Mezzanine building regulations explained
Installing a mezzanine floor in your current place of work isn’t as simple as adding an additional floor to your space. There are strict mezzanine building regulations that have to be adhered to in order to ensure your new space is safe to work with, not just for you but for staff, visitors and potentially members of the public.
If you need to expand your current building space but aren’t sure what building regulations your project will have to comply with, Mezz One provides all the information you need to know in this handy guide.
What mezzanine building regulations do you have to adhere to?
Mezzanine Building Regulations Part A – Structural Safety
The structural integrity of the mezzanine must be verified, and all associated structural calculations must be provided. Mezzanine floors are designed using a software package that calculates the loadings of the floor, ensuring that no weight limits are exceeded. The calculations are created based on the requirements of the floor, such as the column layout, floor levels, and the weight load that the floor will be subjected to.
When constructing a mezzanine, it’s important to confirm that the warehouse slab can support the weight of the mezzanine columns and base plates. We achieve this by confirming the capabilities of your slab in comparison to loads of the columns.
Part B – Fire Safety
Structural fire protection
Mezzanine structures need to be protected from fire with materials like suspended ceilings, column cases, and fascia. Without these, the structure would be at risk of collapsing in a fire.
The only structures that are potentially exempt from requiring fire protection are storage mezzanine floors that meet all of the following parameters:
- Does not exceed 50% of the building’s footprint
- 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 limited access
All other floors will require fire protection, irrespective of use.
If you are planning an office mezzanine and this takes up over 20% of your floor space, fire-resistant materials must be installed between the office location and the remainder of your building. Fire-resistant partitions, suspended ceilings and doors can help to achieve this.
Detectors and lighting
Mezzanine building regulations state that mezzanines must have smoke detectors installed underneath the floor according to regulations. The number of detectors required depends on the size and usage of the floor. Your detectors will be connected to the main alarm system alerting all onsite to the potential danger and promoting an evacuation. Your mezzanine will also need emergency lighting to support a safe exit during a power outage.
The location of staircases
Mezzanine building regulations state that a specific staircase amount and their locations should also be adhered to. There are maximum travel distances that must not be exceeded. You need to be no more than a maximum of 25m to the bottom of the staircase at any time and no more than 45 metres to the final exit if there is more than one staircase. This rule is in place so that people have enough time to exit the building in an emergency situation.
If you exceed these numbers, you will need to include additional staircases. For office space mezzanines, the distance to the bottom of your staircase should be 18m. For office space or production areas, mezzanine building regulations require that at least one staircase is enclosed with fire protection materials.
Mezzanine Building Regulations Part K – Reducing the risk of falls
Mezzanine building regulations stipulate that all exposed edges of your mezzanine floor should have a handrail system installed to protect any users from the potential of falling. Warehouse mezzanines must include a top rail, middle rail and a kick plate, which will reduce the likelihood of objects falling to the floor below. If you plan to use your mezzanine floor for members of the public, your handrails must be safe for children to use, and the handrail must have no gaps.
For companies planning to use their mezzanine floors for loading and unloading materials or stock, mezzanine building regulations state that you must have a consistent edge between the employee and the edge of the mezzanine floor. Having pallet gates installed will provide protection for staff who are loading and unloading material or stock.
Part M – Accessing and using your building
Your building should be accessible to all, including the elderly, wheelchair users and those with mobility difficulties. This means your mezzanine should be designed with this in mind. This building regulation is more aimed at mezzanine floors that will require access at all times – offices – rather than storage floors.
Depending on its purpose, building control usually has a few guidelines in place dictating how a staircase should be designed. If your staircase will be used in an industrial environment, the rise of each tread should be between 150mm-170mm and the tread will measure between 250mm-400mm. Additionally, the staircase’s width is typically supposed to be between 800mm and 1000mm. Another guideline states that there should be a landing present after every 12 risers; however, this number could be extended to 16 risers in cases where the property doesn’t have enough space. In such instances, it’s also necessary for the risers to be closed.
If your staircase accesses an office mezzanine, the staircase must be 1200mm wide with no more than 12 risers before a landing is required. The staircase is designed to be wider to help pass on the stairs, and risers will need to be closed in for this staircase.
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Build your safe mezzanine with Mezz One today!
Our goal at Mezz One is to get you an idea of pricing as soon as possible, so you can see if the project is worth pursuing further. We can often do this after a brief survey and conversation. Once we have a budget set, we can then work on the design and give you an official quote. Working with an independent building control officer, we ensure your mezzanine design and installation meets all mezzanine building regulations leaving you with a safe floor to work with.
To get your mezzanine installation started today, give us a call and speak to a helpful member of the team who will be able to provide you with more information on how to get your quote started.