When designing a mezzanine, some basic criteria comes first, such as length and width, height, load capacity, handrail location, mezzanine gates and staircases all need to be determined. General use and application info is good to include at the beginning too as this will help ensure an accurate budget to start.
But there are some other factors that oftentimes need to be taken into account. Generally, these are more important for very large or very complicated mezzanines but can make a difference in any mezzanine design.
The first – and perhaps most important – thing to consider is column spacing and layout underneath the mezzanine. While a mezzanine is a great way to add a second level and additional floor space in your warehouse, you need to make sure the operations below the mezzanine are not disrupted due to poor column placement. Add your second floor via a mezzanine and keep the space below useable.
If you will have cross bracing, which is the least expensive design option, it is important to design those in areas where they will not affect operations. You can place them against walls, against staircases, or in between pallet racking or walls that may be built underneath the mezzanine.
For mezzanines that will cover a considerable amount of floor space, cut outs for your existing building columns will be necessary. To design this part of the structure, additional steel will be placed around the building column to support the flooring cut outs to fit around the column. This allows for the structure of the building to not be affected and allows for maximum storage space on top of the mezzanine.
Another thing to take into account it is your concrete floor and mezzanine column loads. Concrete footers can add cost to your project but may be necessary to get you the additional storage space needed. It is possible to reduce column loads and potentially reduce or eliminate footers with changes to design, like cross bracing, properly sized base plates or by adding columns. If it is determined that your project requires footers, talk to your mezzanine provider to see if there is anything that can be done from a design perspective to reduce or eliminate them.
For standard mezzanines or for projects where cost is one of the main concerns, the manufacturer will determine optimal column spacing (which will provide best possible pricing) and the end user can tailor their operations around this layout. In certain situations, optimizing the layout and design of your mezzanine is very important, resulting in improved worker safety and operational efficiency. When you do this while gaining a significant amount of storage space, you have a recipe for a successful mezzanine project.