Mezzanine floors: selecting the right professionals

June 25, 2010

Mezzanine floors

Mezzanine floors

A recent project at a brand new site almost cost our client dearly. The client was concerned about the floor loading imposed by the mezzanine floors columns upon the concrete ground bearing slab, and engaged a structural engineer to look into this.

The upshot was that the structural engineer advised that the brand new slab, with vapour barrier, be cut through and shallow concrete bases be introduced below each column.

Llonsson questioned this, as in our experience this would only be necessary if ground conditions were extremely poor, which seemed unlikely with a new build property designed for warehousing and distribution. The floor was also small, having mainly perimeter columns, and therefore imposing much lower loads than might be expected in such an environment.

The proposal also raised the issues of added construction time, costs, and making good of the breached vapour barrier.

Llonsson discussed the project further with the structural engineers and established that they were inexperienced in this type of project and were concerned about their PI insurance.

To avoid overkill, Llonsson approached the original structural engineers who designed the unit, discussed the original design parameters and enabled the mezzanine floor installation to proceed without any further alterations or civil works whilst maintaining the original design loadings.

Building control were satisfied, and the client was not only reassured, but also relieved to maintain his construction programme and retain quite a few thousand pounds in his bank account.

The moral of the tale: selecting professional advisors with care and ensuring that they are suitably experienced with mezzanine floors can save you many thousands of pounds.

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The credit crunch and mezzanine floors

June 22, 2010

Mezzanine floors

Mezzanine floors

Buying mezzanine floors is an expensive business. As a one off capital expenditure, it is among the larger investments made by many companies. On all but the smallest floors and the most creditworthy customers, the buyer is going to be asked to part finance the project as it goes on.

Mezzanine floor vendors and buyers both rightly want to minimise risk by paying in stages. This has been the case in good times as well as harder times, however in harder times making advance payments to smaller undercapitalised mezzanine floor vendors can present an unacceptable risk to buyers.

Vendors are currently under pressure from increasing raw material prices and reduced credit limits squeezing cashflow. With increased competition squeezing margins there may not be enough cash to go round. It is all the more important in this environment to ensure the financial stability of your proposed supplier of mezzanine floors, and perhaps not just to accept the cheapest offer.

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Mezzanine floors and planning permission

June 14, 2010

Mezzanine floors

Mezzanine floors

Welcome to our blog about mezzanine floors. We suspect this is likely to appeal to a fairly specialised niche market!  Having spent almost 25 years dealing with mezzanine floors it is easy for us to forget that for clients a mezzanine floor project is sometimes a once in a lifetime project for them.

We thought that discussing issues that could trip up the unwary might be of benefit.

Mezzanine floors and planning permission.

This was an issue that first came to our attention about 15 years ago, and has since become more formalised in certain applications.

Generally planning consent is not necessary for many mezzanine floor installations, however we have come across instances where there has been a specific planning constraint requiring a planning application for the installation of mezzanine floors within industrial premises due to pressure on car parking spaces.  A planning application has since become necessary for out of town retail mezzanine floors, but remains unusual in non retail instances.

If you are planning a floor within an industrial building, particularly if it will create office space, and there is pressure on parking, do not assume that planning permission is not  required for such mezzanine floors.

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Llonsson Ltd

49 Court Farm Road,
CR6 9BL United Kingdom

T: 01883 622068 F: 01883 623280

Registered No: 2389444