MEZZANINE FLOOR BUILDING REGULATIONS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
It's important to adhere to building regulations when implementing a mezzanine floor solution. So we're taking a deeper look at the considerations when designing a mezzanine floor in line with the regulations.
Each mezzanine floor build is subject to the building control regulations. Building control is not to be confused with planning permission. Put simply building control is a set of rules that must be adhered to when implementing any form of construction or alteration to your premises. It is a formal process that involves obtaining permissions and approvals from your local authorities (council and fire), with the sole purpose of ensuring that any works you undertake are implemented to a standard that is acceptable. The standards are there to protect people’s safety, health, and welfare.
The main considerations of building control with relation to mezzanine floor building regulations are:
PART A - STRUCTURAL SAFETY
WAREHOUSE SLAB DETAILS
Another key part of the structural process is confirming that the warehouse slab can accept the loads of the mezzanine columns and base plates. This is verified by understanding the slabs capabilities and comparing it with the loads coming down the mezzanine column. The information required from the client to verify the loadings are thickness of the slab and the ground bearing pressure.
FIRE PROTECTION APPLIED TO THE STRUCTURE
Mezzanine structures can be clad with a suspended ceiling, column cases and fascia to protect the structure with up to one hour’s fire resistance in the event of a fire. Without these protective materials, the structure on its own offers no protective measures when subjected to a fire and would potentially collapse.
The only structures that are potentially exempt from requiring fire protection are storage mezzanine floors that meet all of the following parameters: (All other floors will require fire protection irrespective of intended use)
- Does not exceed 50% of the footprint of the building
- Does not exceed 400no. square metres in size
- Does not exceed more than 20 metres in any direction
- Will not have operatives working on or below the floor
- Will only be used for storage with occasional access.
When it comes to office mezzanine floors, if the structure is to take up more than 20% of the unit’s floor space, then there must be fire protected materials installed between the office and the rest of the facility. This may require the installation of fire resistant partitions, doors, glass and suspended ceilings to achieve this.
STAIRCASES & THEIR LOCATIONS
Another requirement from building control is the number of staircases required and their specific locations. There are maximum travel distances that must not be exceeded. As a rule of thumb, you need to be no more than a maximum of 25 metres to the bottom of the staircase at any time (considering any potential obstacles on the floor such as shelving, pallets or machinery) and no more than 45 metres to the final exit if there is more than one staircase.
If these numbers are exceeded, additional staircases are required to ensure the maximum distance to safety is adhered to. If the intended use of the mezzanine floor is office space, the maximum distance to the bottom of the staircase is reduced to 18 metres.
Also if the floor has high occupancy levels (such as a floor used for office space or production/manufacturing) then it is often a requirement that at least one of the staircases is enclosed using fire protective materials too.
PART M - ACCESS TO AND THE USE OF THE BUILDING
Building control stipulates that the mezzanine floor needs to be designed with consideration to all potential users, including the elderly, wheelchair users or individuals with limited mobility. These rules and regulations are less applicable to storage mezzanine floors and are more applicable to mezzanine floors with the intended use of office space or in situations where there is an exclusive operation on the floor that cannot be situated on the ground floor. To combat this, a lift is often introduced into the scheme to allow access for all potential users.
Depending on its use, building control stipulates the parameters around which a staircase should be designed. For example a staircase used in an industrial environment (a storage mezzanine floor) requires the rise of each tread to fall between 150-170mm and the tread itself to measure between 250mm and 400mm. Whilst the staircase width is specified to be between 800mm -1000mm. The regulations also state that a landing is required after 12 risers but this can be extended to 16 in exceptional circumstances where the property is short on space, these risers should be closed too.
However these stipulations are slightly different when it comes to a staircase that accesses an office mezzanine floor. In this instance, the staircase must be 1200mm wide with no more than 12 risers before a landing is required. The staircase is widened to allow people to pass one another on the stairs and like in an industrial environment, the risers also need to be closed on this type of staircase.
In both environments contrasting nosings are required on the staircase steps whilst there must be no more than 1 metre width between the handrails.
HOW DO WE ENSURE OUR DESIGNS AND PROPOSALS CONFORM TO BUILDING REGULATIONS?
As you can see there are varying factors that will influence the cost of your mezzanine floor project and ultimately without a site survey and consultation it’s not possible to apply a blanket approach to your project.
Our intention is to provide you as quickly as possible with a rough budget price so you can determine if you wish to pursue the project further. This can often be achieved after an initial survey and discussion. Once a budget is established, we can then refine the design and provide a formal quotation. Be wary of companies providing prices over the phone without knowledge of the site specifics. Often prices can be way off budget and waste a lot of your time.
When you work with Nexus, we ensure that your mezzanine floor design meets all the required building regulations, no matter your needs for the new space. We ensure that no corners are cut when it comes to designing your mezzanine floor and take every precaution to ensure your new facilities meet all the legal requirements. So if you’re looking to implement a mezzanine floor solution within your warehouse premises, we can help. Get in touch today either by calling 0113 831 3303, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org , filling in our contact form or using our live chat feature.