There was a time when mezzanine floors were exclusively used for storage purposes. While storage is still one of the most common purposes of mezzanine floors, installing it for office facilities is becoming more common. Whether you want to build an office space within your warehouse/factory premises or you want to build a complete office environment inside your commercial structure, achieving this outcome through mezzanine flooring is economical as well as time effective. Mezzanine floors provide businesses with the solution of time, space, and money altogether.
Designing a mezzanine for office purpose use, however, is totally different from designing for warehouse or retail purposes. Since it will serve a different purpose and entertain a different kind of floor activity under its operation, you may need to consider a few more additional areas from the beginning of the project. For this reason, not only the purpose of your mezzanine office but also the regular operations and future expectations should be well communicated with your building partner if you want it to serve your business as effectively in the long run.
One of the most important parts of your mezzanine project is the design phase. This is where your requirements, specifications, and budget are all determined. The subtle design of your mezzanine is not only vital for the optimum use of available space but also can avoid unnecessary costly additions. Few important areas, if considered correctly during the early design phase, can help you get the desired outcome of your mezzanine office project.
Usually, mezzanine floors are designed to accommodate office spaces on top to allow businesses to use the ground floor space for storage, production, or manufacturing in an industrial environment. However, they can be designed to accommodate office space below the floor as well. It is very important to design a mezzanine flooring with the correct loading and right deflection. The office mezzanine floor needs to be rigid so that floor isn’t bouncy and noisy when walking around. A typical mezzanine flooring for office space should be capable of withstanding at least 360 kg per square meter with a deflection of L/360.
Mezzanine floor columns can be hidden effectively with the help of a good mezzanine designer. It would be difficult to identify that the mezzanine was the support for the office space if the mezzanine floor is well designed.
Stud and track partitioning system is commonly used while constructing the necessary rooms above and below the mezzanine floor. Identifying the right sound and fire performance of different plasterboards in the early stages of design can help you install the right material in your office space. Sound performance plasterboards are typically used in meeting rooms and private office areas whereas fire-rated plasterboards are used to create fire corridors and dividing walls.
Glass partitioning can also be integrated with stud and track partitioning systems for better feel and to give a better ambience to the interior.
You can opt for different staircase options for your mezzanine office according to the location of it. If your mezzanine floor is to be built inside a warehouse or an industrial building, a standard steel staircase will be sufficient, given that these staircases are practical and economical. A higher grade staircase is always available to be installed if your mezzanine office is to be built in a corporate environment.
Staircases should be wide enough to allow a smooth flow of people and have the right landing after the recommended certain number of step treads. While installing a large scale mezzanine floor, considering the requirement of a lift is also important to allow future access to disabled visitors and employees on the first floor of mezzanine offices. This should, however, be decided in the design phase because post-installation modifications can be very costly.
A mezzanine floor should be designed in such a way that the travel distances are minimum from any point of the floor to the primary staircase to allow a quick escape in the event of an emergency. A single entry/exit point is often enough for small mezzanine floors, but multiple access points according to the size of the facility are essential for the large ones.
Every office should be lit well and have a flawless network and connectivity access. Offices below or above the mezzanine floor should be designed with the correct lighting and connectivity options. You should make sure things are installed the way they are planned in the design phase.
Ground floor lighting should be fire-rated of at least one hour so that it maintains the fire integrity of the floor. Modern LED fittings generally come with one-hour fire rating standard so that you won’t need to fit a fire hood to keep the one-hour barrier intact.
Floor boxes for power and connectivity can easily be included in the design of mezzanine floors which will ultimately offer flexibility when installing fit-outs in the office space, allowing sufficient electrical and network access. However, a simple consideration during the design phase will help a great deal to achieve such convenience in future.