The credit crunch and mezzanine floors Mezzanine floors and planning permission

Mezzanine floors: New or used

July 1, 2010

Are second hand mezzanine floors worth considering ?

Mezzanine floors

Mezzanine floors

Under the right circumstances, buying second hand can save money and is undoubtedly environmentally friendly. Under the wrong circumstances it can be a disaster.

A second hand mezzanine that can be viewed in situ, is of adequate load capacity for the new application, and has the benefit of its original drawings and calculations that can be dismantled, transported to a new site and re-erected by the same experienced team without reconfiguration should provide a cost saving.

In these circumstances it may be necessary to provide steel spreader plates if the new site has a floor or subsoil with lower load bearing capacity. A new Building Regulations application will need to be made, using the information from the original documentation, or new drawings and structural calculations will have to be professionally prepared.

At least some new decking will be required to make up for pieces damaged during dismantling, and often with an older structure, all the decking will require replacement, as swelling of the boards makes dismantling impractical without damage and reassembly difficult and time consuming.

The main saving achieved is therefore the cost of the steelwork, against which the cost of dismantling has to be set. If the mezzanine has to be transported to a different site for temporary storage or rework then additional transport handling and rework costs must also be offset against the saving on steelwork cost.

The type of construction of the second hand mezzanine should be considered if height is critical. Inset (slim line) construction will occupy less vertical space than ‘over the top’ construction.

If a significant amount of site alteration is required to make the second hand mezzanine floor suit a new site, then it can swiftly become uneconomic to consider this as an option. If, for example, the floor is too low, some steels are too long or the load capacity is unsuited then some steelwork will either need to be double handled to rework it off site, or will need to be reworked on site with associated risks (is the site insured for hot works?).

Rework should be undertaken to an acceptable standard – a new mezzanine floor from a reputable supplier will not have any structural members that have been welded together from off-cuts, but will comprise prime steel cut to size.

If documentation is not available, then research will be necessary to obtain relevant beam data. Structural calculations prepared by a mezzanine floor supplier with relevant data at hand will be far more cost effective than those prepared by a structural engineer from first principles.

An initial assessment of the feasibility of reuse of a mezzanine can usually be made by bearing the above points in mind. If it appears viable assistance from a professional supplier is best sought for confirmation.

A professional supplier of mezzanine floors will provide an impartial opinion for a fee and may be willing to undertake dismantling and relocation.

Llonsson Ltd  (T 01883 622068) are happy to provide advice regarding your new or used mezzanine project.

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Llonsson Ltd

49 Court Farm Road,
CR6 9BL United Kingdom

T: 01883 622068 F: 01883 623280

Registered No: 2389444