Mezzanine floors in food production

December 12, 2010

The mesmerising ballet of ‘Doughnut theatre’ – the continuous doughnut production line now seen at retail centres around the UK relies at its heart upon a mezzanine floor designed, manufactured and installed by Llonsson Ltd in Surrey.

When a US doughnut manufacturer first came to the UK, a central warehouse and production facility was required where new staff could be trained on their specialised doughnut manufacturing equipment, production of doughnuts could be made for their smaller outlets and stock of their special flour and mixes could be kept.

Llonsson Ltd was asked to design and provide a mezzanine floor for the new facility. The client had a number of special requirements, in that a specific clear height under the mezzanine flooring was required for the equipment, access was required from existing offices onto the new mezzanine floor, service penetrations were required for air handling equipment, no food traps were acceptable within the doughnut production area, all ceilings would be continuous, and therefore service access to cabling was required from above the mezzanine.

As the existing office floor height conflicted with the mezzanine floor height necessary to fit the machinery below, an underslung landing was provided to accommodate steps between the two levels.

Service penetration positions were agreed and trimmer beams and cleats were incorporated in Llonsson’s design to suit.

Concealed construction column

Column with concealed construction partition plate

To avoid food traps, Llonsson recommended the use of two base plate types, sub surface recessed plate (SSRP)  for locations of columns within the production area and concealed construction partition plates (CCPP) where columns could be integrated within partitions, and also that the walls use a jumbo stud construction so that columns could be lost within the depth of the wall itself, leaving the internal and external surfaces flush.

The requirement to access services from above was achieved using Llonsson’s CaviT top access service duct design, enabling services to be reconfigured without needing access through the food production area ceiling.

Sub surface recessed plate

Hole cut in concrete slab for mezzanine floor base plate

Following preparation of manufacturing drawings, Llonsson liaised with the client’s building contractor, setting out the column centreline positions on site and marking out the extents of the necessary pockets to be cut into the concrete slab so that this could be undertaken at the same time as cutting of floor drainage channels. Llonsson then coordinated with the building contractor to ensure that excavations had been made good and fork truck access was available for installation of the mezzanine flooring.

The advance planning and coordination finally paid off, with another of Llonsson’s mezzanine floors expertly installed on time and on budget whilst satisfying all of the clients performance requirements.

The mezzanine flooring project was duly followed by an order for the design, supply and installation of the warehouse racking to complete the project and ensure that original glazed ring doughnuts are now available to us all!

For assistance with your mezzanine floor project or a quotation call Llonsson Ltd on 01883 622068

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Money making mezzanine floors

December 11, 2010

How mezzanine floors can make you money

Single storey Edwardian industrial building

Building before alterations

A shrewd and visionary client has demonstrated how quality mezzanine floors can be profitable even in today’s tough trading conditions.

We were approached by a long standing client who had purchased an Edwardian industrial building. The building was an old single storey warehouse building with a low eaves height and a steel trussed rafter roof.

The previous owners had attempted to make use of the roof void by fitting two secondhand mezzanine floors, one made of scaffolding and domestic 18mm chipboard, the second from a modified used industrial mezzanine, neither compliant with building regulations and therefore presenting a number of issues. The bottom chords of the roof trusses were located at waist height, making the roof space difficult to use, and one chord had been cut out to enable a staircase to be fitted. The building was severely compromised by these shortcomings enabling our client to obtain it on favourable terms.

Whilst negotiations were underway our client approached us and asked us to look at the feasibility of redesigning the building to incorporate a raised roof and new mezzanine flooring in compliance with or exceeding the latest standards with a view to commercial letting of the completed unit.

Llonsson Ltd provided a design for a flexible scheme based around a new steel building frame with integral mezzanine floor, offering a good quality finish and enabling the building to be used in many different ways to make it attractive to as wide a potential market as possible, and provided budget costings.

The proposal was accepted, and Llonsson submitted a planning and building regulations application for the scheme, which received approval in due course from the local authority.

The new design retained the original London stock brick building structure and steel roof trusses (repaired) to maintain the character of the original building, but raised the roof by eight feet. The redesign also offered the latest thermal performance and disabled access arrangements.

Llonsson manufactured and installed the steel frame and mezzanine floor and project managed construction and fit out in accordance with our design.

The CDM (Construction Design & Management) regulations applied to this project and Llonsson Ltd worked alongside our advisors, D&E Associates, and client to ensure that the project was undertaken in compliance with all statutory obligations.

Single storey buiding with new steel frame and integral mezzanine

After refurbishment

Upon completion the building was put on the market and let shortly afterwards. The tenants were attracted by the quality and flexibility offered by the space which could not be matched in the location, and the unit remains let in the face of current economic circumstances, having given our client a development profit and continues to contribute to his pension fund at a rate exceeding 10% per annum.

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Mezzanine floors: Case Studies

December 10, 2010

Tank workshop mezzanine floor

Tank workshop mezzanine flooring

Telecomms mezzanine floor

One might imagine that dealing with mezzanine floors becomes repetitive, however the peculiarities of each application and site, and the bespoke nature of most of our floors enables us to enjoy access to many varied environments and buildings of all kinds and ages and offers us enormous variety in finding practical, cost effective solutions that will marry clients needs to their property.

One notable such project was undertaken for an international telecoms operator who wished to establish a new switch centre in a continental city location. The clients final choice of building was the derelict concrete shell of a WW2 tank repair centre that had originally been erected in the early 1940’s to serve the occupying forces vehicles.

The building had remained largely untouched and comprised a reinforced concrete frame with hardened concrete roof and walls to three sides. The concrete slab was of fairly light weight construction as, counterintuitively, heavy tanks don’t need a strong slab since their weight is well distributed by the tracks. A new slab was laid over the existing using a fibre reinforced concrete, a system widely used on the continent.

The new mezzanine floor structural framework required clear spans of in excess of 15m in order to keep the switchroom area clear of columns, and consequently the column grid in the other plane was reduced in order to reduce axial column loads to levels that could easily be distributed through the slab.

The columns were fabricated in 120mm x 120mm RHS  due to their height and fitted with Llonssons’ “concealed construction partition plates” which, by enabling the containment of the baseplate within the partition width, eliminate all floor obstructions within the switchrooms.

The mezzanine flooring  in this instance was used as a ceiling and services support structure, enabling the switchroom to be enclosed in a freestanding structure within the outer building (a ‘box in a box’ construction). Plant and equipment were located upon the structure, and maintenance access was provided by a catladder.

The materials were delivered from the UK using special overlength trailers and installed by our UK installation team to a tight programme. Using UK installation teams was possible in compliance with EU legislation because of the short duration of the work, and enabled better progress to be maintained than using local labour who would have been subject to more restrictive Belgian working time and overtime restrictions.


You deserve the best advice and guidance when spending a significant sum of money on a project involving mezzanine floors.

If you would like advice regarding your specific needs, someone to liaise with building control on your behalf, or a mezzanine floor quotation call Llonsson Ltd on 01883 622068.

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Manufacturing mezzanine floor case study 2

December 9, 2010

SME Manufacturing

Mezzanine with spiral staircase in roof space

Restroom and storage mezzanine flooring

Manufacturing in London is hard enough at the best of times, however our clients leased 10,000 square foot industrial unit was due for rent review and things were about to get worse.

The prime location of the site had started to attract retail businesses and the landlords were becoming aware that they could achieve much higher rents, but a doubling of our clients rent had not been anticipated.

Naturally they immediately started looking for alternative sites, possibly less central but still able to be reached by their loyal staff.

Eventually a well located two storey 5,000 square foot freehold unit was found, originally part of a Victorian paper factory, which was ideal except for its size. The solution was to closely examine the clients operation and the building and see where extra space and efficiencies could be achieved.

The sale of the clients American subsidiary helped, as did the long narrow shape of the new unit and its ‘northern lights’ roof – a typical saw tooth shaped roof fully glazed to the northern elevation, with conveniently shaped steel trusses.

Llonsson Ltd was invited to examine the building and come up with ideas how to use the space. The installation of two integrated mezzanine floors was proposed to make use of the first floor roof space and remove ancillary functions such as design office, canteen space and lightweight storage to these new areas. This released first floor space for primary administrative offices and assembly areas, and ground floor space for a third mezzanine floor and storage racking.

Once the design had been agreed, in addition to providing the mezzanine flooring, Llonsson was commissioned to manage the whole refurbishment project, gutting the building back to its original four walls, recladding the roof, completing the three mezzanine floors and fitting them with fire protection, three new spiral staircases and all associated works.

The site has the benefit of a riverside location, a small rear terrace and roof garden with a westerly view overlooking the river. It’s hard to get our client to leave this unit at the end of the day. We know we’ve got it right when our clients tell us that they’d like to live in the unit that we’ve refurbished.

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Manufacturing mezzanine floor case study

December 8, 2010

Mezzanine flooring and project management

An industrial mezzanine floor from Llonsson enabled our client to relocate from a series of 9 small units in a London business centre to a single site, significantly improving the efficiency of his business.

The business, manufacturing gift items, had expanded within the business centre however the units were all separate and on different floors. Independent consultants advised the business to relocate to a single site and recommended Llonsson to advise, design and equip the new site.

Not only did Llonsson design, supply and install the mezzanine flooring and fire protection, but also integrated the warehouse storage racking, production storage, new benching system, services including power, lighting, fire detection and alarm system, compressed air system, space heating and administrative offices.

Because of the light weight of the products and the existing first floor offices, the mezzanine level was nominated as production space, maximising use of natural light and also heat rising within the unit, and made communication between office and assembly efficient and immediate, whilst the ground floor was used for storage of bought in components and finished goods on wide access shelving and pallet racking.

The ground floor column layout was designed to ensure that columns and baseplates were concealed within racking and that the most efficient layout of racking and aisles was achieved.

Two pallet safety gates were provided on the mezzanine floor for use with a reach truck to enable parts to be delivered to production storage and finished goods to storage and despatch using roll cage pallets.

The benefit of employing a single contractor with combined experience of mezzanine floors and manufacturing systems engineering expertise helped our client to cost effectively equip their new premises with a coordinated solution whose performance exceeded their expectations from the outset and enabled them to significantly increase their exports.

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Llonsson Ltd

49 Court Farm Road,
CR6 9BL United Kingdom

T: 01883 622068 F: 01883 623280

Registered No: 2389444