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Gonvarri explains the rise of mezzanine flooring

Gonvarri explains the rise of mezzanine flooring

As one of the leading suppliers of storage solutions, we have stands at many exhibitions all over Europe. These offer us the opportunity to showcase the latest products and innovations. Whilst many who attend know what they want and are ready to buy, others visit the stand far earlier in the process to talk through their options.

From the level of interest we’ve had over the past year, it seems that mezzanines are moving up the wish list for companies that need more space. After all, they are the perfect way to create an extra floor with minimal disruption to your operation. Constructed from lightweight steel, mezzanine floors have a multitude of uses: they can be used as additional retail space, storage space, office space, back of house functions and everything in between. And, as most single storey buildings are around 6m tall, they can also be fitted in virtually any existing structure.

If you’re at the point of thinking about mezzanines, you’ve probably got a lot of questions. We have installed many mezzanine floors in all types of locations, so drawing on feedback from clients and our own experience we have compiled a list of the 10 most frequently asked questions.

Q. Can a mezzanine floor be constructed without disrupting business?

A. As the mezzanine floor is freestanding, and all parts are manufactured offsite, it can be constructed around your existing workforce with minimal disruption.

Q. Will the supports restrict working space below, for example for forklift trucks?

A. No, a mezzanine floor can be designed to allow access underneath for forklift trucks if required.

Q. Is there a minimum/maximum load/size?

A. There is no minimum size. The most common span tends to be 6m x 5m and 500kg/m2, however, we can offer bigger spans and heavier load capacities as required.

Q. Can we have a mix of uses - storage, retail space and offices on one mezzanine?

A. Yes. As a leading solutions provider, we have the capability to integrate mezzanine flooring with all types of racking.

Q. How can we regulate temperature/sound levels?

A. Having tried and tested other types over the years, we recommend the Cassette system.  This is a pre-manufactured, flexible partition system made of steel which protects workers from noise, EMP, dirt and dust emanating from the space below. A superb range of Cassettes kitted out as offices are also available. All Cassette systems can be constructed hanging from the ceiling or integrated within the mezzanine installation.

Q. What are the different access options?

A.  The most obvious choice is by staircase, which can be fabricated to whatever size you need. Lift options are also available, which are ideal for retail environments.

Q. Are there any specific fire regulations?

A. It depends on the size of installation and what it is being used for. A small mezzanine floor that is just used for storage, that is less than 20m long and covers less than 50% of the overall floor area may not need to be fire rated but larger floors, or floors with offices located on them, will need to be fire rated with a minimum fire rating of 60 minutes.

Q. Can it be reconfigured and/or re-sited if needs be?

A.  As it is made from strong but lightweight steel it can be demounted, re-sited, reused and re-purposed any number of times.

Q. Which EU codes are involved?

A. As you may imagine, there are a host of EU codes and sub-codes that apply to the design of steel structures. The majority of those that relate to mezzanine floors and the ancillary items such as staircases, guards, handrails and edge protection are contained in EN 1993, which is universally known as Eurocode 3.  CE Marking is now also a requirement for Mezzanine floors.

Q. I’ve heard mezzanine floors need planning permission and building regulations certificates. Is this true?

A. This depends on which country it will be installed in. Some countries, such as the UK, have recently introduced the need for planning permission for a single mezzanine floor of 200 sq m. However it is confusing as this only applies in some locations and in certain situations. With our engineering knowledge we are able to help our clients with building approvals in each specific location. Your local Dexion team will be able to advise on what the specific requirements are for your country.

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