Convert Overhead Space into Efficient, Cost-Saving Storage or Production Areas
What Is a Warehouse Mezzanine?
A warehouse mezzanine is an intermediate floor built between the actual warehouse floor and ceiling. Mezzanines convert unused vertical space into productive storage or workspace without the addition of expensive brick and mortar. Mezzanines can be freestanding, or pallet rack supported, providing plenty of height for foot traffic, equipment use, and other warehouse activities placed below or above the deck.
Warehouse Mezzanines – Applications & Benefits
Installing a mezzanine is one of the easiest ways to maximize your facility’s unused vertical space to accommodate increased pallet storage, additional picking space, equipment platforms or private offices. If your warehouse has a lot of room between the floor and the ceiling, a mezzanine will allow you to use it for just about anything you need.
Some of the most common reasons for installing warehouse mezzanines are:
- Increased storage space
- Additional rooms/offices
- Equipment storage platforms
- Added pick locations /pick modules
As your warehouse capabilities grow, so does the need for more space. Instead of building out, consider building up. Adding a mezzanine to your upward space is a cost-effective way to reduce clutter, improve organization and daily processes, and improve worker safety.
Pallet storage, carton picking, and piece picking/kitting can all be accomplished on mezzanine levels leaving more room on the main floor for in/out processing and larger inventory flow.
Inplant modular offices can be installed on mezzanine levels to free up space for storage and distribution operations. There are a lot of uses for mezzanine-level modular space such as office or conference rooms, security, storage, cafeteria, or even a locker room for employees to store their belongings. Modular designs are tailored to meet your needs.
Whether it’s a simple, one-story single office or a more complex two-story tower with several work spaces and facilities, customized solutions can be configured to maximize cube space and improve warehouse function all at a reasonable cost.
Get equipment off the floor and out of the way by installing a mezzanine to serve as an equipment room. The possible choices in materials and configurations make mezzanines ideal for all types of additional workspace.
Speed and efficiency matter when your customers are waiting to receive their orders. Apex uses mezzanines to design and install multi-level pick modules scaled to meet any need. Combine elements of warehouse mezzanines with work platforms, pallet racks, and conveyors to create a custom-picking system that delivers loads to pickers on each level.
The end result is a system that promotes faster picking while using less warehouse space. Workers get more done with less travel time to identify SKUs.
Common Types of Mezzanines
- Freestanding Mezzanine – also known as Industrial Work Platforms (IWP)
- Rack supported
Freestanding Mezzanines /IWPs
The IWP is a freestanding, heavy-duty structure that can be configured to accommodate almost any aspect of business growth. From small standard designs to multi-level custom structures these bolt-together systems are built to handle the workload of a busy operation. Heavy-duty rails, stairs, ladders, lifts and gates can be designed into your structure where needed. Several decking choices provide the appropriate coverage for your needs such as moisture-resistant, open grating or heavy-traffic surfacing.
A few pros inherent in IWP construction:
- Fewer columns than rack supported mezzanines
- More versatility with column placement and design
- More versatility with stair, drop gate, handrail placement and modifications
- More flexible to accommodate operational changes i.e. adding conveyor, carton flow, shelving, workstations or offices
- Sprinkler systems can be added to the webbing in joist and girder system modules
A few considerations in IWP construction:
- There are higher point loads associated with IWP mezzanines
- Footings may be needed depending on # of mezzanine levels and concrete
- IWP is costlier than rack supported mezzanines
- Support structure is needed for carton flow or pallet flow applications
- Generally, there is less clearance under the module than a rack supported structure
Rack Supported Mezzanines
Rack supported mezzanines can be designed within the pallet racking and over the aisle space, or over the top of the racking uprights. To secure the mezzanine frame, it is bolted to the uprights and then the decking is fitted to the frame. Like IWPs, flooring options are varied to accommodate the platform function. Railings, stairs, conveyors and lifts can be attached to the structure but may require additional structural support beams.
Pros of rack supported mezzanine construction:
- Racking structure allows you to support carton flow, cantilever shelving, pallet flow, conveyor, stairs and pallet gates
- More cost effective than an IWP
- Generally, no need for footings when constructing multiple levels
- Visually appealing with racking system
A few considerations in rack supported mezzanine construction:
- More columns than for an IWP
- Less flexibility down the road
- Harder to expand on to the footprint cross-aisle direction
The catwalk mezzanine provides a safe and efficient access between two points in your facility. Sometimes it’s to provide access to 2nd level shelving, or it’s simply to keep pedestrian traffic above operational or equipment areas. Catwalks are a quick, easy and affordable way to enhance workplace safety and improve overall productivity.
There are several styles of flooring as well as a number of different materials that can be used depending on the intended use of your mezzanine. The style types break out into solid and non-solid surface and each is offered in a variety of materials. Here is some additional information on common styles and materials:
- Bar grating – Aluminum, Structural Fiberglass, Carbon, Stainless Steel
- Steel Tread
- Composite Decking
Bar grating is not a solid surface. It is designed to allow air and water (fire safety) through. It can be made from a number of durable materials depending on usage needs, but it is not recommended for applications that rely on wheeled carts and equipment.
Choose aluminum or fiberglass bar grating material when rust is a concern. Aluminum’s light weight makes it good for smaller, mobile mezzanines but it lacks the strength of steel platforms. It can’t support heavy loads and it’s more expensive than steel.
Fiberglass bar grating has the added advantage of being contamination-resistant. It is completely moisture-resistant, and the color is permanent. One disadvantage is that it has more give than steel, allowing it to sway.
Carbon steel bar grating is an alternative to aluminum and fiberglass for environments that aren’t exposed to corrosive agents.
Stainless steel is both corrosion and oxidation resistant and it is stronger than aluminum bar grating.
Steel tread, composite and concrete floors are durable, solid-surface materials and are recommended for wheeled equipment and heavy-foot traffic. They offer higher point load and wheel load capacities and are quieter than the bar grate alternative.
Why Apex Warehouse Mezzanines?
There are so many options to choose from when designing a mezzanine or series of interconnected raised platforms.
The Apex Warehouse Systems team is experienced in designing and installing multi-faceted, multi-level mezzanines for a wide variety of operational needs. Visit our Project Spotlight page for quick highlights of recent pick module and mezzanine projects, then call our team so we can help you optimize your space to fit the needs specific to your operational needs. . Contact Apex Warehouse Systems.
Check out our Mezzanine Gallery photos for great design ideas!