Many material handling projects today include high tech “wizardry” such as robots, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS), or Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV). These types of equipment all have their place and serve their function well; however, we can’t lose sight of the basic, less heralded, building blocks of a great system.
One of these building blocks is a mezzanine. Adding a mezzanine to a project is an inexpensive way to efficiently utilize the upper areas of a building that may otherwise go unused. With a low cost per square foot, a mezzanine with one or more levels can increase workspace, compress the overall footprint of a cell, and free valuable floor space for other uses.
The following requirements for building a mezzanine should be considered in each project:
- What shape, size, and height are needed
- What are the loading requirements by area
- Where is access required for people and consumables
- Where should the two or more Egress paths be placed
- Where will lighting and fire protection be located
Early planning for the above items is important for three reasons:
- Receiving design approval from the local inspector can add considerable time
- Manufacturing lead times for mezzanines can stretch from several weeks to several months
- The mezzanine must be erected before anything can be placed on it or under it
Work closely with the customer to understand his/her floor. The flooring material, thickness, reinforcement, and soil compaction all combine to determine the floor-loading capacity. Seek the help of a qualified civil engineer to study the location and provide recommendations.
Careful planning and teamwork will yield a mezzanine that meets the function, financials, and timing of your next project!
Have a question about mezzanine design or simply want more information? Leave a comment below or contact us!
Tags: floor space, Grand Rapids, green building, green material handling, industrial shelving, mezzanine, Michigan