One of Warehouse Systems Limited’s clients is a company specialising in the trade sale of all types of insulation. Steady business growth meant that they required further storage solutions for insulation at their trade sales hub.
They initially requested a quotation for some extremely tall racking (Very Narrow Aisle – VNA – Racking) but after assessment by a WSL designer, it was decided that this would not be the most efficient or cost effective solution; in part due to the overall height of pallets & the limit of roof height. Many of their pallets were much larger than you would normally see, with many been over 1,800mm tall.
The warehouse had a concrete roofed office in one corner. After an initial request for a quotation on two small mezzanines, including one utilising the space over the top of the office block, the WSL designer suggested making the whole of the bottom length of the warehouse into one long storage mezzanine, extended over the office space. This was to optimise the space available, making access easier and the project more efficient. They also suggested some additional racking, suitable for the non-standard sized pallets to be installed adjacent to the mezzanine, which could be accessed using a standard counter balance fork lift truck.
There were a number of challenges to the project:
- A solution needed to be found to reduce noise levels in order for an over-office storage area to be viable, to avoid excessive disruption to the administration staff working below.
- The structural safety related to having a storage space over the office needed to be confirmed.
- Non-standard pallet sizes caused a number of challenges to the design; from pallet racking to pallet gates.
- The speed of the project was vital, as all work had to be completed prior to the arrival of a new cutting tool that was expected several weeks after the start of the project. Downtime and disruption was also a concern, as the company could not afford to close down while work was ongoing.
- The design incorporated some of the client’s own insulation over the top of the office building, so that the sound of pallet trucks overhead would be minimised. This did however, pose a new problem; that nothing could be fixed with screws as any penetration would impact on the efficiency of the sound barrier. Therefore, handrails were installed along the outside edge prior to the installation of the insulation and then the decking over the insulation was glued together securely, so that that it couldn’t move in any direction. This was further secured with extra fixings at the join with the new mezzanine.
- Original building drawings were provided by the landlord so that WSL engineers could approve the design of the mezzanine platform over the top of the offices. The initial structure was found to be solid enough to build over the office without any structural changes.
- The pallet gate – required for loading items onto the mezzanine – was a difficulty. Standard sized pallet gates were not sufficient, so WSL sourced a specialist pallet gate that could encompass the extra-large pallet sizes.
- WSL understands the significance of downtime for a busy company, and always does everything possible to reduce disruption. On this occasion, the installation team were on site for a mere three weeks – which included the installation of the mezzanine structure, lighting and fire rating. The bottom of the warehouse was segregated off so that normal trade could continue throughout.
WSL designed all of the fire rating, lighting and access, ensuring that all conformed with building regulations and current legislation, so that the client did not have to worry about any of these issues.
The mezzanine floor was manufactured in the WSL Leeds factory and then constructed on site in three weeks. A team of three to four installers where on site, with a site foreman overseeing work and ensuring that health and safely and other regulations were strictly adhered to at all times. The project manager visited site several times a week, staying in touch regularly with the Managing Director of the company to ensure that all was running smoothly during the installation.
The result of the work is an efficient, cost effective storage solution, utilising the dead space at the bottom of the existing warehouse. There is now a substantial amount of additional storage. The managing director is very happy with the finished product and with the speed and service provided by WSL.