The BRE Digest 437 explained
The Building Research Establishment (BRE) have a long-standing reputation for providing technical and information papers produced that support a wide range of sectors with official guidance and government regulations.
The BRE Digest 437 has come as a result of 2 years of consultation and planning from the government with regard to the safety and design of mezzanine flooring. Under consultation were structural engineers and teams from the mezzanine flooring industry who all gave information and guidance for the minimum requirements and standards a mezzanine floor should follow and adhere to. The BRE guidance aims to relieve any difficulties with the current standards put in place by the government and gives industry experts concise and specific guidance relating to the construction of mezzanine floors and the minimum standards these floors should abide by.
Background and guidelines to the BRE Digest 437
For the average purchaser of a mezzanine floor, you may not be aware that the government have put specific guidance in place after numerous reports of failure in both design and performance of mezzanine platforms.
Any mezzanine found to be deviating from the recommendations and guidelines set out by the BRE Digest 437 may show reductions in performance and could put users, visitors and public members at risk through potential platform failure. Whilst these deviations may have resulted in a cost-saving exercise, they should be avoided at all costs to prevent accidents and injuries. Mezz One are proud to say that they follow all specifications and guidelines for the mezzanine flooring industry and meet all requirements of the BRE Digest 437.
The Mezz One guarantee
Mezz One ensures that your mezzanine floor is designed in compliance with current Building Regulations, quality standards, best practice guidance and fire regulations. We also assist in the submission of plans to achieve the required consents and will discuss any and all feedback of your plans to achieve the appropriate floor that complies with regulations.
Key changes introduced
There were a number of key changes that were introduced as a result of both reports that were sent and the consultations of industry experts. Below you can find a summary of the changes that were introduced and should be followed by all Mezzanine flooring companies throughout the UK.
Handrail and edge protection
Where toe plates are provided and installed, they should be robust and imperforate. Toe rails should extend to at least 100mm above the completed platform surface. The guarding design should provide for anchorage fixings to be connected to the supporting steel structure. Reliance should not be assumed on the integrity of the decking for support unless verified by testing and design calculations.
A minimum horizontal force of 2% of the total load should be assumed to be acting at the decking level. This has a significant impact on column design and bracing but improves the stability of the structure and provides a design that is fit for purpose for industrial platforms. BS5950:Part 1 was the previous standard that mezzanine flooring should follow and The horizontal force was four times smaller before the new standards came out.
P5 and P7 particle boards should be used when constructing a mezzanine floor. Both board types are moisture resistant. These particle boards are tongued and grooved for the purpose of increasing the structural integrity of the flooring when the boards are joined together. P5 and P7 particle boards retain 95% of their strength even after water penetration.
The BRE Digest 437 introduced the new reduced deflection design standards for decking design that reduces the bounce feel to a mezzanine floor.