Planning Your Mezzanine
Column Placement: Once the overall dimensions of the mezzanine are determined, planning the location of the columns can be handled in one of two ways:
1. No Column locations are identified – This option allows more planning flexibility. Conveyor Solutions will utilize their expertise to design the most cost effective framing system and identify column placements on your quotation.
2. Specified Column Placement – Based on your column placement requirements, Conveyor Solutions will design a system to meet your needs. This is most restrictive condition to design because it may limit framing system choices and economical layouts can not be used. In this case it is best to show Conveyor Solutions the interference’s under the mezzanine and allow us to plan the most cost efficient layout.
Note: As a general guideline when specific spans are required, Conveyor Solutions will calculate column layout based on the mezzanine load rating which will dictate column point loading. If any columns in the layout appear to have excessive point loads Conveyor Solutions may inquire regarding floor and soil conditions. After reviewing this information we may recommend that footings be required. Conveyor Solutions is only responsible for their structure and no the floor or footings that may be required to support the structure.
Mezzanine height will determine column size. The minimum size Conveyor Solutions generally uses is 5″ square tube. Height can also effect stairs, for example when the mezzanine height is 12′ or greater an intermediate platform will be required by code to break up the run of the stair.
Clear Height: The clear height minimums will be determined by the local code (this will typically be 7′-0″ on either level), the maximum clear height by the owner’s requirement and the available ceiling height of the building.
Top Of Deck: The height of the mezzanine is determined by a combination of the clear height requirements, frame thickness, and decking thickness. Sometimes top of deck requirements will be specified, as in cases where the mezzanine height is matching an existing mezzanine or platform.
Note: Sometimes the clear height and top of deck requirements will dictate the framing system choice. For example, where there is a low ceiling, the use of an all beam system could be used to keep the frame thickness to a minimum. When requesting a quote please indicate if clear height or top of deck is more critical.
Note: Although Beams and Joists are available in smaller and larger sizes than mentioned above, they are rarely used in planning because they are not cost effective.
Uniform Live Load: The standard load rating, dictated by most codes, for storage is 125 PSF. This load represents only the weight of the material being stored on the mezzanine. The weight of the framing (and decking if concrete is being used) is additional to this load. As load requirements increase it can effect the framing system, column placement, and even deck selection.
Special Load Requirements: If unusual concentrated loads are required, Conveyor Solutions can utilize a combination of framing systems, and recommend decking selections to accommodate these situations. Typical examples of special loads would be rack, shelving, pallet jack traffic, hanging loads such as cranes, and bulk tanks. To assist us in providing a more accurate quote in the planning process it is important that you indicate to us where these loads are positioned on the mezzanine.
Stairs: Conveyor Solutions will design the stair to the prevailing national building code in your area, unless directed otherwise. Our standard stair unit is a closed tread and riser which meets all codes. However we will deviate from code when requested. Please refer to the Code Requirements for more information specific to the influence codes have on stairs. Some states also have life safety requirements (ADA) which effect the stair handrail design.
The location of the stair will be either internal (inside the dimensions of the mezzanine) or external (outside the dimensions of the mezzanine). Internal stairs shall require an opening in the mezzanine and depending on placement, this opening shall require guardrail on one two or three sides.
Guardrail: This is the barrier (often referred to as handrail) designed to prevent someone from falling off the outer edge of the mezzanine structure. Code will dictate the number of rails required with two and three rail systems being the most common. Conveyor Solutions can also provide special rail requirements when specified.
Gates: Conveyor Solutions can provide a variety of gates to easily accommodate material access to the mezzanine.
1. Swing Gates: This is the most popular gate for frequent usage. Conveyor Solutions standard is a 6′ single swing gate which will accommodate pallets and can be designed to swing either in or out. When specified, we can provide double hinged gates and larger width gates.
2. Sliding Gates: This gate is designed to roll on casters and track. Keep in mind that this unit is more costly than the swing gate and requires space to slide the gate. The maximum width of a sliding gate is 8′.
3. Lift out Rail: This is the least expensive gate option and is only recommended for infrequent usage. This unit can be construed to be a safety hazard in removal because of weight and size. Maximum length of this unit is 6′.
Roof Deck: Roof deck is used as a sub-structure over which various traffic surfaces are applied. Conveyor Solutions provides 20 ga., 1-1/2″ deep corrugated white roof deck as our standard because it offers a highly reflective surface for the underside of the mezzanine. Conveyor Solutions can also provide 18 gal. white or galvanized roof deck when the application dictates its use. The following are traffic surfaces which are commonly used over roof deck:
1. 3/4″ T & G plywood – “underlayment grade”: (most popular, & satisfactory for majority of mezzanines. fire treated plywood, 1/2″ plywood, and 3/4″ OSB board are also available).
2. 3/4″ T & G “MR” board: (this moisture resistant resin board is more durable for pallet jack traffic. Polytexture laminates also available for wheel loads).
3. 12 gauge diamond plate: (recommended for abusive applications or where non-combustibility is required. Typically field painted if necessary, or is available galvanized).
4. Light-weight concrete: (poured by local contractors, not by Conveyor Solutions).
Bar Grating: Bar grating is typically used to facilitate ventilation to the mezzanine level. It will rarely eliminate the code requirement for sprinklers under the mezzanine. Conveyor Solutions provides 1″ x 1/8″ painted bar grating as their standard, however galvanized and fiberglass gratings are also available.
Want to learn more about Mezzanine options? Click on the links below.
Conveyor Solutions uses the latest in mezzanine design technologies. After an assessment of your needs, our state-of-the-art CAD department generates accurate and detailed drawings of your mezzanine project.