Industrial Mezzanine Applications:
A mezzanine is an elevated floor system that typically sits between the ground and ceiling in a building. The goal of installing one can be to create more space for storage, or even as stairs leading up from another level within the same room. Rules outlined by the building code help determine if it’s technically considered either an intermediate level or its own “story.”
Generally, a mezzanine is considered an intermediate level if the floor is more than 6 ft. above or 8 in. below grade or a walking surface; and has its own exit stairway, fire-resistance rating and means of egress. The floor must be able to support that load without exceeding the allowable stress limits.
10 Awesome Ways to Use a Mezzanine
The primary purpose of any industrial warehouse mezzanine installation is to increase the total amount of available and usable space within a facility. While there are many ways that companies use their steel platform, here’s our list (in no particular order) outlining ten common uses for work platforms:
1) Work Platform
The work platform for mezzanines are mainly a steel surface that is elevated within the warehouse. They provide an easy space where employees can go to do their tasks such as assembly, packaging and order fulfillment. Another thing about these platforms is they keep employee’s feet from slipping off of it while working on top so there is no risk in falling through or getting injured if one slips up at any point during the day with this safety precaution put into place! You can make access even easier for your teammates if you have a lift for mezzanine!
2) Storage Deck
No list of top ten mezzanine applications would be complete without mentioning “storage decks” as an option. As companies grow and expand, the amount of stuff that needs to be safely stored seems to multiply: Important documents and records can easily find their place on a storage deck; extra inventory or seasonal products will always have plenty room for growth in your space – they are accessible from both sides with gates that provide access points opening up into the warehouse area below (and may include material lifts).
3) Conveyor Support Platforms
Conveyor support platforms are another terrific example of the variety of mezzanine applications that is available to warehouses and distribution centers. Many companies want automate technology in their facilities, but many fail to consider how much space it will occupy on the ground floor when automation takes up valuable real estate. Steel platform conveyors have been used for years as a mobile work-space solution in warehouse operations all over because they contain automated processes above the work floor, freeing up more time-sensitive tasks at ground level.
4) In-Plant Offices
Your in-plant, mezzanine office is the perfect way to get more work done with less of a headache. You’ll have all your coworkers close by, and you won’t need to worry about intruding on their space. The sound panels enclosing these structures ensure peace and quiet for employees who work from them by reducing noise pollution inside the plant itself as well as in the office; this means that even those working at or near ground level will have little distraction thanks to their enclosed nature – perfect!
5) Observation Deck
Do you sometimes feel like your warehouse is a black hole? Have no idea what’s going on without the right tools to measure success, and need an all-round view of operations in order to optimize them? Mezzanine investments are more than just walkways – they’re also platforms for observation. As such, these platform decks or mezzanines provide businesses with opportunities to observe their facility from above while assessing performance so that improvements can be made accordingly. Allowing managers and executives alike the opportunity not only see but assess where changes should take place will help set any company up for success!
Catwalks are a great way to make the most of your space. By elevating pedestrian walkways with steel platforms, you’ll be able to get around your facility with limited distraction, and maximum safety!
7) Dedicated Maintenance Area
A dedicated maintenance area is important for quality repairs and can be achieved with a mezzanine office design. With the use of steel, security features are also possible to ensure only authorized personnel have access to these platforms which oftentimes store expensive tools needed for repair work.
8) Equipment Access
One of the most beneficial mezzanine applications is equipment access. Warehouses and distribution centers have machinery that are large, which cannot be easily accessed for daily production needs or routine maintenance. Mezzanines are a great solution in these instances as they provide personnel with quick access to the task at hand while also being safer than other alternatives like ladders.
9) Rack and Shelving
A mezzanine storage area has been a popular choice for warehouses and distribution centers because of their versatility. Companies that use them can reconfigure the space designated by a platform to meet their needs when necessary, which is often when inventory or storage goals change . This means companies looking for more efficient ways of storing products will find exactly what they need.
10) Product Display Area
Industrial mezzanines are perfect for showrooms and product demonstrations. They can be customized to perfectly fit a facility’s space specifications, giving them designated areas that won’t interfere with revenue-generating activities below.
Mezzanines provide a wealth of benefits for those who choose to invest in going up. With the additional square footage that an industrial mezzanine provides, companies are able to avoid wasting time and money on new construction or facility moves-the structure’s specifications dictate how much installation work will be required, but most can go up within weeks without interrupting daily activities. In this era where it is just as important – if not more so–to save minutes than dollars when looking at finances, investing in these mezzanine options saves both!
Mezzanine Code Requirements
A mezzanine is an intermediate level between the floor and ceiling of any story. In regards to the building code, mezzanines must comply in accordance with Section 505.2 of the International Building Code (IBC).
A mezzanine in compliance with Section 505.2 shall be considered a portion of the story it serves below. Such mezzanines do not need to contribute to either the building area or number of stories as regulated by Section 503.1, when determining how big or tall a building can be. However, even though it is not factored into the building area, its square footage shall be included when determining the fire area.
505.2.1 Mezzanine Area Limitation (Limited Area)
The minimum height of a mezzanine should be no less than 7 feet high. This is to ensure safety, just as well as the space feeling open and spacious, not cramped or claustrophobic.
How big can a Mezzanine floor be?
The total area of a mezzanine within a room shall be no greater than 1/3 the floor area of the room in which it is located. However, there are some exceptions to this rule that can allow for more space on top and below if certain factors such as building type construction and sprinkler system require it.
505.2.2 Means of Egress for Mezzanines (Exiting)
The means of egress for mezzanines must follow the rules for Chapter 10. A mezzanine is a space with an occupant load (a person). The code requires that you make sure people can get out of it easily by following the rules in Chapter 10.
A mezzanine is an area that can be used as a room or space if it has the appropriate occupant load. Mezzanines are not required to have any additional exiting requirements, but must abide by other code regulations such as egress rules in Chapter 10 of the International Code Council’s building codes (ICC).
505.2.3 Mezzanine Openness
A mezzanine is a raised area that spans the width of a room and does not touch any other structure. The design will be open to anyone entering, except for walls no more than 42 inches high.
Can a Mezzanine be Enclosed?
If your project includes an enclosed mezzanine, then you need to take additional steps to ensure that the space meets building code requirements. The code does allow for some exceptions related to the “openness” of a mezzanine. If you meet these criteria, then your mezzanine space doesn’t have to be open at all – one exception would be if it’s occupant load is not more than 10 and another would be if there are two exits out of that room or area. In this case, an enclosed portion could still exist in any given floor plan design.
Summary of Mezzanine Code Requirements
– A mezzanine is an intermediate level between the floor and ceiling of any story.
– The clear height above and below a mezzanine shall not be less than 7 feet.
– The total area of a mezzanine within a room shall be not greater than 1/3 the floor area of the room in which it is located.
– The means of egress for mezzanines shall comply with the applicable provisions of Chapter 10.
– A mezzanine shall be open to the room in which it is located or enclosed depending on the occupant load or number of exits serving the mezzanine space as noted above.
– A mezzanine in compliance with Section 505.2 shall be considered a portion of the story it serves below and does not need to contribute to either the maximum allowable building area or number of stories as regulated by Section 503.1, however its square footage shall be included when determining the fire area.