Mezzanine floor industry accolade

June 6, 2011

Mezzanine flooring company, Llonsson Ltd, rated STRONG in unsolicited report.

DSCN3547O1 Mezzanine floor industry accolade Llonsson Ltd regarded ‘a safe pair of hands’

Recent probing of the mezzanine flooring industry by independent analysts reveals that Llonsson Ltd is one mezzanine floor supplier getting it right.

‘This is important to everyone that we deal with’ says Director Harry Mortensson ‘Not only customers who can be confident of the ongoing financial stability, security and consistency of Llonsson Ltd when contemplating buying mezzanine floors, but also our suppliers. Now, more than ever, it is important for buyers of mezzanine floors to look beyond headline pricing and carefully examine and continuously monitor who they are dealing with to ensure that they avoid project interruption or losses through supplier failure.’

Llonsson’s strong rating is in stark contrast to much of the mezzanine floor industry in 2011, according to the report, which places Llonsson Ltd amongst the successful top 25% of mezzanine flooring companies.

The analysts found that almost 50% of mezzanine floor suppliers are perceived to be ripe for takeover whilst 25% were struggling to survive in a market where the bottom third of companies are making losses due to competition in the marketplace.

The unsolicited, independent appraisal of the mezzanine flooring business underlines the pressure that manufacturing industry is under with reduced business volume and significant inflation of steel, chipboard and transport costs, but also highlights that suppliers such as Llonsson Ltd are successfully managing costs and challenges and continue to offer clients excellent quality mezzanine flooring, competitively priced whilst remaining soundly financed and secure organisations to deal with.

Mezzanine floor advice and support

For advice or a quotation with detailed breakdown of mezzanine floor prices and costs for your project, or for further details of the UK mezzanine flooring industry report call Llonsson Ltd on 01883 622068

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New Stock of Mezzanine Floors

March 21, 2011

New stock of secondhand mezzanine floors will shortly be available.

Two good sized floors are currently being dismantled, and may be suited to your application.

An almost new installation of over 1000 square metres (11,000 square feet) with a finished floor level of 2.89m, a 3m x 4.5m column grid, galvanized steel faced 1 hour column casings will be in stock by the end of this week.

As ever, used stock is subject to availability, and pays its way best if adaptation is kept to a minimum.

A further project commences next week to remove 1100 square metres (12,000 square feet) of mezzanine flooring with a finished floor level of 3.2m  and 5m x 6m column grid.

Not quite as pristine as the first project but still very serviceable, and with very usable clear spans, this should be attractive for many applications, and good prices can be offered for delivery direct from site rather than stock.

Both projects can be split to create smaller mezzanines and stairs, handrail and accessories can be provided to suit most applications, as can fire protection.

The right used mezzanine can offer good savings when properly designed and installed, whilst a new mezzanine will give you performance to match your needs perfectly when you need it.

Whatever your mezzanine application, do not hesitate to contact us for help, advice or a quotation.

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Prices of mezzanine floors forecast to rise

February 24, 2011

steelpricegraph1 300x204 Prices of mezzanine floors forecast to rise

Is raw material price turmoil returning?

Now could be a good time to place that mezzanine floor order to beat expected steel price hikes.

Steel industry analysts and top executives are anticipating price increases of up to 66 per cent in 2011, inflation on a scale encountered in the steel industry only once in the past 70 years.

Increases in raw material costs are feeding through steel production and will have a knock on effect upon the price of finished goods, particularly structural products with large steel content such as mezzanine flooring and storage equipment.

Steel manufacturers are also globally pushing up profit margins damaged by the slump of 2008 and 2009.

A cross section of industry experts comprising  6 senior executives and 10 analysts were asked by the Financial Times where steel prices would be at the end of 2011, with an average annual increase of 32 per cent being projected, the top projection being 66 per cent.

Senior industry executives were more conservative with estimates ranging from 13 to 25 per cent whilst analysts took a wider range of positions, but the consensus was that increases well above inflation can be expected.

Not surprising perhaps considering that rising iron ore and coking coal costs have led to a price increase of basic steel over the past two months equivalent to 33 per cent annualised.

Steel cost is a major factor in mezzanine flooring costs, so significant increases in raw material prices will filter through to end users.

Similarly 38mm particle board supply in the UK has recently been constrained by loss of capacity and more competition for feedstock and is subject to increasing energy costs leading to upward price pressure which will be felt by customers.

If you’ve been sitting on fence, then now could be the time to commit, or you may be kicking yourself by the end of the year.  Who knows, the steel alone appears likely to be a sound long term investment!

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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.

Guidance

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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Means of escape from mezzanine floors

November 30, 2010

How many staircases should I have and where should they be?

Staircase with stainless steel and glass handrail

Mezzanine floor staircase

The requirements for the provision of means of escape from a mezzanine floor are set out in the Building Regulations, Part B2 fire safety. The latest edition can accessed free online and downloaded as a pdf from the Governments planning portal, www.planningportal.gov.uk

Generalising, the larger the mezzanine, and the more people occupy it, the more and larger the stairs required. Staircase quantities and positioning within a new project will be influenced by the existing layout of the building and fire exits.

Single staircases are acceptable in the smallest applications, however many people prefer a second escape even from a small mezzanine if they can afford the space needed to fit a second staircase. The loss of mezzanine and ground floor space in these instances can be reduced by using spiral staircases.

Often buildings may have an existing traditionally built two storey office into which a new door opening can be broken to utilise the existing staircase as one means of escape. Care should be taken to ensure that such a new door and frame offers the necessary level of fire protection to match the compartment wall itself. Such a means of escape has the additional benefit that one staircase is effectively already a protected route.

Care must be taken that further staircases do not discharge too closely as they will then risk being regarded as a single means of escape.

Acceptable travel distances are set out in tabular form within the approved document and vary depending upon the use of the building and the fire risk associated with it.

All these factors will be considered by your professional mezzanine floor supplier when a design is being developed, and should be taken into account alongside the operational factors dictating the desirable location of staircases for mezzanine flooring.

Mezzanine floor guidance and advice

For further advice regarding the design of your mezzanine floors, call Llonsson Ltd on 01883 622068


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Orders for mezzanine floors

October 26, 2010

Mezzanine floors boosted

Mezzanine ambulant stair handrail

Mezzanine floor staircase and handrail

The double boost to George Osborne’s recovery plan for Britain has been evident in the levels of enquiries and orders for mezzanine floors received by Llonsson Ltd over the last quarter.

Mezzanine floors offer a good solution to the spatial problems not only of flourishing expanding firms and cautious businesses that are still growing, but also a means of cost effectively downsizing for businesses that wish to reduce overheads.

Repeat business is being generated as a result of referrals further to recently completed high quality architectural office mezzanines, whilst new enquiries are also coming from both the traditional industrial and high tech sectors for lower specification mezzanine flooring.

Replacing an existing mezzanine floor

A mezzanine floor project was completed last week for a client in the communications industry in West London entailing the removal of an existing floor and replacement with a new floor.

The client had suffered the old floor for a number of years, however the column positioning, floor height, staircase design and location were all affecting the use of space and productivity within the building, making replacement worthwhile.

The new floor has now been completed and the clients own team are cabling it to their own demanding specification with fibre optics prior to the installation of one hour fire protection, stair enclosures, drylining and suspended ceilings by Llonsson.

New mezzanine floor handrail system

A particular development of this project was the fabrication of an economical modular fabricated architectural handrail system which has been well received by the client, and will be able to be offered for future projects to other clients.

How to get advice and support regarding mezzanine floors

For advice regarding your specific project, a quotation or assistance dealing with building control call Llonsson Ltd on 01883 622068.

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Llonsson Ltd

49 Court Farm Road,
Warlingham,
Surrey,
CR6 9BL United Kingdom

T: 01883 622068 F: 01883 623280

Registered No: 2389444

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