How to Safely Maximize your Warehouse Space
Mezzanine platforms offer a wealth of new space for your warehouse without the need to expand your building’s footprint. Industrial work platforms can be installed in new or existing facilities. Adding a work platform in your facility provides a considerable advantage over expanding an existing facility.
How do you get started with work platforms and maximizing your space? The following outlines several considerations to keep in mind when thinking about adding a work platform for your facility.
1. Determine a use for your new-found mezzanine space
How will you use the new space? Storage, kitting, in-plant offices, multi-use? How will the mezzanine space integrate within your operations and process? Where will the mezzanine be located inside your facility? What is your ceiling height? How will the mezzanine adapt to your future growth plans?
2. Understand your floor
The floor in your facility is an important extension of a safe mezzanine platform. Wildeck needs to know if the slab will support the mezzanine platform and load. The slab below determines several key factors when designing a mezzanine and if the installation process will include additional measures to prepare the slab for a mezzanine.
A slab analysis will measure the concrete strength, which is measured in PSI – pounds per square inch. The slab analysis will indicate the design features that need to be incorporated into the platform. Special footings may have to be added based on the allowable vertical loading that can be put on the soil before it fails, measured in PSF – pounds per square foot.
3. Meet codes and safety requirements
Mezzanine platforms are customized to meet stringent industry standards for local, state and national building codes. Mezzanine platforms are designed to meet specified codes and OSHA safety requirements. A safe working platform is presented as a complete system and includes the appropriate number of stairs, landings, access gates, guards, and railing to meet applicable building codes.
The existing HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning) systems may not require expansion since they were designed for the existing facility space. Determining the required height allows for the maximum amount of working area above and below the mezzanine.
4. Structural System
Several mezzanine components can play a part in how successful you will be incorporating a mezzanine system into your operational workflow.
Column spacing below the mezzanine should be designed to allow space for your equipment and process since their specifications can vary to meet the operational needs of your facility. Column size, placement, framing system, and slab capacity will help determine the necessary features of the final mezzanine structure.
Wildeck’s mezzanine design includes heavy duty columns and support beams. Heavy-duty 5″ x 5″ x 3/16″ thick columns are a standard minimum (larger sizes available), along with 12″ x 12″ x 3/4″ thick baseplates, providing rigid support while eliminating obstructing bracing.
There are options for warehouse mezzanine floors, as well. How the space is used on the upper level of the mezzanine will determine the type of flooring necessary to safely conduct your movements. Options include: roof deck and moisture-resistant resin board, bar grating, roof deck and floor plate, roof deck and concrete, among others.
5. Safety railings & more options
To increase safety and achieve the operational efficiency you desire from your system, a wide range of products and accessories are available that can be easily integrated with your mezzanine platform. Wildeck mezzanine platforms, mezzanine guard railings, mezzanine stairways and landings are designed to meet ANSI MH28.3: 2009 – Specification for the Design, Manufacture, and Installation of Industrial Steel Work Platforms, as well as applicable building code and OSHA requirements.
Wildeck’s patented modular mezzanine railing system (U.S. Patent No. 6,290,213) is code-compliant and conforms to both OSHA and IBC safety guidelines. Designed to be easily installed, Wildeck mezzanine guard railing systems are among the safest and most aesthetically pleasing systems available.
Additional mezzanine work platform options include: decking, lighting, fire protection, pallet/carton/tote lifts, and, forklift safety gates. Each option is a critical component of an effective mezzanine safety platform that performs to the needs of your operations.
6. Should the mezzanine obtain a PE stamp?
A professionally designed mezzanine, such as a Wildeck® with the addition of PE-stamping will ensure a structurally sound design. The PE-stamp will assure the complete safety and structural integrity of the mezzanine system. This would include the mezzanine layout, column placement, connections, stairs, gates, and all necessary details. This will provide verification that the mezzanine is safe and manufactured to code. PE-stamped drawings are a required component of the permit approval process.
7. Obtain permits prior to installation
The permitting process varies according to the city, county and state of installation. It is beneficial to have PE-stamped mezzanine drawings available to facilitate the permit approval process for you, your architect or general contractor.
8. How long will installation take?
Mezzanine systems are designed for easy, fast assembly and lower cost than standard building construction. In fact, a mezzanine work platform can be custom designed and installed in a matter of weeks. Wildeck uses a modular design which can be easily dismantled and relocated to accommodate future growth.
Mezzanines also qualify for accelerated 7-year capital equipment depreciation, as opposed to the 39 years normally associated with permanent building improvements. Typically, a designed and installed mezzanine is a fraction of the cost of new construction, and incorporating a mezzanine in an existing facility does not require the acquisition of new land.
There are many considerations to think of when adding a mezzanine. Aligning with the right company can be an important factor for successful implementation as they are more familiar with the safety regulations, codes, and industry standards required to execute a successful and safe mezzanine system. Working with an experienced supplier who has a design team with resources and a proven track record will make all the difference in your project’s execution.
Quality mezzanine platforms meet stringent industry standards and specified national, state, and local codes and are specifically designed to meet your size, load and span requirements. Our expertise and extensive manufacturing capability ensures that you receive more value today and for years to come.
An experienced Wildeck dealer will review your mezzanine needs and specify the product, or combination of products, that will best achieve your desired results.
Wildeck products are manufactured in the USA and incorporate the highest standards of structural, mechanical, and electrical design for material handling and facility safety applications. Our team of employee-owners have the knowledge and industry experience to ensure that your projects run smoothly from concept to completion. With quality products tailored to your individual requirements, you’ll receive a level of strength, durability, service, and support you won’t find anywhere else.