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How to Create the Perfect Mezzanine Floor Work Space
At the design phase there are a number of key issues which must be checked.
1) How do you intend to get goods on and off the mezzanine floor?
2) How often are you going to be on the mezzanine floor?
3) Are you ever going to want to use the mezzanine floor for anything else?
4) How stable do you want the mezzanine floor to be?
5) What operations do you intend to have going on beneath the mezzanine floor?
6) What mechanical handling equipment do you intend to employ?
7) Have you any idea of the cost of a lift and do you know how many other low cost alternatives there are which comply to Building Regulations?
8) If you have not heard the term 'access statement' it is important.
9) Foundations are a major consideration.
10) There are several material handling, storage and distribution details which have a major impact upon the mezzanine floor design. These are frequently the last decision when they should be the first consideration.
11) If you think you are going to save money with second hand mezzanine flooring, think again. You are unlikely to buy a properly calculated structure, it is an unregulated industrial sector, it is fraught with regulation problems and in 25 years I have never seen a corrrectly engineered second hand installation and most of them cost more than a new mezzanine floor.
12) The secret to a successful, low cost mezzanine floor installation is to plan the application in every detail. The delete button is mightier than the cheque book and the best way to do this is to have professional advice from the start. It will always be cheaper for you in the long run. We do 3D drawings to show you exactly how your mezzanine floor will look in situ.
If you do not own your building, you will have to have permission from your landlord. If you are on a full repairing lease you will need good advice from the person who is installing your mezzanine floor (hopefully us and we are experts).
Fire regulations are based on a Fire Officer having to enter your building to rescue an individual. In some cases this is seconds before smoke, the most frequent cause of death, overcomes the victim. The clearest route is the best chance of survival. Cat ladders - vertical steel ladders are often put forward as solutions to these problems. We suggest you consider the possibility of you being taken down one of these with a fire officer with full breathing apparatus and you over his shoulder in a cat ladder barely large enough for both of you - a good reason for having a very well planned escape route and why the Fire Brigade and your insurance company are concerned about their safety and yours as opposed to how quickly you can get out of the building as an abled bodied person.
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