Have you outgrown your current premises and need to find a way to expand your storage capacity? Or need more office space for meetings? The usual answer to this problem is to look for an alternative accommodation. However, this process can be both time consuming and expensive. For some businesses, a move just doesn’t make sense, so what alternatives are available? In short, building a mezzanine may be the best solution. Allegheny Design Services has plenty of mezzanine design experience and can customize them to meet any of your needs.
Building a Mezzanine
A mezzanine is a raised platform between the floor and ceiling of a building. You can customize a mezzanine in all shapes and sizes to fit your needs and maximize the space of your building. They provide additional space above and below and can be built free of the existing structure. They’re usually added to new and existing Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings (PEMB) with high roofs and large open spaces. Mezzanines are custom-made and tailored to the needs and specifications of the client.
The mezzanine column layout, which includes column spacing and column configuration, is crucial if the Mezzanine will be built over equipment, work areas or high traffic areas. The design of the mezzanine is impacted by the number of support columns or walls that can be located on the floor, as well as if any existing columns can be used for support. If existing columns are used to support the new mezzanine, the columns and footings will be tested to ensure they can handle the additional loads. Traditional wide span designs require fewer support columns, but cause higher loads per column, increasing the need for additional concrete footings. ADS can help determine the best layout for you and tailored it to fit your desired floor plan, while trying to find the most economical solution.
Since a mezzanine is usually built on top of an existing floor, it must be determined if the floor slab is strong enough to support the new structure. The main characteristics used to determine slab strength are the slab thickness, concrete strength, concrete reinforcement, and soil bearing capacity. If these properties aren’t known, existing construction drawings will be needed to clarify them. A geotechnical engineer will need to take core samples to analyze the slab and soil bearing strength. In most cases, an average 6” slab is used, so an additional footing may or may not be required depending of the loads. ADS will be able to help you determine if the existing slab will provide the necessary support. We will also recommend any structural foundation additions.
Deck Surface Type
Mezzanines are available with a variety of flooring material depending on the usage of the mezzanine. Steel roof decking is the most commonly used mezzanine deck; however, it can then be covered with a variety of floor surfaces. The most commonly available floor surfaces are high density wood, plywood, steel plating or concrete flooring. There are also custom deck surfaces available that don’t require steel roof decking, such as fiberglass, grating or aluminum plating. ADS can easily determine and design the best deck surface available when building a mezzanine.
Mezzanines are a great way to increase storage and office space by using the wasted space between the floor and the ceiling. The key is to have a dedicated design team that can tailor it to your needs.
By Bryan R. Gallion, EIT | Jr. Structural Engineer