Mezzanine Floor Construction For Offices, Storage & Industrial Use
Table of Contents
Mezzanine Floors From Design to Installation
Making use of existing space with Mezzanine floors delivers a much quicker return on investment than relocating or expanding your existing premises. Not only are costs lower, but there is also less disruption to your operations. For example, do you need extra office space or storage areas?
At DMA, we have over 50 years of experience to achieve the best return for you. We will design the right mezzanine floor to achieve your business goals: more space, extra capacity, streamlined work-flows, at the right cost and one that meets engineering and Building Regulations requirements.
We also project manage the whole process for you to ensure that the installation is completed on time and to budget, with minimum disruption. This turnkey approach gives you a single point of contact and you don’t have the headache of keeping numerous sub-contractors on schedule.
Mezzanine Floor Construction Time Guide
Site visit – DMA takes measurements, discuss and agree specifications with Customer.
- Quotation with drawing presented to Customer for review.
- Customer to sign off the design and specifications. The design is now locked down for manufacturing purposes.
- Customer places order with DMA to start the manufacturing process.
- A DMA structural engineer will attend site to take detailed engineering measurements.
- Customer provides DMA with a site plan, block plan (the site in relation to neighbouring properties), and floor slab details which are normally supplied by the Customer or the Customer’s landlord. If not available, DMA can arrange for a core slab sample to be taken.
- DMA submits technical drawings, structural calculations of the mezzanine floor, site plan, block plan and floor slab details to Building Control on the Customer’s behalf.
- DMA agrees production date with the steel fabricator.
- The standard manufacturing lead time for mezzanine floors is four weeks. This can vary dependent on the steel fabricator’s order levels at the time the order is placed.
- Once a delivery date is confirmed by the steel fabricator, DMA will produce a program of works. The program of works will include associated works for example fire rating, storage equipment, office fit out etc. that are undertaken by DMA’s own staff. It will also include any third-party contractors retained by the Customer, with whom DMA can interface on the Customer’s behalf.
Installation of the mezzanine floor starts and will progress according to the program of works.
- On completion of the project, DMA will invite the Customer for a walk-through.
- If a Customer is using their own contractors for electrical work and/or fire alarm alterations, the Customer will provide the certification from these contractors and pass them to DMA as these form part of the Building Control approval.
- If the DMA installation is to the Customer’s satisfaction, and all the relevant certification from third-party contractors are ready, DMA will contact the Building Inspector to arrange a final inspection.
- Once the Building Inspector is satisfied with the installation, they will issue a Final Notice (completion certificate) to certify that the installation is fully compliant for use.
The project is now complete.
The Customer has a legal duty to carry out a new fire risk assessment for the premises. DMA can help to arrange this with a fully qualified fire risk assessor.
Mezzanine Floor Optional Extras
Mezzanine Floor Installation FAQs
The conditions at every site and the requirements for each mezzanine floor differ greatly. We will make a no-obligation site visit to discuss your requirements, take measurements and appraise ourselves of the site conditions. We will then be able to provide an accurate quotation.
If the building is leased, you will need landlord’s permission, and they will typically require oversight of the project. Whilst most mezzanine floors do not require planning permission, all mezzanine floors do require Building Control approval to ensure they are compliant. We are happy to handle the application on your behalf, and we have over 50 years of experience in helping our customers to obtain this approval.
Depending on the use of the floor and its size in relation to the building, you may need the floor to be fire rated (evidence that the floor can withstand 60 minutes of fire to allow occupants to evacuate safely). We keep up to date with all the regulations relating to the fire rating of floors and we will advise you as part of the Building Control application. The Building Control Department will automatically contact the Fire Officer as part of the approval process.
If you wish to relocate the floor to another site, you will need to make a new Building Control application. This is because the circumstances at the new site will be different, making it necessary to create a new set of structural calculations. If the floor was installed by DMA, we will have access to all the technical data relating to the floor, and this will make the new application process more straightforward.
Yes, it can. It is worth noting that if you intend to use the mezzanine floor as a permanent office or workshop space, then it will require fire rating irrespective of its size. This is in line with current Building Control regulations for health and safety reasons. DMA can advise you of this when we discuss your requirements.
This depends on the height of the building and the strength of the foundation. A single-tier mezzanine floor is by far the most common. Two-tiered mezzanine floors are possible if there is a clear headroom of no less than 9 metres, whereas three-tiered mezzanine floors are rare and require a clear headroom of no less than 12 metres.
We have written a detailed guide on the end-to-end process involved in installing a mezzanine floor. You can view this at the top of this page by clicking here. Mezzanine Floor Installation Time Guide
Ideally, the area where the mezzanine floor is to be built should be cleared of all materials and equipment so that it can be cordoned off for the construction. However, DMA is well experienced in designing and building mezzanine floors above existing equipment that cannot be moved easily. When designing the programme of works, DMA will work closely with you to plan the logistics to minimise disruption to your operations, e.g. scheduling certain items to be done out of hours.
Almost any weight can be accommodated on a DMA mezzanine floor. Every DMA mezzanine floor is custom designed and manufactured to suit your requirements. In extreme circumstances, it may be necessary to strengthen the floor slabs to accommodate the weight loading on the concrete floor. DMA can help with this process.
All DMA floors are designed by qualified structural engineers to BRE Digest 437 and BS5950 standards. These structural calculations are then checked independently by Building Control’s own structural engineers. As a mark of our quality, all our floors are CE marked. In addition, all DMA floors are installed by SEIRS (Storage Equipment Installer Registration Scheme) qualified installers. It is important to bear in mind that not all of our competitor’s mezzanine floors are built to the same standards, which may have a bearing on the price. DMA are proud to supply only top-quality custom-designed floors at competitive prices. We do not compromise on quality, unlike some cheaper floors that suffer from deflection.
Mezzanine floors are constructed as portable structures and all DMA mezzanine floors are not attached to the fabric of the building. Therefore, our floors are considered to be portable structures that can be relocated in a similar way to pallet racking. It is our understanding that such installations do not attract additional business rates.
Building Regulations That Apply to Mezzanine Floors
Building Regulations apply to a wide variety of constructions, from buildings, bridges, domestic dwellings, to mezzanine floors. If you would like to find out more about Building Regulations in general visit https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/approved-documents
The following aspects are applicable to Mezzanine Floors:
Part A – Structural Safety
The reason structural safety of a mezzanine floor comes under Building Regulations is to ensure that the floor will support the loads that the floor will be subjected to. DMA’s structural engineer will produce calculations to show that the design complies with the loading requirements. The Building Control Department will then double check these calculations against the technical drawings that DMA will provide, to ensure that the structure will be safe for the client.
Part B – Fire Safety
All mezzanine floors, irrespective of use, require fire rating. For a storage floor with no staff permanently located on the floor, the fire rating is at the basic level, namely smoke detection installed beneath the floor plus appropriate fire signage above and below the mezzanine floor. Exceptionally large floors for storage use only will require full fire rating. DMA will advise you on the fire protection that is required to comply with Building Regulations.
Mezzanine floors for office or workstation use will require full fire rating. This entails enclosing all the steel work beneath the floor with fire rating material to provide 60 minutes of fire protection.
Part K – Protection from Falling
All exposed edges of a mezzanine floor must be fitted with safety handrails or enclosures to prevent users from falling. Mezzanine floors that are open to the public must have fully enclosed protection.
Part M – Access to and Use of Buildings
This part of the Regulations applies to staircases and other means of access attached to the mezzanine floor. There are strict regulations concerning the dimensions of steps and rises of the staircase leading to a mezzanine floor. Taller mezzanine floors can also require mid-flight platforms for emergency evacuation purposes.
The distances from any part of the floor to a protected means of escape are subject to maximum overall distance regulations. This will determine the number of staircases required.
DMA has over 50 years of experience in mezzanine floor constructions and has built up a wealth of knowledge in Building Regulations that have evolved over the years. DMA continually keeps abreast of any updates to these regulations.
Why Use a Distributor Instead of a Manufacturer?
Choosing a distributor like DMA for your mezzanine floor means that you will receive impartial advice on everything that you will require, from Building Regulations, fire protection, access to the floor, pallet gates, smoke detection, lighting, and project management, some of which may not be available from a mezzanine floor manufacturer. DMA offers a one-stop-shop service to allow you to receive a complete package from start to finish.
Mezzanine floors, by their nature, are always used for additional storage, and often for office accommodation and workshops, or a combination of all of these. As a company, DMA is able to offer all these services as part of a turnkey project, leaving you to deal with only one supplier rather than having to coordinate numerous contractors for one single project.
How Much Does A Mezzanine Floor Cost?
A mezzanine floor could cost you anywhere between £50.00 and £125.00 pound per square metre.
All mezzanine floors require Building Regulation approval. This is reflected in the ballpark figure.
The actual cost will depend on a number of factors:
- What is the floor intended to be used for: will it be used for office accommodation, storage of goods, or location for plant and equipment? In the case of storage, the weight and characteristics of goods to be stored on the mezzanine floor will have a significant impact on the design of the floor. The higher the load capacity, the larger the steel columns and beams that will be required to support the floor.
- The span of the columns supporting the floor. Generally speaking, the most cost-effective column grid is around 4m x 3m, which will use the least amount of tonnage of steel. However, this grid may not suit the operations that will be carried out beneath the floor. Larger column grids will increase the thickness of steel and significantly the steel beams connecting the columns;
- All floors irrespective of their size require smoke detection systems beneath the floor and there is a cost associated with installing this facility.
You will also need fire protection for any mezzanine floor that is used for offices or workstation activities. Fire protection is provided by adding fire rated suspended ceilings and column casings to comply with the requirements in the Building Regulations. Also, any floor over 20m in length in any direction will require fire rating irrespective of use.
Don’t be fooled by a cheap mezzanine floor quotation. These quotations are typically based on a per square metre basis with no detailed knowledge of site conditions or use of the floor and will assume the lowest loading capacity per square metre. You are likely to need a load capacity of 350-750 kg per square metre.
There are also other items to consider, for example:
- Industrial Straight Flight Access Staircase (non disabled design) for use on storage floors £1,485 – £2000
- General Access Staircase (Part K 2013) to 3.0m high (Industrial Application) including mid landing £2,575 – £4000
- Mid-flight platform for floors higher than 3.0m £520 – £1,000
- Single Top Landing (required for staircases that run at 90 degrees to floor edge) £520 – £1000
- Deck Mounted Standard Twin Railed Industrial Tubular Hand railing for all exposed edges of the floor (Price per linear metre) £38/M – £55/M
- (Optional) Safety Pallet Loading Gate £800 – £1,500
The costs above are a general guide only and should not be used as a costing tool.
Apart from the price you will be looking for an experienced company that will offer you comprehensive advice and a quality product.
We would strongly advise against buying a secondhand mezzanine floor unless the seller provides you with all the original structural calculations that will assure you that the floor will be compliant with Building Regulations. Beware that it might still not suit the conditions of the new site.
If you would like us to help you get a feel for how much a mezzanine floor might cost you, feel free to call us for a chat to see how we can help.
Office Mezzanine Floors
Offices Above the Mezzanine Floor
Mezzanine floors designed for office use will allow your business to house the office space in the air, freeing up valuable floor space for production, manufacturing or storage.
Office accommodation on a mezzanine floor needs to be designed with the correct loadings. It is also very important to get the deflection of the floor right. Unlike a storage mezzanine floor which can have some deflection, an office mezzanine floor needs to be rigid to prevent the plasterboard from cracking due to movement.
Offices Below the Mezzanine Floor
Mezzanine floors are very flexible and can accommodate office space below as well as above. With good design it is possible to conceal the mezzanine floor columns within the office layout, e.g. incorporating the columns in dividing walls.
With a correctly designed mezzanine floor, it may not be obvious that there is a mezzanine floor above. Space below mezzanine floors are typically used for reception areas, toilets, meeting rooms, general office space including kitchens, canteens or locker facilities.
What type of space can be created?
From open plan offices to partitioned offices and collaboration areas, suitable for just a few staff or for a large organization.
Boardrooms, quiet rooms, and collaboration spaces. DMA can also supply and fit bespoke partitioning solutions and furniture packages to allow any team to work efficiently.
Break Out Areas
Breakout areas are an essential part of any office environment. These multi-functional spaces can be used for meetings, lunches and much more.
WCs and showers can be installed on a mezzanine floor, subject to the location of water and drainage supplies.
Reception areas can be fitted above or below a mezzanine floor.
Kitchenettes & Tea Points
There is a requirement under HSE regulations for an employer to provide facilities for staff to have a hot drink etc. DMA can supply these facilities above or below the mezzanine floor including fridges and dishwashers.
What can be included in your space?
This could be modern glass partitioning through to versatile folding partitions enabling your space to be transformed when needed. Glass partitioning is a modern system that creates a sense of prestige when incorporated into meeting rooms and office spaces.
A wide range of partitioning systems can be utilised when designing a mezzanine floor for office use. Normally a stud and track partitioning system will be used to construct the required rooms below or above the mezzanine floor. Plasterboard systems have a range of performance characteristics including fire and sound performance.
Sound performance is important in meeting rooms, toilets, and private office areas. Where required, fire-rated materials will be used to create fire corridors, staircase enclosures or dividing walls. DMA will advise fire rating requirements to comply with Building Regulations.
The actual flooring on your new mezzanine floor needs to be thought out. From vinyl or tiles for toilet and kitchen areas, through to various carpet or hardwood options for office and meeting areas.
Every office needs an electrical supply for its power and data requirements, office lighting, fire alarms, data trunking, and floor boxes. There is a minimum lux level required for a person who uses a computer so it’s important this criterion is met.
Fire Rating & Fire Alarms
The underside of a mezzanine floor with offices above will require a fire rating in the form of smoke detection. Smoke detection on the office above the mezzanine floor is also required. Smoke detection to a mezzanine floor can easily be added to an existing fire alarm system.
All your plumbing requirements need to be taken care of. For example, if your office mezzanine floor features new toilets or kitchen areas, you need to make sure all water, sewage, and drainage systems are implemented correctly.
There is a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to new office furniture. For example, you may need office desking, document storage, seating for any breakout areas and reception, or kitchen tables. DMA has a comprehensive range of office furniture to suit every requirement and budget.
Heating, cooling and air change in enclosed offices all need to be considered. There are regulations for temperatures, air change and ventilation that need to be taken into consideration when designing offices.
Mezzanine Floor Accessibility Options
What about staircases?
For a mezzanine floor is to be situated in a warehouse, a standard steel staircase may be all that is needed. If the staircase is to be used in an office environment, then a different specification is required, e.g. enclosed risers, wider treads. If the staircase is used by members of the public, then fully enclosed balustrades will be required.
Will I require a lift?
This will need to be determined during the design stage. In cases where disabled employees cannot be accommodated on the ground floor and have to work on the first floor, a lift will have to be provided for access.
For any construction project that uses more than one contractor, it is a legal requirement that you formally appoint a Principal Designer. This is to ensure the health and safety of both your employees and any installation team involved.
DMA Storage Solutions have plenty of experience acting as a Principal Designer on a large number of office mezzanine floor projects.
For further information on your duties in relation to appointing a Principal Designer visit https://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm/2015/principal-designers.htm
For any project that uses more than one contractor on site, you are legally obligated to formally appoint one of the contractors to be a Principal Contractor. They will be responsible for the health and safety of all their own and all other sub-contractors on site. They will also be obligated to ensure all sub-contractors are following correct practices and procedures while carrying out their duties safely. This legal obligation needs to be in place to protect both your employees and any installation team.
DMA Storage Solutions have the experience needed when considering a Principal Contractor to plan and execute your office mezzanine floor project.
For further information to the role of a Principal Contractor and your duties when appointing one visit https://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm/2015/principal-contractors.htm