Mezzanine Floor Building Regulations & Requirements: What You Need to Know

Contents

  1. Introduction

1.1.    What is a Mezzanine Floor?

1.2.    Why Build a Mezzanine Floor?

  1. Do I Need Planning Permission?
  2. Statutory Requirements

3.1.    Building Regulations

3.2.    Structure

3.3.    Fire Safety

3.4.    Protection Against Falling

3.5.    Accessibility

  1. Floor Loading Requirements
  2. Frequently Asked Questions

 

Chapter One: Introduction

This guide is for you if you are planning or considering a mezzanine floor for your business. It will cover all of the essential information you need to know before you build a mezzanine floor, including the legal guidelines you’ll need to follow, as well as practical advice to help you avoid any nasty surprises.

We’ll begin by explaining what a mezzanine floor is, and what you might use one for. If you already know this, you can skip this chapter and get straight to the information you need to know. A good place to start is Chapter Two: Planning Permission.

What is a Mezzanine Floor?

A mezzanine floor is an independent structure that could be positioned within an existing area that already benefits from the available building / roof height.

It is normally built as a raised platform, independent of the building’s permanent structure, and supported by steel columns sitting onto the existing floor slab.

A mezzanine floor does not count as an extra storey within a building.

Why Build a Mezzanine Floor?                       

Mezzanine floors are the perfect way to create additional floor space within large, high-ceilinged spaces. They allow you to take advantage of a room’s height and can be used for lots of purposes.

The most common reasons for building a mezzanine floor are:

-          Extra Storage

-          Create additional Office Space

-          Additional Storage space

-           Staff Canteens

-          Breakout Rooms

-          Free up floor Space

-          Production Areas

Chapter Two: Do I Need Planning Permission?

The first thing you need to work out before building a mezzanine floor is whether or not you’ll need planning permission. You’ll be pleased to know that most mezzanine floors do not require formal planning permission, but there are a few exceptions.

You do NOT typically need planning permission if:

  1. Your mezzanine floor will be demountable
  2. The structure is fully internal

 Chapter Three: Statutory Requirements

Although no planning permission is normally required for businesses wishing to erect a mezzanine floor, there are still certain legal requirements you must comply with.

The Building Regulations 2010

All of your legal obligations in relation to building mezzanine floors are covered by The Building Regulations 2010. These regulations set out the technical requirements your mezzanine floor must meet in order to be legally compliant. Specifically, there are four parts within these regulations which apply to mezzanine floors:

-          Part A: Structure

-          Part B: Fire Safety

-          Part K: Protection Against Falling

-          Part M: Accessibility

You must apply for building regulation approval for your mezzanine floor, regardless of whether or not planning permission is required.

Part A: Structure

Approved Document A covers the structural requirements of your mezzanine floor. Specifically, it covers the following three areas:

-          Loading. Your mezzanine floor must be able to safely withstand all loads it is built to hold.

-          Floor slab: Suitability of the floor slab to support the design loads must be determined.  In many cases the column grid layout can be designed to ensure that the imposed loads from the mezzanine are kept to a minimum and often no greater than you would already have on site in the form of racking or general machinery

-          Disproportionate Collapse. Your structure must be able to withstand reasonable accidental damage without collapsing.

You can find more details by viewing the government’s official documentation here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/429060/BR_PDF_AD_A_2013.pdf

Part B: Fire Safety

Approved Document B covers the fire safety requirements of your mezzanine floor. Specifically, it covers the following three areas:

-          Means of Warning and Escape. There must be an easy way to escape your mezzanine floor in the event of a fire.

-          Fire Resistant. Your structure should be built with materials that resist the spreading of flames.

-          Accessible by Emergency Services. Your floor must not obstruct or prevent the fire department from tackling a fire.

You can find more details by viewing the government’s official documentation here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/441669/BR_PDF_AD_B2_2013.pdf

 Park K: Protection Against Falling

Approved Document K tells you what you need to do to protect against falls, collisions, and impact. Specifically, it explains the building standards as they relate to areas such as:

-          Stairs, Ladders, and Ramps

-          Vehicle Barriers and Loading Bays

-          Glazing and Doors

You can find more details by viewing the government’s official documentation here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protection-from-falling-collision-and-impact-approved-document-k

Part M: Accessibility

Approved Document M covers the accessibility requirements of your mezzanine floor. By law, you must ensure that your structure gives people a reasonable way to access it. Depending on the purpose of your mezzanine floor, you may also need to consider wheelchair accessibility.

You can find more details by viewing the government’s official documentation here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-to-and-use-of-buildings-approved-document-m

 Chapter Four: Floor Loading Requirements

When you design your floor, you’ll need to know how much weight it should be able to handle. This can be difficult to assess, and will depend on what you plan on using your mezzanine floor for.

A good place to start is by referring to the minimum floor loading requirements, as set out by the British Standards BS6399:

Although most loading scenarios can be catered for the following floor loadings would normally cover most required applications.

-          Office Use: 3.5kn/m²

-          Standard storage application: 4.8kn/m²

-          Heavy duty application: 9.6kn/m²

Chapter Five: Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve covered the basics of what you need to know before you build a mezzanine floor at your workplace, however, you may still have questions.

Here are the answers to some of the questions you may still have:

How long do I have to wait after submitting my Building Regulations application?

You do not need to wait for approval before starting work on your mezzanine floor, however, your local authority requires 48 hours’ notice. This means that you can actually start building work as early as 48 hours after submitting your Building Regulations application.

Can I build a mezzanine floor if the property is rented?

This all depends on the terms and conditions of your lease. Your rental agreement may require you to seek permission from your landlord, but if you’re unsure, then ask. Remember as well to keep your landlord in the loop, by sharing your designs, and sending copies of your correspondence with your local authority or approved building inspector.

Will a mezzanine floor affect my business rates?

If your mezzanine floor is being used for warehouse or storage purposes, your business rates will probably stay the same. Your business rates may change if your new floor is designed for office or accommodation purposes. If in doubt check with your local authority

How long does it take to install a mezzanine floor?

Allowing for site survey, design, approvals, fabrication and installation, you are looking at around 5 to 6 weeks from receipt of order to commencement on site.    

Can I build multi-story mezzanine floors?

Yes, but it depends on the height of your building and many of the design factors concerning means of escape and column loads etc require additional consideration at the planning stage.

This entry was posted in mezzanine floor, Newsfeed. Bookmark the permalink.