What are Mezzanine Floors?

Mezzanine floors are an intermediate level between the main floors of a building and are typically built within a high-ceilinged space. Industrial mezzanine floor structures are designed to maximize the use of vertical space in a building and provide additional storage, office extra space, or commercial retail space with no separate building expansion. The construction of a mezzanine floor involves careful planning and engineering to ensure that it can support the intended load and meet safety regulations. The truth is, that no two steel mezzanine platform jobs are alike because the seismic activity and other calculations will always differ. To begin with, find out what type of mezzanine you will want to get.

Types of Mezzanine Floor System: Mezzanine Level Details

The mezzanine floors come in various types, each with unique features and benefits.

  • Structural mezzanines are constructed using steel beams and columns, making them ideal for supporting heavy loads. These mezzanines are often used in industrial settings where there is a need for additional storage or workspace.
  • Rack-supported mezzanines have more columns than an industrial work platform (IWP). They are less flexible and hardly scalable to the footprint cross-aisle direction.
  • Another common type is the free-standing mezzanine, which is not reliant on the building structure for support. This makes it highly versatile and suitable for a wide range of applications.
  • Shelving-supported mezzanines are designed to provide additional storage space above existing shelving units, maximizing the use of vertical space in warehouses and retail environments.
  • Lastly, catwalk mezzanines are narrow walkways that provide access to machinery or equipment in industrial facilities. They are often installed at a higher-level deck to allow for monitoring and maintenance.

Each type of mezzanine floor offers its own set of advantages, from enhanced storage capacity to improved workflow and productivity.

Mezzanine floor system: benefits of use

  • Increase usable floor space with no costly building extensions or relocations by modifying your single-level storage to multi-level space solutions. In this case, some operations move to the second level, above your head. In fact, you get two or more storage space from one facility.
  • Customize to fit specific requirements. This solution is extremely flexible. You can install it in any place in your facility: docks and loading/unloading area, receiving and staging area, picking, shipping area, etc.
  • Easily install and remove, making them a cost-effective and efficient solution for temporary or long-term space requirements.
  • Maximize natural light, which can have a positive impact on employee well-being and energy consumption. The work platform mezzanine will allow you to still have your light, HVAC systems, computer wiring, and electrical systems without changing anything.
  • Design and install according to the load capacity of intended use. The International Building Code (IBC) parameters define the allowable minimum to heavy load in pounds per square foot (PSF) distributed over the platform. For instance, from 60 to 90 PSF (minimum use—conveyors or maintenance with limited access) to 250 PSF (storage warehouse—heavy/heavy manufacturing). Mezzanines should be built to the full expected load-bearing capacity of the intended use. It is much more advantageous to build a stronger structure from the outset than to add load-bearing capacity to an existing structure.
  • User-friendliness construction. Both manual labor and various loading equipment can be used: elevators, hydraulic elevators, reach trucks, stackers, and conveyors.
  • Scalability. Depending on the needs of the business, it may be necessary to increase or decrease storage space. The mezzanine allows you to do this with little effort.
  • Choice Opportunity. The mezzanines vary by size, structure, function, construction styles, and floor materials.

Industrial Mezzanine Construction Process

Installing a mezzanine floor decking involves several steps to ensure its safety and functionality. 

  • Detailed design (CAD) and layout plan is created to determine the size, shape, and placement of the mezzanine floor within the existing unused space.
  • Our structural engineer will calculate the load-bearing requirements and provide the necessary support columns, beams, and braces. 
  • Once the design is finalized and the necessary permits are obtained, the construction can begin.
  • This typically involves cutting and fitting the support columns on the main floor area, installing the beams and braces, and then adding the flooring material, such as steel grating or plywood. 
  • Adding safety features, such as handrails and gates, multi-tier staircases and loading areas to comply with international building codes and ensure the well-being of those using the mezzanine level.
  • Finally, the finishing touches, such as painting the support structure and installing lighting or access points, are completed to make the mezzanine floor fully functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Materials used in industrial mezzanine

Different materials can be used for the floor. You can hear about plywood or corrugated sub-decks. Let’s look at their benefits.
Plywood may be used for 1 to 2 layers. Plywood is popular for in-plant offices, enclosures, and storage. However, you may also have a corrugated sub-deck incorporated into your mezzanine. The decking is a popular choice for work platforms located over an office. A corrugated sub-deck is not good for storage solutions. The mezzanine may also make use of poured concrete. If you need your mezzanine racking system to be fireproof or if you mean to keep the mezzanine in the same place then you will have poured concrete as part of your mezzanine. Keep in mind, that if this is done, then it probably will be nearly impossible or impossible to move it depending on your situation. You may have diamond plate steel integrated into your mezzanine. You might have this because it can deal with a heavy load, drops, welding, and pallet drops. It is also excellent at resisting damage that is incurred during the normal working day.
Common safety regulations for steel mezzanine floors include proper guardrails and handrails to prevent falls. Mezzanine access stairs must meet and adhere to building regulations.
However, to build regulations, creating a mezzanine floor might not be considered as an additional level, hence not necessitating planning permission, but it crucially depends on the local building codes.
If your ceiling is at least 15 feet high, you may be a great candidate for adding a mezzanine. So, using a warehouse mezzanine to add a second level to your warehouse can be 80% cheaper than building another floor in a building physically built for you. 

Best Practices for Maintaining Mezzanine Floors

It is important to establish regular inspection and maintenance schedules. Inspections should include checking for signs of wear and tear, corrosion within the mezzanine area of a building, or any sales floor damage. Any issues detected should be promptly repaired using high-quality materials.
It’s also important to ensure that the mezzanine levels of a building are being used within the specified weight capacity to prevent overloading and potential collapse.
Regularly cleaning the surface and removing any obstructions or debris is also crucial for preventing accidents and maintaining the integrity of the floor.
Adequate training for staff on how to properly use and maintain the mezzanine floor can help prevent unnecessary damage. 
Want a mezzanine for your business for space and storage? Want help figuring it all out and getting the permits done? Call us at 503-626-3417 and we will help you through the whole process.

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