Implication of mezzanine floor extension in warehouse.
With the increased cost in leasing such space, many of our clients were thinking of increasing the space by introducing additional mezzanine spaces.
The need for mezzanine space for individual businesses varies depending on the nature of the business. Some operations may require more administration space within the warehouse or special treatment space with easier access between the storage area.
We have seen many times, technical drawings were done for enlarging the mezzanine space within the warehouse, often mostly completed, waiting for a fire engineering assessment to lodge for building consent application. However, this often led to expensive re-work of the design.
Even worse, some mezzanine floors are often built without building consent approval due to a lack of knowledge and retrospective approval processes like COA (Certificate of Acceptance) which may need to be applied for.
It is noted, by default, typically, under acceptable solution C/AS2, there is a limit of mezzanine floor area to 35 sqm within the warehouse, due to perceived fire risk with earlier exposure to smoke in case of fire.
35sqm of the mezzanine space is not a lot of useful space. There are a few options for making the proposal work. Often specific engineering design is used to justify a larger area of mezzanine floor, by way of calculations and computer modelling. This is a more complex, customized design process than the acceptable solution, and it also requires some specific automatic fire-related systems such as alarms or fans to make it work. Alternatively, another option can be providing a fire rating around the mezzanine space subject to fire design.
It is also often overlooked that an increase in floor area may lead to the need to apply for resource consent. This kind of issue needs to be carefully checked at the outset of the project.
Building works especially in a commercial environment, is not always as straightforward as it seems at the planning stages. There is a lot of opinions on what is acceptable or not, and often leaving people confused, not knowing who to rely on.
When you are considering such works in your building, it is crucial to engage early on with a consultant who has a proven track record, and relevant design and compliance experience. Allowing you to rest assured you are receiving timely and relevant advice to be able to identify such pitfalls and issues at the early stages of planning to save you cost and time.