With today’s strong growth in e-commerce and fulfillment work, more companies are considering mezzanines to improve warehouse productivity. It’s important for buyers to understand what’s written in a mezzanine provider’s quote and what follow-up details to ask. Sometimes, a provider’s quote only answers the minimum specifications and doesn’t give a full picture of how specific details impact overall costs, usability and satisfaction.
A good mezzanine manufacturer or provider should explain all factors – and trade-offs – involved.
At MiTek Mezzanine Systems, we’re committed to being transparent about every mezzanine construction detail. This post sheds light on commonly overlooked factors in industrial mezzanine design to help you make a well-informed decision.
There’s a misconception that mezzanines should be designed with as few columns as possible. In terms of floor space, this makes sense. However, some mezzanine providers may fail to point out that minimizing the number of support columns increases the load on each column. This could mean needing footings or heavy-duty base plates to handle the weight – all added costs. Column loading and slab capacity is a significant talking point for us. Our designs meet customer loads and needs without adding unexpected expenses.
While some manufacturers might bid a project with a deck sufficient to hold the intended loads, a slightly thicker roof deck is often the better choice. This thicker roof deck will provide a more solid feel for those working on a mezzanine. The thinner gauge deck can technically hold the intended load but may impart a sense of movement or “spongy” feel for those working on the deck.
No one wants to feel shaking when they are walking on a mezzanine.
A solid feel to the deck is especially important when the mezzanine is used for office space. You want the people using the mezzanine to feel they are on a very safe, stable surface – you don’t want a thinner deck that flexes when people walk by. It’s an important issue to consider. With a thinner layer it won’t feel as stable, and unfortunately, it’s often too late to change.
Some mezzanine manufacturers install braces to support heavy loads and equipment. The two most common types of bracing are knee bracing and cross bracing (or x-bracing). While both approaches add stability to a structure, they limit access to space under the mezzanine. They can also impede the site’s potential workflows – either for people or lift trucks moving through the area.
Our mezzanines and work platforms are held together using specialized “moment” connections. These bolted connections add strength at the top joints through high-strength bolts and cold-formed steel. They free up space for proper column spacing and load distribution.
Mezzanine designs need to follow codes, not only local laws but also the International Building Code, as well as Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) codes. Additionally, a sign of a quality mezzanine provider is that its materials meet ASTM and AISC specifications. Managing these details can require more than one vendor. At MiTek Mezzanine Systems we have both in-house PE staff and design engineers who can estimate permit costs.
We take care of everything under one roof so there’s less project coordination for our customer and no surprises.
Ultimately, a provider of quality mezzanines not only uses the best materials but also educates customers and raises inherent trade-offs. We welcome you to an open discussion about your needs. Contact our team to start your customized design or request a quote for a custom mezzanine build today!