When it comes to generating extra warehousing space, mezzanine floors provide one of the most versatile solutions available.
At the start of all mezzanine projects, the decision needs to made as to whether to project manage the new mezzanine installation in-house using multiple suppliers for the different components; or whether to use a single, expert turnkey solution provider that can deliver the whole mezzanine project from start to finish.
Whichever you choose, and depending on your specific project, the main components may include some or all of the following:
- Site survey
- Concise and detailed brief
- Project plan and timescale
- Building regulations approval
- Construction of mezzanine
- Preparation of installation site
- Delivery, assembly and installation
- Installation of shelving or racking along with ancillary elements such as elevator, steps, conveyor, safety barriers etc
- Commissioning of all lighting, electrical, plumbing and heating requirements
- Construction of office or storage room partitions and other facilities
- All fire protection and health & safety elements
- Preparation of Compliance Certificate.
With so many elements involved, it can be a major benefit to use a single source turnkey provider like Acorn Warehouse Solutions – (see our 2016 Mezzanine Floor FAQ).
Yet in our experience, it’s common for warehouse owners who require additional warehouse space to be consider the advantages offered by mezzanine floors among their options.
To help clarify the issue, this article looks at some of the most common uses for mezzanine floor installations, the advantages they can offer over alternative ways of gaining extra warehouse space, and the factors that must be considered when making the decision.
The Main Uses of Mezzanine Floors in Warehouse Facilities
Adaptable designs and simple construction customised around the layout and dimensions of your existing warehouse mean mezzanines can be used for just about any task.
Meanwhile the cost is comparatively low, compared to the alternatives of expanding your warehouse facility or relocating to new premises, making mezzanine floors a more financially viable option.
1. Additional storage space
The primary reason for installing a mezzanine floor in a warehouse is always to gain extra floor space for shelving and other forms of storage.
It’s both highly efficient and cost-effective compared to other ways of achieving extra space (as mentioned above).
So as long as the structure is properly scoped, planned and installed by mezzanine flooring specialists to deal with the expected weight burden you’ll be able to add as much as 50% extra flooring to your warehouse space. Your mezzanine floor provider will also advise you on safe access for employees and all the measures you’ll need to put in place.
2. Office space
Office space might be seen as ‘administrative’ rather than income generating and as such it’s not always top of the list for a warehouse expansion.
Yet again, the versatility of mezzanines and comparatively low cost make them ideal for providing new office space with all the standard features such as heat and lighting, air conditioning and full height partitions, doors and windows.
When fully built, your mezzanine office will look and feel just like any other office accommodation in your facility.
3. Staff canteen or rest area
If you don’t have any staff areas or want to create facilities within the warehouse structure itself without reducing existing storage capacity, a mezzanine is the ideal solution.
Virtually every amenity can be incorporated, from a kitchen and canteen area to staff toilets and showering facilities if required.
4. Pick and pack operations
A mezzanine floor makes an ideal pick and pack area, provided that an adequate method can be found to move items from the main floor to the mezzanine.
Commonly used additions to address these requirements include lefts and conveyors – though of course these must also be accommodated at ground level too.
There’s usually a way to get round every potential problem though, and installing a mezzanine is usually the best solution particularly if your only other option is a costly warehouse expansion or relocation, and has the added perk of a much quicker construction period.
The Business Case for Installing a Mezzanine in your Warehouse
So that covers what mezzanine floors can be used for.
But what makes them the better option compared to the more traditional alternatives such as building a new warehouse or relocating to a new one?
1. Ease and convenience of installation: Firstly mezzanines can offer as much as 50% more floor space and are easily installed for almost any business where warehouse space has become tight.
Compared to the upheaval of moving an entire warehouse to new location installing a new mezzanine floor is more straightforward too – though of course that’s subject to a survey of the existing warehouse structure and layout.
Overall, it should be possible to keep the disruption to normal warehouse and business operations to a minimum.
2. Low cost: The second main benefit is the (relatively) low cost. A mezzanine is substantially less expensive than the alternatives, with no major downside in most cases.
There will of course be additional costs associated with the shelving or partitioning plus elevators, steps, conveyors and safety barriers that will be required, but these would all be factored into the overall cost of the mezzanine project.
3. Speed: The third and final benefit is the relatively fast project time. With properly executed survey and planning process, a mezzanine floor project should run smoothly and quickly, and, as mentioned above, involve only minimal disruption to day-to-day operations.
The mezzanine will be scoped, designed and planned by your mezzanine provider, brought to site and assembled in such a way that only certain areas of warehouse are out of action for short periods.
Meanwhile, operations should continue normally while construction takes place.
Considerations for a successful mezzanine project
A major main consideration that will affect the success of your mezzanine project is the detail of your requirements brief, the project plan and the expertise that goes with it.
To address this issue you are advised to use a skilled mezzanine floor provider with specific experience in a warehouse environment.
Your mezzanine floor provider will have come across all the possible issues and problems associated with installing a mezzanine in a warehouse and will factor into the project:
- Availability of vertical space to allow for another floor
- Space requirements below the mezzanine for installation of adequate support
- Position and availability of utilities for connection to whatever mezzanine facilities you plan to install
- You will require Building Regulations approval prior to construction
- Depending on the size of your mezzanine you may need fire protection measures to the structure including fire retardant material application and the addition of fire escapes
- Load calculations: again, if you are planning storing heavy loads on your mezzanine floor it’s vital to ensure your professional mezzanine designer is aware.
The Process and Next Steps
The process begins with an initial survey and assessment of your warehouse site to include defining the requirements brief and taking detailed measurements of both your existing facility and the proposed mezzanine structure.
At this point, a quote will be provided for construction and all installation of the mezzanine.
Once the quote is agreed, the work can begin!
Ready to get started? Contact the mezzanine floor experts at Acorn Warehousing Solutions to discuss your requirements. Call today on 01799 532024.