1. What is a Mezzanine Floor?

A Mezzanine Floor level, by definition, refers to an intermediate floor between two others. In the context of a warehouse factory or shed, the two other stories are the ground floor level and the roof. Space Rescue are industrial warehouse Mezzanine Floor builders who can design, supply and install or, simply design and supply a Mezzanine Floor kit. With a Mezzanine Floor in a shed, the kits price is quite reasonable.

This picture shows a blue and silver coloured Mezzanine Floor with a staircase and guardrail.


2. Summary

3. Labelled Drawing of a Mezzanine Floor

To help you understand the terminology, below is a steel Mezzanine Floor kit plan and elevation drawing with labels showing the main components.

This drawing shows an example of a Plan View and an Elevation showing columns, beams, joists, guardrail and one staircase for a typical Mezzanine Floor design.

2. The benefits of building a Mezzanine Floor

(i) A simple solution to your space needs

Industrial Mezzanines are a simple yet highly effective means of increasing the floor area within the confines of an existing warehouse by simply adding in an additional level.

(ii) Less expensive than moving

Space Rescue are industrial Mezzanine Floor builders with the ability to design cost effective solutions of any floor size and shape to save you the expense in time and money of having to move to larger premises.


4. Elements and sizes of an industrial Mezzanine Floor

a) Sub-Structure

The Sub-Structure is typically assembled from structural steel components (columns and main beams) as described in Type A below or Pallet Racking (End Frames and Beams) as described in Type B below.

b) Deck

Tongue & groove flooring boards, or mesh decks, make up the deck surface. Floor Boards rest on top of the joists. The main beams support the joists within the sub-structure. Deck height, or the top of the finished floor is generally between 2.4m and 4.5m.


5. Uses for a Mezzanine Floor

a) Storage

In most instances an industrial steel Warehouse Mezzanine structure is used to provide additional Mezzanine storage for pallets. When pallets are involved, the use of a Safety Pallet Gate and Pallet Jack would be required. As the Pallet Jack can exert high point loads, it is important to consider this when selecting the flooring material.

A Mezzanine Platform is simply another term widely used to describe a Warehouse Mezzanine used for Mezzanine storage. They are typically found in a warehouse or industrial setting. Similarly, a Raised Storage Area (also known by the acronym RSA) or Raised Storage Platform are two other terms used to describe the same.

What shelving types are used on top of the floor?

We recommend the use of Longspan Shelving or Steel Shelving on top of the floor. Similar to a Pallet Jack, it is important to note that shelving can also exert high point loads down on to the floor surface.

b) Additional Office Space

It is common practise to increase the working area in a factory unit or warehouse by building a Mezzanine Office above or below the deck of the industrial Mezzanine Floor. This enclosed space is can be used for additional offices, manufacturing, working or assembly areas.

This can all be achieved with the use of partitions. Designs typically consist of stud walls and a combination of windows and doors.

In this scenario, fall protection on top of the floor would be provided by the partitions and hence a guardrail, or handrail, system would not be required.


6. Mezzanine Floor plan

To help you understand the terminology, below is a steel Mezzanine Floor kit plan and elevation drawing with labels showing the main components.

This drawing shows an example of a Plan View and an Elevation showing columns, beams, joists, guardrail and one staircase for a typical Mezzanine Floor design.

7. Components needed to build a Mezzanine Floor

a) Columns

Columns (also known as posts) support the steel Mezzanine Floor deck. They are an important part of an industrial Mezzanine Floor Kit. Posts are almost always square hollow steel sections and are typically around 100mm x 100mm in size. At the upper end of the post are the main beams. The main beams sit directly on top of the posts. A bolted connection secures the post to the beam.

b) Baseplates

The welding of a baseplate at the bottom of a post is common. It consists of a thick square steel flat plate that is typically of 300mm x 300mm size. A baseplate helps to spread the load over the concrete slab. Anchors fix the baseplate the slab.

c) Floor Anchors

Floor anchors fix the posts to the slab. They anchor in to your concrete slab (or concrete footing) with floor anchors via a baseplate welded at the bottom of the post.

d) Beams

Main beams are the horizontal structural steel members, typically Structural I-beams (also know as RSJ’s) that sit on top of the columns. They are a common part of a steel Mezzanine Floor kit. These beams provide support for the floor joists (and boards in some designs). In some instances, pre-cast concrete walls support the floor. These locations do not require posts.

e) Joists

Joists are also horizontal steel members and an essential element in an industrial Mezzanine Floor kit. They support the flooring material. Main beams and or side wall brackets support the joists. We use cold-rolled C-shaped purlins for our joists made by passing flat galvanised coil steel through a rollformer to form these long sections. They sit either directly on top of or within the depth of the main beams. Joists sit beside one another on a regular spacing. This spacing is typically 400mm centre to centre. Their orientation is almost always perpendicular to the main beams.

f) Flooring

Flooring boards sit immediately on top of the joists. Self tapping screws (also known as self drilling screws) afix the flooring sheets to the joists. Several different types of floor surface are available depending upon your application. These include tongue & groove floor boards (commonly Industrial Particleboard or Structural Plywood) and or an open style steel grate.

The tongue & groove board design provides greater strength around the areas where two boards butt up against one another. A PVC tongue joins the two adjacent boards through opposing board edge grooves to stop differential vertical movement. This keeps the floor nice and flat, particularly as dynamic loads are moved across it’s surface.

g) Balustrades

A balustrade is simply a low height barrier that stands between 900mm to 1100mm high. It is used on the side of staircases, stairwells, walkways, catwalks and exposed Mezzanine Floor edges to stop people falling from heights above one metre.

There are two situations that need to be considered.

Firstly, if your floor will be used by the public; more stringent design requirements must be adhered to. For public use, the balustrade cannot have any openings greater than 125 mm. This requirement is to help prevent people, and in particular small children; from falling through them.

Furthermore, if the floor is higher than 4 metres, the balustrade must also not have any climbable elements, such as
horizontal rails, located between 150 millimetres and 760 millimetres from the floor.

The second situation is where the floor’s use is restricted only to those working within the organisation. This case permits the use of a simple guardrail design. Please refer to the guardrail section below for more details.

h) Guardrail and Mezzanine Floors

Overview

The guardrail system is a simple and very common Mezzanine Floor balustrade arrangement, designed to provide safety for personnel on and under a mezzanine floor level. It consists of a top tubular steel handrail, tubular steel mid rail (a.k.a. knee rail or intermediate rail) and kick-plate (a.k.a. toe plate or toeboard). All three elements must be installed parallel to the walkway or floor. They are supported steel tubular stanchions that feature hollow balls at the handrail and midrail heights. The hollow balls permit the tubular rails to be passed through the stanchions. Stanchions are bolted to the Mezzanine Floor deck and the rails are welded to the stanchion balls.

Design

Identical to the balustrade’s overall height requirement, the top of the handrail must also be between 900mm and 1100mm. Steel tubular rails are typically supplied with a galvanised finish. They are required to be between 30mm and 65mm in external diameter. When installed, the distance between the underside of the knee rail and the top of the flooring board is to be no greater more than 560mm. Similarly, the gap between bottom of the handrail tube and the top of the mid rail tube is to be no more than 450mm.

Kick-plates are used at the floor edge within the guardrail system to help prevent objects from falling on personnel accessing the area below. The top of kick-plate needs to be a minimum of 100mm above the floor. When fitted, any gaps between the bottom of the kick-plate and the floor must be less than 10mm.

i) Staircases

Staircase design may consist of straight sections, landings and returns. The positioning of a staircase is often based upon the platform size, shape, warehouse layout and operational constraints.


8. Sub-Structure options for steel Mezzanine Floors

a) Structural Steel

A structural steel sub-structure supports the deck in a Structural Mezzanine Floor. It has the advantage of typically being able to offer greater clear spans under your floor and hence greater flexibility with the placement of support columns. This creates opportunity for larger clear areas, or more free and open space, to accommodate specific work areas, machinery and stock movement.

b) Pallet Racking

A Pallet Rack Mezzanine, or Rack Supported Floor, typically consists of Pallet Racking components supporting the deck such as frames and beams. Pallet storage and shelving under the deck is common with this structure.

Extending these frames above the floor level has its advantages. For example, it provides a ready made means for including shelving above the floor.

Use of Longspan Shelving as another sub-structure material is also common. Less common is Steel Shelving.


9. Design of a Structural Steel Mezzanine Floor

a) Types of Mezzanine Floors

i) Free-Standing Mezzanine Floor

As the name suggests, this style of Mezzanine Structure relies only on the columns for support. It can stand freely without any other supporting aid.

ii) Wall Supported Warehouse Mezzanine Floor

There is often the option in modern warehouses to use adjacent concrete slab walls (also known as tilt slab) for supporting your floor. As a result, this saves cost and removes the need for some columns thus improving the open area under your floor. A bracket, bolted to the wall, supports the floor.

b) Three types of Deck Design

i) Standard Deck design

A typical Mezzanine Floor deck design consists of the joists laying directly on top of the main beams. Joists, commonly consisting of C shaped purlins are bolted to cleats that are welded on top of the supporting beam. This is commonly referred to as a top mount design. This deeper profile deck design is used when there is plenty of roof clearance.

ii) Low profile Deck design

In some instances, particularly when warehouse roof heights are low, we can reduce the deck profile height by positioning the joists within the profile height of the beam. Here, the joists are in bolted to the beam via welded cleats. This design positions the top of the joists so that they are at the same height as the top of the beam. Concealing the height of the joist within the often deeper height of the beam considerably reduces the deck profile height. This design technique is often the difference in making the addition of a mezzanine area viable.

iii) Combination of Standard and Low Profile Deck Design

In some situations, it is not possible to place the main beam directly adjacent to the wall. To overcome this, joists are cantilevered out from a beam set back from the wall. It permits cantilever arrangement may be used with a top mount designWith this restriction, a top mount design is used if it is not practicable to run joists from the beam to the wall and use the wall to support the joists.

Another situation is where it is necessary to cantilever the joists up close to a busy wall. In this scenario, the main beams adjacent the busy wall side uses a top mount design and the joists are stopped before the wall so as not to interfere with any data, water or power fixtures.

c) Beam Span and Support

There are always a number of ways to support the main beams. This flexibility, along with a variety of beam sizes, provides opportunity to accommodate the particular needs of our customers. We have the ability to remove central support posts by using larger spans to create clearer areas under the Mezzanine Floor. In addition to this, we are also able to remove beams and their posts adjacent to concrete tilt slab walls by using long wall angles to support purlins at their wall ends. Similarly, we are also able to remove posts under central beams that are adjacent to concrete tilt slab walls by using a wall support bracket.


10. Accessories for Mezzanine Floors

a) Access Ladders

An alternative to a staircase is an access ladder. Some of the reasons you would choose an access ladder over a staircase is that they are cheaper and take-up less space. Access ladders are not as safe and are a more awkward means of access. They are included as a secondary access means behind a staircase.

b) Pallet Gates

Pallet Gates consist of sliding, swing or roll-over access. Interestingly, their selection is dependent on budget and operation. Their use makes it possible to transfer palletised loads or cages up on to your platform.

c) Pallet Landing Skids

Steel plates protect the floor in the area where you deposit and retrieve pallets from.

d) Column / Post Protectors

As in Pallet Racking, column or post protection is available for protecting structural steel columns or uprights within pallet rack supported floor levels.

e) Catwalks

A raised horizontal walkway is the definition of a catwalk. A catwalk connects two platforms together or joins an existing stair landing to a platform.

f) Pallet Jacks on Mezzanine Floor Levels

For some storage Mezzanines, a Pallet Jack, or Pallet Truck, will be needed and reside on top of the floor. These Pallet Jacks are used to place pallets in to position after they have been lifted up on to the Mezzanine Level. Similarly, they are also used to retrieve pallets and place them near the Pallet Gate in readiness for a Forklift or Walkie Stacker to collect.


11. What is a Raised Storage Area?

A Raised Storage Area is the name given to a Mezzanine Floor that is used for the general storage of items, products or stock. Also known as a Raised Storage Platform, this type of floor is typically designed with a higher floor load rating that is equal to or greater than 500 kg per square metre. On the other hand, a Mezzanine Floor typically refers to an area that is built for the purpose of creating extra working space for personnel. This usage has a lesser floor load rating deign requirement equal to 300kg per square metre or more.


12. Do you supply Mezzanine Floor Kits for sale?

Yes, Space Rescue can supply Mezzanine Floor Kits. Delivering Mezzanine Floor materials in kit form is an option we provide on a case by case basis as some of our customers are qualified builders and experienced erecting this type of structure. We are able to deliver Mezzanine Floor kits to anywhere within Australia including regional areas.


3. Considerations for your Mezzanine Floor level design

To help you, here is a list of Mezzanine considerations below.

a) Mezzanine size & shape

Note: We can build your Mezzanine to almost any size or shape!

  • What length would you like your proposed floor to be?
  • What shape would you like your floor to be? (right angled, rectangular, U-shaped or other?)
  • What depth (or width) would you like your floor to be?
  • Would you like to provide a rough sketch with approximate dimensions of the shape that you are thinking of?
  • Would you like to extend your existing Mezzanine?

b) Support by column and wall brackets

Note: We can place columns and supports almost anywhere!

  • Is there a need a for large open spans with limited obstructions under your Mezzanine floor?
  • Do you require a certain spacing between columns?
  • Would you like us to create a specific clear area under your floor?
  • In lieu of some columns, we may be able to create more clear unobstructed area for you by supporting the floor using brackets affixed to your concrete tilt slab walls ?

c) Mezzanine Floor height

Note: We can build either a single steel Mezzanine level or one with multiple storeys!

  • Top of Floor height ?
  • Clear underneath height ?

d) Access

Note: This consideration relates to provisions for people and product to gain access whilst complying with the building codes for egress

  • Where would you like your staircase ?
  • Would you like a manual or automated pallet gate for loading materials on to your Mezzanine Level ?
  • Is there a need for a conveyor to bring stock down from on top of your industrial Mezzanine floor?
  • Is there a need for a stair ladder ?
  • Do you think there may be a need for several staircases?
  • Are you planning on utilising an existing staircase or upstairs offfice for access?

e) Load Rating

Note: you may request a a floor load rating to suit almost any floor loading application.

  • Will you use your Mezzanine Floor level for storage or additional working space?
  • Will there be high point loads on top of your industrial Mezzanine level?
  • Will you be using a Pallet Jack on top of your Raised Storage Area?

f) Fall Protection

Note: we can build different styles of balustrades depending upon on the usage!

  • Which sides of your floor will not be adjacent to your building walls or your existing Mezzanine Level?
  • Are you planning on building an office with partitions on top of your Mezzanine Floor?
  • Will your floor be open to the public?

13. FAQ General

How much does a Warehouse Mezzanine cost?

The cost for a warehouse Mezzanine Floor level varies dramatically depending upon the size, shape, floor height, floor capacity, number of staircases, access ladders and pallet gates required, post, frame or wall support, sub-floor design, decking material and type of deck profile. Typically Mezzanine Floor prices range from $300+GST to $500+GST per sq. metre depending upon the floor size and complexity.

Are Mezzanines expensive?

A warehouse Mezzanine Floor is a relatively inexpensive capital works cost to create a new space or to change the use and function of an existing space within the confines of your warehouse, shed, building or factory. It is often an attractive option compared to the expense of relocating or acquiring additional business premises.

Does a Factory Mezzanine need planning permission?

Planning permission requirements vary depending location. We recommend checking with your local council and authorities prior to understand what your local requirements are.


13. FAQ Technical

How thick is a Mezzanine Floor?

The deck of a warehouse Mezzanine Floor consists of the decking surface, the joists and the main support beams. Typically the deck profile height will be around 300mm to 450mm in total thickness.

What is the standard height of an industrial Mezzanine Floor in a shed?

In general, we like to build our warehouse Mezzanines with a top of deck height of around 3000mm. In saying that, it is possible to reduce the deck height to below 2500mm as long as there is at least 2100mm head clearance under the floor to comply with egress regulations.

What is the minimum ceiling height for a warehouse Mezzanine Floor in shed?

The Australian Building Code requires a minimum head clearance of 2100mm. This is necessary above and below the floor.

How much weight can an industrial Mezzanine Floor support?

We can design your warehouse Mezzanine level to suit the usage. The usage can dictate the minimum floor capacity requirement. For additional office space we would recommend at least 300 kg per sq. metre (approx. 3kPa). For additional storage space we would recommend at least 500kg per sq. metre (approx. 5kPa). We are also able to design for higher floor ratings if required.


14. Popularity and Availability

Industrial Mezzanine Floors have become increasingly popular with the never ending rise in cost per square metre of usable warehouse shed floor space and expense in relocating.

Space Rescue have been designing, supplying, building and installing steel Mezzanines for over 14 years in Australia on relatively short lead-times.

We can provide industrial warehouse Mezzanine Floor level kits for sale in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth plus surrounding regional areas.


15. Other solutions

Our Cantilever Racking, Storage Compactors, Industrial Shelving, Dunnage Rack and Pallet Rack Workbenches may also be interest.


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