What Is a Warehouse Mezzanine Floor?
A mezzanine floor is a means of creating additional floor space or multiple levels of additional floor space that are independent of a warehouse’s building structure. A mezzanine floor is a steel structure comprising of vertical steel columns that support horizontal primary steel beams which are used for the connection of secondary steels, which are commonly referred to as purlins.
The purlins are then decked with chipboard to create the new floor surface. Typically a mezzanine floor requires a means of access and exit (usually via a steel staircase), protection against falls on any perimeter (usually handrail to exposed edges) and ancillaries to facilitate the movement of goods on to and off the floor (Usually a pallet gate or goods lift).
What Can a Mezzanine Floor Be Used For In A Warehouse?
Within a warehouse a mezzanine floor can have varying uses. They are very flexible solutions and if they are designed correctly in the first instance can be very flexible for current and future use. If the correct considerations are made at the design stage, A mezzanine floor can be designed in such a way that it can be easily extended or adapted in the future and can even change uses depending on the changing needs of the company. For instance a mezzanine designed for storage use can be easily adapted to office space if required. Common uses are:
If a warehouse has available head height, A mezzanine floor is a wonderful solution for a company that requires additional storage space. Mezzanine floors can be great tools to store large bulk items on pallets or can also be used to house shelving storage solutions. This allows companies to utilise their valuable floor space for other important tasks such as production or manufacturing areas by storing slow moving items or parts in the ‘air’ on the mezzanine.
A very common use for mezzanine floors is to create office space and when you take into consideration how quick they are to install compared to traditional block and beam solutions its easy to see why. Mezzanine floors offer a platform for either office space below the mezzanine floor or above and can even be a hybrid of office and storage space. The mezzanine structure itself lends itself perfectly to incorporating services into the void such as electrics, plumbing, air conditioning and ventilation. Mezzanine floors are popular with businesses who need to build an office block from scratch or to extend existing offices within a warehouse.
Another popular mezzanine floor solution is utilising one for production purposes. They can be designed to accommodate machinery (either below or on top of the mezzanine) and can be built over existing production areas. By enclosing the mezzanine its easy to convert the mezzanine floor into a bespoke production facility and this is popular within the printing industry as you can incorporate air conditioning to create temperature controlled facilities.
What Are The Benefits Of A Warehouse Mezzanine?
The benefits of installing a mezzanine floor within a warehouse are fantastic. As they allow you to think about your building by its cubic capacity rather than by its general ground floor footprint, so it opens up many benefits.
This means you may not actually require the size of building you first thought, which in turn brings its own benefits (reduced rates/rent/bills etc). It also allows you to think of expansion, so if you are worried about taking on a building that is too large and putting your business at risk by stretching your budget, you can find a healthy compromise knowing that in the future you can increase storage, office or production space by moving up.
Depending on its use, a mezzanine floor in a warehouse could be exempt from rates, again giving you more space at a cheaper cost. The other advantage is it enables you to keep your ground floor clear for the important stuff like manufacturing or production. By keeping stock items (or your office space) in the air, it will allow you to better plan your ‘flow’ within the warehouse, in turn increasing productivity.
How Much Does A Mezzanine Floor Cost?
The cost of the mezzanine floor is all dependant on the use and the requirements of the mezzanine floor. Because mezzanine floors are bespoke structures it’s very difficult to provide a price without the completion of a site survey and design.
One thing is for sure, they are cheaper than the cost of acquiring a new building or sourcing external storage space, and when you consider the varying means of acquiring a mezzanine floor, for example through lease or hire purchase. The cost of the monthly payment will be significantly less than the revenue you generate below or above the mezzanine floor by increasing your businesses output potential.
How Do I Get A Mezzanine Floor Installed Within My Warehouse?
So now you are looking at your warehouse space by its cubic capacity rather than its 2d footprint, you need to obtain a quotation for your mezzanine floor. The best option would be to contact a specialist mezzanine floor contractor (like Nexus) to visit your premises to identify the possibilities. A capable mezzanine floor company should offer the following service:
Because every warehouse is different and mezzanine floors are bespoke structures dependant on their specific requirements, the only way to provide an accurate quotation would be to complete a site survey. Depending on the size of the warehouse, the survey will take a couple of hours, during which time the physical aspects will be surveyed (the building, existing machinery etc). This is also the time for the surveyor to capture your brief and for you to explain to the surveyor what your requirements are.
On completion of the survey the next part of the process is to draw up the survey using computer software (usually AutoCAD or similar). From here it is the role of the designer to design a mezzanine floor inline with your brief and the site conditions. The ultimate role of a mezzanine designer is to make the mezzanine floor as inconspicuous as possible, allowing your company to operate fluently below and above the mezzanine floor with little disruption. Its also the job of the designer to design the mezzanine with budget in mind. A great mezzanine floor designer will engineer the mezzanine with the minimum steel required therefore reducing the cost of the project to a minimum.
Within your mezzanine floor project could be a number of factors that need consideration. As well as the mezzanine floor, you may require a quotation for electrics, partitioning, flooring, ceilings, air conditioning etc. Be sure to make sure your mezzanine floor contractor breaks down your quotation into a ‘shopping list’ format. The last thing you want is a bulk price at the bottom of the quotation with no prices for the individual items, as it will be very difficult to compare. With relation to projects that contain more than one contractor (mezzanine supplier, electrician, partitioning installer etc) there are some important factors you need to consider from a health and safety perspective. Further information can be found here.
A critical part of the project is the implementation of the mezzanine floor into your business, particularly if the mezzanine floor is to be installed into a busy existing warehouse. This is where an experienced Project Manager and competent installation team is vital. Complete your due diligence on the company you intend to use for your project and ask to see the credentials of the Project Manager and install teams. It goes without saying that the aim is to install a safe, high quality mezzanine into your business with as little disruption as possible.
Get In Touch
Here at Nexus, we specialise in providing mezzanine floor solutions for businesses from design through to installation. We act as both Principal Contractor and Principal Designer for all our projects and have nearly a decade of experience.
You can see examples of our work here including video case studies and testimonials from our clients. Contact us today either via our live chat, contact form, our email address email@example.com or by calling 0113 831 3303 and we’d be more than happy to help.
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