Installing a mezzanine floor and adding staircase

Installing a mezzanine floor and adding staircase

The mezzanine floor has been an efficient and cost-effective technique to enhance a building’s useable floor area. However, the question is what actually mezzanine floor is? A mezzanine seems to be an extra floor located between two existing levels of a building, typically between ground floor as well as the ceiling of the single storey construction, which is not typically included as being one of the primary floors. Mezzanine floors are often self-contained and unconnected physically to the remainder of the structure (Feofanov and Barry, 2019). Typically, the mezzanine would not take up the same amount of area as the level below. This enables them to be readily deployed and even relocated or removed as necessary.

Why to install the Mezzanine Floor?

If your company wants more space, a mezzanine floor may be the ideal option. Mezzanine floors were popular with businesses that want extra space but do not desire to relocate, are unable to expand their current structure, or do not wish to incur the costs and inconvenience associated with a relocation or extension project (Mukunda et al. 2021, p. 012045). Several important advantages of mezzanine floors, as well as reasons why organisations in a broad variety of industries choose to construct them, include the following:

  • Increased production
  • Cost savings
  • Increased efficiency

Mezzanine floors are built from a variety of component elements. Generally, the structure’s load-bearing components are built of steel, which results in a robust and rigid construction (Cano et al. 2020, p. 012065). A typical mezzanine level would be composed of the following components:

Main Support Columns
 The columns of a mezzanine are indeed the upright members that link the current floor just at bottom to a mezzanine on the top. It is essential to employ an adequate number of columns and place them properly to distribute the weight evenly all across the installation.

Main Support Beams
Beams stretch horizontally between the columns which are the component of the framework that bears the mezzanine’s load.

Secondary Deck Beam/Joists
Horizontally throughout or between beams, the joists are fixed at right angle towards the beams. The joists have been the structural elements of the floor that attach a mezzanine decking towards the beams.

Decking
The decking has been the mezzanine floor’s surface and is comes in a multitude of materials appropriate for a variety of applications. Warehouse mezzanines have commonly constructed using 38mm particles board decking, however alternative materials such as composite decking or steel plate are also available (Samodra, 2018). Avanta mezzanines come equipped with the moisture-resistant decking.

Edge Support
The edge protection systems have been a critical component of every mezzanine floor’s safety mechanism. Avanta’s basic mezzanine floors have an incorporated toe plate and railing systems that provides a clean solution that complies to BRE Digest 437 criteria.

Staircases
Staircases are the principal way to mezzanine levels, and it is critical that they be built to suit both the space’s use needs as well as any relevant building code standards (Sanabria et al. 2019).

Australian standards

There 7 essential standards that need to be considered when constructing a mezzanine floor 

  • AS1657 (Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders)
  • AS1428(Design for access and mobility)
  • AS 1170 Vol 1 Part B1
  • AS1170 Loading Codes
  • AS 4100 Steel Structures
  • AS 4600 Cold-Formed Steel Structures
  • Fire compliance

Several key Australian standard concerns for the mezzanine level include, and are not restricted to the following:

  1. Stairs with tactile markers at the top and bottom.
  2. In case a clearance level of lesser than 2m exists in any region, tactile indications must alert the user to the limited clearance.
  3. A sphere measuring 125mm in diameter will not pass through any opening in the staircase or balustrading.
  4. Consistent balustrade from the ground floor to a mezzanine level.

Additional requirements that should be addressed and are not necessarily applicable to mezzanine floor constructions are as follows:

  1. Door knobs that are lesser than 900mm above the floor
  2. Internal access pathways must have a minimum width of 1 metre (from balustrade to balustrade). Maximum tread height of 190mm
  3. No stair flight may have more than 18 risers.
  4. No less than 1m in height for balustrades (460mm gaps between the middle rail and top rail) (Hassan and Fadous, 2021)

The structure of a mezzanine level is determined by the intended usage of the mezzanine. Mezzanines utilized to store components and parts might require to be very robust and durable, even more so if the parts are constructed of different types of toxic metals (Mukunda et al. 2021). In sectors where polymers and light textiles are housed, a considerable floor might not be required.

Mezzanine Floor Construction

  • Columns

The load per column, that is defined by the mezzanine’s intended usage, is a critical component of mezzanine construction. Whenever there are lesser columns, the load needs per column rise. Fewer columns may need the inclusion of heavy duty foundation footings or plates to accommodate the increased weight on each column (Hassan and Fadous, 2021). Column loads and slab capacity are critical considerations when designing and constructing a mezzanine.

  • Mezzanine Flooring

Mezzanine flooring’s thickness provides additional stability as well as a solid feel. While a narrower gauge may still support the weight, it lacks the solid feel and produces a swinging or shaking sensation when stepped on. Whenever a mezzanine is utilised for offices or shops, stability in the flooring is critical (Muyanja Davis, 2018). A sense of firmness, security, and stability is a prerequisite for offices. A thickness of the mezzanine floor must be the first concern, because it can be corrected once built.

  • Braces

Braces provide additional stability for big loads and equipment. The most often utilized braces are cross brace or knee braces. While they provide structural stability, they restrict access to the area under a mezzanine and may impede productivity and efficiency. Bolts linked to top joints provide a simple method to free up some space beneath the mezzanine during bracing installation.

  • Slab Capacity

The capacity of a slab is governed by its weight as well as distribution of weight. There are certain criteria for the building of each kind of mezzanine floor, including the amount of pounds per square foot (psf).

• Offices and platforms 60 psf

• Warehousing, storage, and light manufacturing 125 psf

An International Building Code created these values to indicate the estimated weight distribution upon a mezzanine platform (Mukunda et al. 2021). A typical industrial building or warehouse floor slab is 6 to 8  inches in diameter and has a load capability of 25,000 pounds.

All uncovered edges of mezzanine levels must have protective railings; this prevents personnel from harming themselves while operating at an elevation and also protects any valuable items or equipment from being destroyed by a fall (Cano et al. 2020, p. 012065). Additionally, mesh panels might assist keep smaller objects from sliding over the edges. Obviously, safety is not the sole reason for mezzanine flooring modifications. A firm may choose to make cosmetic improvements as well. It is important to evaluate the kind of staircase that would be most appropriate for a particular company, since an industrial area would demand a staircase with a wholly distinct design and finish than a retail one (Hassan and Fadous, 2021).

Pallet gates are available in three configurations: low weight, fail-safe roll-over,’sliding trombone’ style, or swing gate. They are useful for shielding employees from open areas, such as while loading standard-size pallets (Sanabria, 2018). Pallet gates are very durable and need minimal maintenance.

There are several possibilities for the deck of a mezzanine floor, however durbar plate, particle board, and forge-welded grilles are amongst the most common and fit a range of businesses.

  • 38mm Particle Board

The most common particle board thickness is 38mm. It is a dense board with the choice of a wear-resistant, moisture-resistant, or non-slip surface. Moisture resistance is especially critical in warehouses which experience leaks or spills.

  • Durbar Plate

Durbar plate would be a structural steel floor plates made of hot-rolled structural steel that has an equally distributed rand raised design (Feofanov and Barry, 2019, pp. 55-62). It is capable of supporting high weights, and the rough quality of the raised designs provides additional grip.

  • Forge- Welded Gratings

Forge-welded gratings are frequently the best solution for plant platforms, gangways, and transferring aisles.

References

Cano, B., Galarza, J., Rodríguez, J. and García, F., 2020, February. Cracking Control in Mezzanine Floor Slabs using Rice Husk Ash and Polypropylene Fibers. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 758, No. 1, p. 012065). IOP Publishing.

Feofanov, Y. and Barry, D.D., 2019. A House with a Mezzanine. In Politics and Justice in Russia (pp. 55-62).

Hassan, M.A. and Fadous, A.F., 2021. MEZZANINE ENABLERS IN THE THEATER SHOW CONSTRUCTION. PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology18(08), pp.3824-3838.

Mukunda, A., Anjulakshmi, K., Kulkarni, S.D., Navya, T. and Shivakumar, R.J., 2021. Enhancing the storage capacity by utilizing vertical space using mezzanine flooring in a small-scale industry. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 1033, No. 1, p. 012045). IOP Publishing.

Mukunda, A., Anjulakshmi, K., Kulkarni, S.D., Navya, T. and Shivakumar, R.J., 2021. Enhancing the storage capacity by utilizing vertical space using mezzanine flooring in a small-scale industry. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 1033, No. 1, p. 012045). IOP Publishing.

Muyanja Davis, M., 2018. Atc warehouse mazinnine floor (Doctoral dissertation, Makerere University).

Samodra, F.T.B., 2018. Optimization of architectural electroacoustics design for the interior mezzanines of vertical buildings. Optimization9(2).

Sanabria Riaño, B.S., Vargas, M. and Ricardo, P.D.E., 2019. Quantitative differences among in situ and construction systems for mezzanine floor slabs as a decision-making support.

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