case study

Speed Critical in “Future Proof” Mezzanine Installation

Warehouse Systems Limited are highly experienced in complete, start-to-finish warehouse solutions; with design, manufacture, installation and fitting all included. While turn-key operations are a specialism, WSL is also able to work with other companies to produce a part of a project. Our excellent communication, quality, team work and precision have made WSL a top choice as a collaborator in large scale projects for many national and multi-national contractors.

A “Future Proof” Mezzanine

Early this year, WSL worked alongside a top fit out companyto build a large mezzanine floor in a brand new, empty warehouse. This project was to be completed on behalf of a large organisation who acquired the facility for the sorting and distribution specific confidential papers before being examined.

The idea of the mezzanine was to future proof the building. With this in mind, the mezzanine was not to befully completed to the point of being a working environment. Rather, the contractor wanted a simple structure that could be fitted out with electricals, walls and flooring at a later date, giving the option for the company to expand and grow as required.

The mezzanine was large, at 3500 square metres and was to be built at the same time as the installation of a series of offices below. This would mean that as the company expands its operations into the future, the floor above can be converted into an office mezzanine with the minimum of disruption to the site.

The Challenge

As the offices required fitting ceilings, lighting and walls to the floor above, each section of the mezzanine needed to be complete before the office below could be installed. This presented challenges in terms of working area and time limits, however WSL were able to work around other trades that were following on behind the mezzanine installation.

 

As the project included a future proofing element and the mezzanine wasn’t for immediate use, the client needed to keep costs to a minimum, with a strict budget for material and labour.

 

Thousands of papers were scheduled to arrive on a specific date which was uncompromising and fast approaching so speed was vital, as the client had to be in their new offices ready to receive them. Because of this, the project required a quick turnaround, with only an eight-week window for installation, including the office on the ground floor.

WSL solution

WSL are always keen to meet client’s requirements in terms of time and scheduling wherever possible. On this occasion, WSL was able to turn around the quotation for the mezzanine floor on the same day that it was requested. Once the job was approved, kit was brought to site in record time, with our factory manufacturing the mezzanine in a mere two -to-three weeks once the drawings had been approved.In addition, WSL were quick to respond to any day-to-day changes in requirements, ensuring that work didn’t stop every time a tweak was made to a design or an on-site issue arose.

Initially, the company suggested integrating the mezzanine floor with the main building steels onto the main building. However, doing so would have major implications on costing if the mezzanine ever had to be decommissioned, so WSL advised on a separate mezzanine structure, supported by the warehouse floor. As the floor structure could not fully bear the weight of the mezzanine with normal base plates, engineers designed specialised increased base plates with a 550mm square – almost double the usual size. This meant a more cost-effective solution, but still engineered to be extremely durable in line with WSL’s commitment to quality and safety.

Work underneath the mezzanine included air conditioning, dry wall, fire boarding, gas suppression and electrical work.While having other tradespeople working so closely behind the mezzanine construction is unusual, WSL is familiar with adjusting to different working situations and working together with other trades to ensure a project stays within its deadline. In order to accommodate the circumstances, WSL changed the way we usually complete installations, by building the mezzanine in sections to allow people to work below. As each part of the mezzanine was boarded over, it allowed the other tradespeople to fit out the office area below.

The circumstance brought up health and safety issues, which the project manager considered carefully. The other trades were instructed to only work under fixed board. There was regular communication between WSL and other tradespeople to ensure safety of everyone as well as co-ordination with the contractor. A 6-person team of installers wasrequired for the mezzanine and the site foreman and supervisor were on site at all times – communicating with the project manager who made a weekly site visit.

Result

The resulting project is a working office facility, underneath a large mezzanine which can be transformed into new offices at a later date. This was all achieved in record time, with no safety incidents and within a cost-effective budget.

 

Our Representative Tim Smith said:

“ We are pleased that our flexible approach along with effective teamwork has enabled us to ensure that clients expectations were met with the project successfully completed on schedule, on budget and without incident”

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