Mezzanine floor solutions are implemented in numerous industries for several different reasons, the most common being to create extra storage, develop workstations or form simple transportation routes throughout a facility. As with most other structures, the installation of a mezzanine floor is governed by Building Regulations. This guide has been written to help clarify the necessary considerations before appointing a supplier.
What Mezzanine Floor Building Regulations Do You Need to Follow?
Mezzanine floors must be compliant with the Building Regulations 2000 edition. We’ve highlighted the most relevant areas which affect mezzanines during both the construction phase and upon use. These include:
- Fire Safety: Approved Document B
- Protection From Falling, Collision and Impact: Approved Document K
- Access To and Use of buildings: Approved Document M
Fire Safety (Approved Document B)
Mezzanine safety regulations are heavily tied in with Approved Document B which covers fire safety. There are several fire precautionary measures one must take when constructing a mezzanine. These include:
Warnings – The minimum requirement from the mezzanine regulations is that the structure should possess alarm and call points. This minimalistic system is for smaller, simple structures and relies on people detecting fires and raising the alarms manually. For larger mezzanines, this solution isn’t possible and an automated fire detection system is required. These automated systems should hold design, installation and maintenance certification, ensuring they meet all appropriate standards.
Horizontal Escapes – Escapeway distances to a floor’s exit or final structure exit must always be kept to. The number of exits and the maximum distance will depend on the risk levels, structure’s use and the number of people who will be using the mezzanine at any time
Protected Corridors – A dead-end corridor that is over 2m in length is required to have at least 30 minutes of fire protection. Specific fire protection is not required when a corridor has alternative escape routes.
Vertical Escapes – The amount of vertical escapes required is determined by the purpose and size of your premises. For example, the maximum travel distance of a storage floor where only one direction of travel is possible is 25m. Whereas, if more than one direction was possible, that would increase to a maximum of 45m. Ensure that all emergency signage and emergency lighting is clear and operational.
Structural Fire Resistance – Similarly to vertical escapes, the amount of fire resistance required is determined by the purpose and size of your premises. As an example, the table beneath highlights this with our two most popular project facility types – industrial units and office premises.
Compartmentation – If you have spilt your premises into designated areas, and these areas are not considered necessary to the building’s main use, they should be segmented to slow the speed of a potential fire from spreading. If there is more than one occupant in a building, there should be fire protective separation between each occupant.
Fire Risk Assessment – Landlords, owners, employers and occupiers of non-domestic facilities are responsible for their site’s ongoing fire safety. The mezzanine safety regulations state that, upon project completion, a contractor is no longer held to the fire safety compliance control of a mezzanine structure. Any future adaptations to the mezzanine structure or layout of the building that may affect fire safety will require additional approval from the building regulators.
Protection from Falling, Collision and Impact (Approved Document K)
All handrails, stairs, pallet gates and access ramps must be designed, manufactured and installed with the focus of being as safe as possible. All open edges of the mezzanine should be barrier protected and movement up and down floors should be straightforward.
Access To and Use of Buildings (Approved Document M)
This area impacts mezzanine regulation as it affects its accessibility and general use; dictating that everybody of all abilities should be able to use your premises. This is why there are regulations regarding:
- Door and corridor widths
- Reception desk design
- The force required to open doors
- Manifestation of glazing
- Refreshment facility accessibility
- The elevation of sockets and switches
- Vertical circulation
- Access to sanitary facilities for all ages, genders and abilities
How to Ensure You’re Compliant
There are three ways in which you can be sure your structure is compliant with mezzanine safety regulations:
- You can get your site approved by a local authority Building Control Body (BCB), they can assess the site for you to see if it complies with mezzanine floor safety regulations.
- You can get your site approved by private BCB, they will inform the local authority about your work and they will assess your site for you.
- Work with a mezzanine floor specialist. The company should have surveyors and BCB contacts to ensure that your site can be approved and their expertise in constructing and installing these structures will ensure that it will meet all regulatory requirements and be approved by the relevant local authority.
A business’ image can be negatively affected if it is found that they have not successfully followed building regulations or health and safety guidelines. In particular, if mezzanine floor regulations are not followed, it is possible that individuals or businesses could be prosecuted, and local governing bodies have the right to dismantle structures and charge the property owner. Regarding health and safety, if these mezzanine safety regulations are not adhered to, businesses can open themselves to possible lawsuits if a preventable incident occurs in or around their facility.
Why is it Important to work with Experienced Structural Engineers and Project Managers?
If not performed correctly, the process of designing, manufacturing and installing a mezzanine can be unnecessarily expensive. Working with an experienced team of Structural Engineers and Project Managers ensures that this possibility does not become reality. An experienced team would be able to complete the project quicker as they are faster to understand your specific requirements. They already have the accuracy and health and safety expertise to ensure that your structure can pass the mezzanine regulations first time, in turn, reducing labour and material costs as no amendments will be required.
The Hi-Level Solution
Hi-Level is a specialist mezzanine floor manufacturer based in Petersfield. We have been designing, manufacturing and installing bespoke single and multi-tier mezzanines across numerous industries for nearly 30 years. With this experience, we are able to optimise commercial and industrial spaces and facilitate business growth by maximising productivity and storage capacity.
High Standard Service
We aim to raise the standard through our relentless focus on health and safety and hold all relevant accreditations. We meet building regulations and pass BCB reviews the first time, giving our partners peace of mind and comfort knowing that their mezzanines meet all relevant criteria.
Possessing substantial experience throughout our team (collectively over 200 years’ experience throughout the company), we quickly understand your requirements and develop a suitable value-engineered solution considering your facility’s foundation, slab and other environmental capabilities.
High Standard Products
We also provide bespoke, high standard ancillary items and flooring solutions. As standard, all our products are powder coated which provides a more durable and aesthetically pleasing finish. Meanwhile, our diverse range of flooring solutions means there is suitable flooring for any specific requirement.
We also install fire protective measures that meet all relevant mezzanine floor safety regulations. This Includes:
We hope this guide to mezzanine safety regulations has been useful. If you have further concerns or questions, get in touch with the team here at Hi-Level. We will be happy to talk to you through the whole process and guide you on your options.