Design & Spans - Kit Mezzanines Australia
Design is simple for Kit Mezzanines Australia - We have worked with our Engineer to create proprietary load charts for our Mezzanine system. This allows us to get your Mezzanine Design completed quickly, without waiting on third parties.
Let's talk Spans
Our Mezzanine system can span up to 7500mm with our standard Mezzanine system in a continuous span - very impressive for a cold formed steel Mezzanine!
This means that with our standard load charts, we can quote your project without the need to engage an Engineer for specific designs, as we know our product will be compliant.
For example - Your space is 15,000mm - We will have 3 x Posts (1 at each end and 1 in the middle) at 100mm each, leaving 14700mm - We then divide that by 2 which equals 7350 and there are your spans. No need for an Engineer for the design, as our charts allow for up to 7500mm!
What load capacity do I need?
Our Kit Mezzanine load charts cater for 3KPA and 5KPA designs. Without boring you with finite details, basically 3KPA means load capacity of 300kg per square metre and 5KPA means load capacity of 500kg per square metre.
If you are building an office, or if the Mezzanine is in a personal shed, 3KPA is fine. If it's for heavy storage or you are using Pallet Jacks, you are going to need 5KPA.
Our Steel Structure
Our Kit Mezzanine System is made up of Steel Posts/ baseplate along with C & Z Purlins - Very similar to your standard shed design.
To put it simply, a big C purlin is bolted to our uprights via some brackets we have designed and then smaller C or Z purlins are used for our Floor joists. These Mezzanine Floor purlins vary depending on the spans and load capacity required but generally you are looking at 300mm Purlins for Bearers and 150mm Purlins for joists.
Kit Mezzanine Floors come standard with either Particleboard or Plywood Flooring depending on the load capacity required or application. For example, if you are running Pallet Jacks on your Mezzanine Floor, we will generally use 21mm ply or higher but if you plan on putting an office on your Mezzanine, Particleboard may be adequate.
Structural Steel or Roll Formed
At Kit Mezzanines Australia, we generally prefer to use roll formed beams (bearers) for our Mezzanine Floor designs. This is for a variety of reasons:
1. It's cost effective
2. They are readily available as they are roll formed out of flat steel
3. There is no fabrication required
4. The speed to market is far superior
5. No reliance on a specific supplier/ fabricator
6. Available to purchase throughout Australia which minimises freight cost
7. Most joists are roll formed, meaning our beams and bearers are from the same supplier
The bearers are pivotal in supporting your Mezzanine Floor structure - The length and spacing of these will define your Mezzanines load capacity. The posts and joists definitely contribute to the overall system, however these components are generally selected after we decide the spans and load capacity of the project. Once this is defined, we choose the appropriate Mezzanine Posts and joists to support this capacity. Much like you choose your car before your tyres and not vice versa.
This brings us to our next point - Once we have defined your Mezzanine Bearers, Posts and Joists, we then decide whether or not we will design your joists on top of the bearers, or in line with the bearers.
There are arguments for both on top in-line & no doubt each designer has there preference, just like we have ours!
Whilst we have our preference, we design and install Mezzanine Floors with both in-line and on-top joists, so don't stress, we have you covered. We will outline our perspective of both below:
When you design your joists in-line with the bearers, it means you are only losing the thickness of the bearer and flooring sheet from your overall height. For example, if we used a 200mm bearer and 19mm Flooring sheet and your floor was 2219mm finished floor level, you'd have 2000mm clearance below. In simple terms, if you are restricted in height, this can sometimes be a good solution.
When designing a Mezzanine Floor with joists in line, we have to have the bearers pre punched with holes to then connect general purpose brackets (GPB) via M12x30 Purlin bolts. The joists also need to be pre-punched to line up with these holes. This means roll forming can take longer, increasing the price per lineal metre, along with being more time consuming at the design stage. It also means you are 100% defined by the holes that are punched in your bearers!
What if you forgot about that power-point or pipe that was sticking out and need to move start the Mezzanine Floor installation in a different spot, or reduce the overall length? This means all of the pre punched holes are now thrown out by that distance! While this is usually not a problem for our team, as our installers have seen it all, it's definitely a nuisance and can grind a project to a halt pretty quickly while you, or our team works out what we need to do to get things back on track.
This is generally not an issue when we do a site measure, as our team completes a full site survey to ensure everything fits perfectly, however if you've measured it yourself and ordered a kit, it's on you!
One other downside to the joists in-line is that they must finish on a bearer - If you have to have that bearer, for whatever reason away from the wall or structure, it's a lot harder to continue your joists through to support the flooring above.
Just another consideration we make when deciding on what style of floor we build you. We always weigh up the different options to ensure your project can be done in a timely, cost effective way whilst making sure the design is sound!
When you design a Mezzanine floor with joists on top, it means exactly that - They will sit on top of your supporting bearer.
Yes, this does make your floor higher.
As we outlined above, a Mezzanine Floor with joists in line will take up less vertical room. For example: 2400mm clearance Mezzanine with joists in line would give a 2719mm Floor height where as joists on top for the same design would give 2869mm Floor height, because instead of the joist being inside the bearer, you will have it sit on top, adding 150mm.
150mm doesn't seem like a lot, but it can really make or break a Mezzanine design if your vertical height is limited.
In saying this, there are many benefits to having your joists on top.
1. L Brackets are used to connect the joist to the bearer which allows you or the installer to use their discretion on spacing the joists around obstructions they may find.
2. No punching of the bearer or the joist is required, which not only makes roll-forming faster/ cheaper but also alleviates and major changes being required if you change the design on site
3. The joists can Cantilever/ hang over the bearer, meaning that if your bearer needs to be set off the wall, the joists can hang over, allowing for your floor to be supported entirely throughout the building
For example if you over-measured your building by 100mm, you can simply cut 100mm off your bearer and re-install, then put your L brackets on spaced at the required centres and the project moves forward where as if you had pre-punched bearers, everything would now be thrown out by 100mm!
To wrap it up, we do both styles of joist connections and both work great, so talk to our team about your preference or just let us assess your project and we will make the decision for you. We have thrown some drawings up above comparing the different styles, so we hope you are now a little informed about a small part of your Mezzanine design!
Staircases, Gates and Handrails make up a crucial part of any Mezzanine Floor Design. They also are one of the biggest costs, so ensuring they are designed correctly for your specific application is very important!
Kit Mezzanines Australia has a custom tread and stringer system that we use which allows us to build a set of stairs without the need for welding - Each part is kept in stock and ready for immediate delivery which eliminates the wait times and potential stuff ups involved in fabricating a traditional staircase.
When it comes to Handrails, we use the Interclamp system - Much like the rest of our Mezzanine Floor system, it is an off the shelf product which means it can be supplied quickly and is pre-engineered saving both time and money.
Gates are a funny one - Some customers love the up and over style and others prefer a sliding option. Good thing we supply both. Our Mezzanine Design team will run through your options and work our the best solution for your needs. We can make them manual, or an even automate them via remote or sensors. Depending on the safety requirements, these gates can be a very mportant part of the design and our team has vast experience in this field - Contact us to discuss your requirement.