Everyone likes growth, but when distribution centers or manufacturing plants outgrow their facility, they may have an expensive problem on their hands. Businesses that do a lot of receiving and shipping or have a production line as part of their day-to-day activities need space. In fact, space is a crucial requirement for them to operate smoothly and efficiently.
If you’ve been doing business in the same facility or have been renting a warehouse for your business for quite some time already, you know that keeping up with space demands can be very challenging. Many business owners think that expanding their current building or relocating to a new, bigger place is their only option. However, there’s actually an easy and functional way of increasing your existing storage space in the form of a warehouse mezzanine.
An industrial mezzanine platform provides a facility second or third level. It, therefore, can double or triple the usable floor space. Mezzanines are custom designed and are built to fit a specific area for a particular span. Read on to learn how to build a functional mezzanine in your facility.
- Plan The Installation Ahead
As with any building project, covering for every eventuality is essential in installing mezzanine flooring. It requires careful planning to make it successful.
Here are the things to consider:
- Purpose of the mezzanine platform: There are many possible reasons why mezzanines are installed. Warehouses or any other facilities may build one to meet their needs for a retail space, showroom space, storage, production space, or office space. Talk with your mezzanine installer and discuss all your needs.
- Permit and other requirements: Ensure you have the necessary permissions before installing a mezzanine. Check with the planning and zoning board or authority in your area. For instance, you have to determine if there are mezzanine code requirements, like the mezzanine stair requirements, that you have to follow or apply to your building.
Building a compliant mezzanine in your facility usually involves the correct measurements, so everything must be evaluated carefully. Also, if you’re renting your warehouse, review the terms of the lease before commencing on your mezzanine project.
- Loading: An office may not have the loading requirements of storage space or a space that houses heavy machinery or equipment used for production. That said, evaluate the loading requirements for your mezzanine and make sure to talk with your installer about it.
- Material for the deck surface: There are many options for the material to use for your mezzanine’s surface. However, most mezzanine platforms use high-density particle boards. The purpose for building a mezzanine space should be the primary basis when choosing a material.
- Headroom: To give adequate headroom on the mezzanine level and the ground floor, the height of your existing space should be 4.5 meters or 15 feet approximately.
- Know Your Slab Floor Capacity
Most slabs found in warehouses or other industrial facilities are six inches with some shrinkage and temperature reinforcement. Conduct a soil and slab analysis if you don’t know your slab floor capacity. Can the slab support a structural mezzanine? If not, then you might need to add special footings.
Finding out early if the slab in your building can provide the necessary support is a crucial step to take because application requirements will affect the design and subsequent column loads of your mezzanine significantly.
If you don’t want to conduct a floor slab analysis yourself, look for a mezzanine manufacturer that will do it before designing the mezzanine as part of the package.
- Choose The Right Decking For Your Mezzanine
A functional mezzanine space requires the right flooring and decking. That’s why your installation plan should specify the material to be used for the deck surface.
Ask yourself the following questions when choosing a decking material:
- How are you going to use your mezzanine?
- What will be on top of it?
- How will the materials be moved or stored?
- Is it a wet environment?
- Do you plan to build an office on the mezzanine platform?
Decide which flooring and decking material option will work for you best after answering those questions. Some of the best choices available are:
- Resin Composite: If you want an economical flooring option for your mezzanine, consider using resin composite material. It’s available in various grades and is specifically engineered for mezzanine decks. You can also choose between finished or unfinished panels.
- Plywood: The most economical flooring material option is plywood. It can be coated or painted with urethane and is satisfactory for most mezzanine decks.
- Diamond Plate: Diamond or checked steel floor plates can withstand constant use and travel by different types of machinery like forklifts. They offer an outstanding combination of safety and durability. Diamond plate flooring is also safe for foot travel because its pattern makes the plates slip resistant.
- Poured Concrete: This flooring is the strongest and most durable option that business owners can use for their mezzanine platform’s deck. If you need high point loading and capacity, concrete flooring is your best bet. The concrete’s density minimizes noise transmission through the decking of your mezzanine space.
- Size Your Mezzanine Base Plates Appropriately
The column base plates of your facility’s mezzanine platform need to be sized appropriately. Consider your floor slab capacity and column loads to know the correct sizing.
However, it’s essential to note that even large base plates won’t eliminate the need for concrete footings with low floor slab capacity and extremely high column loads. Column footings are necessary no matter the size of the base plates in cases like that.
- Powder-Coat Mezzanine Components
If you want the components of your mezzanine space to be more visually attractive and extremely durable, consider powder-coating them.
Here are instances where powder coating is really beneficial:
- If your mezzanine platform is grouped with carousels, conveyors, shelving, storage rack, and other structures inside your facility.
- If your mezzanine functions as a product showroom or any room that can be accessed by customers or clients.
Factors that influence a mezzanine’s cost include the platform’s size and the type of flooring used. Mezzanine floors, however, provide great value for your money. It makes sense because you won’t have to rent a larger space or purchase new property. There won’t also be disruption in trade. A mezzanine space might be the solution if you’re looking for a generally cost-effective, flexible, and painless solution to your warehouse space issues.