Friday 21st Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

The flexible alternative

Mezzanines have become increasingly popular over the past 20 years as they’re quick to install, cost effective and maximise floor space.

The market for mezzanine floors has been fuelled by a recent boom in property prices and many businesses throughout the UK are using dead space by investing in existing assets, rather than larger premises.

This in turn has fuelled demand for mezzanine flooring, as it is possible to double the floor area of a building for less than half the price of investing elsewhere.

But designers and warehouse managers face constantly increasing Health and Safety regulations that necessitate full accountability being taken for their actions. This has increased the need for more innovative designs.

Vanguard Mezzanines says whether considering the installation of a mezzanine floor within an existing building or incorporating in a new build, the designer needs to take into account the loadings the mezzanine will impose through the supporting columns. In most cases the mezzanine can be supported straight from the ground slab but sometimes this isn’t possible. Site ground conditions, high column loads imposed by large span column grids, and multi-tier mezzanines can create the need to support the independent foundations rather than using the ground floor slab for support. Storage and interiors specialist Butler & Willow, has completed a £300,000 project to design and install a 1,600sq m mezzanine floor at Games Workshop’s Eurohub distribution centre in Nottingham.

More than 120 mezzanine support columns were individually designed and located to ensure they did not affect access to existing carton live storage racks, conveyors or machinery. The column grid varied but was generally about 5.5 metres by 4.5 metres. The finished floor level was 4,000mm and the decking surface was a 38mm thick particle board.

Butler & Willow also supplied fire protection and power and lighting for the underside of the floor.

The new mezzanine floor has now freed up enough floor space for another operation to be accommodated at the site.

An extensive mezzanine is a key feature of IDS Logistics new 390,000 sq ft distribution centre in Sheffield which has been created to meet a growing demand for handling fast moving retail and fashion goods throughout the UK. The Sheffield site joins IDS sites at Keighley, Leeds and Wakefield and its flagship centre in Leicester. Each year IDS UK picks and despatches more than 160 million units to over 30 high street retailers and currently re-exports in excess of a thousand customer orders a month.