Free-standing Structural Steel Multi-level Mezzanine Floor Systems
Need for Space
With so many different systems operating at once within a warehouse, it’s easy for storage to get messy and your workflow to get out of control. A lot of inventory lying around can lead to an overcrowded and unorganized warehouse. To prevent such a disaster from costing your business time and leaching money, consider a reconfiguration of your warehouse using a steel mezzanine floor system.
Many of your warehouse headaches can stem from simply seeing an influx in business and having a warehouse that’s just trying to keep up. A small business experiencing a major growing pain needs to be able to scale production and workflow in order to fulfill its growth seamlessly. Learn how free-standing mezzanine floor systems can offer extra space that your warehouse needs to allow your business to grow.
Specialized Storage Systems can help you double the capacity of any available space without incurring the cost of new construction. We encourage everyone that has a warehouse with head height to explore the many types of mezzanine floor systems available. This helps to utilize your office space, storage space, or production area optimally. The main advantages of a mezzanine structure are:
- Additional storage space where people have slow-moving inventory. Moving product up in a second story releases the floor space for more productive activities.
- Quickly and easily installed
- Easy to relocate and reassemble the mezzanine structure in case of a warehouse relocation.
- Provides endless ways to redesign the warehouse and helps us meet specific customer needs.
Types of Mezzanine Floor Systems
There are generally three types of mezzanines or multi-level systems available to help make the best use of the space in your facility. The type of mezzanine or multi-tier selected depends on your budget, picking operation, type of product to be stored, building clear heights, and local building codes.
- Free-standing structural steel multi-level mezzanines are designed to maximize floor space and take advantage of unused overhead space. It is one of the most commonly used mezzanine floor systems, and we’ll be discussing this format in detail further on.
- Shelving Supported Mezzanines consist of a second floor of decking over an entire lower level of shelving or pallet rack. The second level consists of rack, shelving, offices, or work areas, and allows relatively unlimited placement of items on the second floor. This type of mezzanine structure requires pre-installed racks or shelves for their foundation. They are beneficial to clients who want an organized additional storage space, but they come with a certain disadvantage. Tweaking their structure after installation is extremely difficult and hence, not recommended,
- Catwalk Mezzanine Systems consist of high-rise racking or shelving with decking placed only in aisles. This mezzanine requires shelving to be the same on all levels, but makes catwalks less expensive to construct. This structure is useful for the staff to get from one point to another.
Free-standing structural steel multi-level mezzanines
Free-standing structural steel multi-level mezzanines are designed to maximize floor space and take advantage of unused overhead space. It is one of the most commonly used mezzanine floor systems.
The structure of free-standing multi-level mezzanine floor systems provides a wide variety of design options. Therefore, it can be easily integrated with different applications and blend easily with in-plant office buildings.
These are used with applications that either require customized fitting to a particular dimension or a structure that needs to stay in place for longer period while holding weights up to 150 pounds per square foot.
These multi-level systems may require stamped and sealed drawings along with footing designs to make sure the concrete floor will withstand the column loads and not crack (considered a structural building failure by local code officials). The amount of space required by columns is controlled by door locations, equipment locations, existing building columns locations, and/or offices, and the load on these columns is determined by the value of mezzanine design capacity. It follows that columns on the perimeter of the mezzanine will support either half or a quarter of the load compared to the interior ones.
For decking, we use tongue-and-groove plywood over a corrugated steel “b-deck”, which is the most popular form. Typically, this is used for bulk box storage in buildings that do not have sprinklers and where there is only foot traffic and limited use of rolling carts. Note: we discourage use of this decking under humid conditions as moisture can accumulate and warp the plywood.
Resindek installed over corrugated decking is typically used in scenarios where there is heavy cart or pallet jack usage, and where durability is a major concern. These mezzanine floor systems can support 1250 to 8000 pounds and feature diamond steel finishes that are resistant to stains and scratches. Water sprinklers are required to be installed below the deck. These floors too, are not suitable for humid locations as the plywood may get deformed.
Bar grating is a very common method of deck used with the structural mezzanine, and it is typically used where there is a desire for air flow or light needing to penetrate through the deck to the lower level. This is also used where high-strength flooring is the primary requirement because of heavy static and rolling loads, which includes heavy vehicular truck traffic. This deck is not recommended for applications where there is a lot of pallet jack or cart usage, because the wheels will typically get “chewed up” and the grating will deflect at the seams because it is not meant for point loads.
Another common type of deck is aluminum or steel diamond plate, which can be installed with or without corrugated decking as an underlayment for structural support. The Aluminium metal is resistant to rust, even when it is completely submerged in water and also, it weighs less. Since it is a soft metal, it is not ideal to use it for heavy duty support and instead can be used for lighter applications. Steel diamond plate tends to be more durable than softer aluminum, and it is more often used in warehouse storage applications.
The type of handrail required will be determined by the local building code and whether the multi-level structure will be used for storage or offices with personnel walking up and down the system on a daily basis. For office spaces, a vertical picket railing would be a better and safer option than horizontal picket railing. If the situation demands a horizontal picket railing, then it is usually three-rail (BOCA) or two-rail (OSHA) compliant. The staircase to be built will also vary depending on the application.
At Specialized Storage Solutions, we design and deliver free-standing mezzanine floor systems for any application, maximizing space and minimizing costs. These floors are able to withstand substantial weights, making them perfect for any possible application.
Over the years, our dedicated teams have taken on projects on almost every scale. Our talented employees have successfully been able to adapt to the varying applications and budgets, delivering the desired mezzanine structures within budget and minimal issues. The following are some success stories:
- Schutz Container was expanding their facility in order to increase their production capacity, and they needed an experienced company to design and furnish a structure that would accommodate the weight and capacity of new equipment. It had to be built to avoid obstructions and to avoid conflict with conveyor and production machinery on the ground level. Schutz called on Specialized Storage Solutions to design the 6,000 SF mezzanine structure and install it in a very tight time period. The new structure has performed very well without incident and Schutz has called Specialized Storage Solutions back in to install another structural steel platform around another piece of new equipment. They have also asked us to replace their worn-out dock seals, and furnish cabinets, machinery guards, and barrier rail in their two facilities.
- Anchor OldCastle needed a break room and locker room for their employees but had limited space in their facility. Specialized Storage Solutions came up with an ingenious way to install a Strongbox Mezzanine in the space with a modular office running off the existing stair. We were able to install it around electrical panels, give the customer access without interference from columns, and allow access under the structure with forklifts. Anchor will soon be adding another mezzanine for their small parts and will be able to give their employees more room for their belongings.
- Patwell Pharmaceutical Solutions needed more storage space for their expanding business and wanted to take advantage of the high ceiling in their building. They called in Specialized Storage Solutions and we worked with the owner to design and construct a Strongbox Mezzanine with durable decking that would be able to meet their need. We measured the area, determined what needed to be done to bring the product in, and erected the structure as planned. Patwell called us back in to expand the mezzanine. We have also assessed other warehouse needs and installed Frazier high-density Glide-in pushback rack and a Borroughs high-density shelving system in their cooler to maximize that space as well.