Cold-formed steel mezzanines offer a modular, cost-effective solution for space limitations.
Business needs change over time, but unfortunately, commercial space doesn’t change to fit those needs. Mezzanines – heavy-duty industrial platforms – are a common solution that can help companies overcome space limitations. A structural mezzanine is most ideal to expand office space or storage space within an existing commercial property. It helps create two distinct, unconnected surfaces in buildings that have unique structural challenges (e.g. converting vertical space into usable space). The two most common types of mezzanines are concrete and steel, but a close comparison shows that mezzanines made with cold-formed steel framing are the most effective in many ways.
Concrete vs. Steel Mezzanines
When selecting a mezzanine for a commercial space, it’s tempting to choose concrete, because it’s associated with permanence and durability. But concrete is difficult to work with in an existing structure. There’s less flexibility with indoor construction, total construction time is longer because concrete needs time to cure, and a special crew is needed for the duration of the project – all of which contributes to high costs. Additionally, concrete mezzanines require more material and have a higher cost per square foot than cold-formed steel.
On the other hand, steel mezzanines are portable, flexible enough to fit any space, and are quick and easy to install (requiring no building construction). The full steel mezzanine package is pre-cut and shipped to its final destination. The user-friendly setup means no specialized crew members are needed. And because there’s no construction required, steel mezzanines can work as long-term or temporary solutions in owned or leased spaces.
As an example, when iSPAN installed the Losani Storage Mezzanine, in Stoney Creek, Ontario, the installation process was smooth from start to finish, with iSPAN supplying all materials needed for the job and only requiring one installer.
Increased Flexibility in Design
Cold-formed steel mezzanines are modular, scalable, and mobile, opening up a world of possibility for design in spaces of all sizes. iSPAN’s TotalJoist system enables wider spans. Additionally, cold-formed steel mezzanine systems can be used with existing steel, ICF, concrete, or wooden stud walls. Steel mezzanines can be built and engineered to accommodate the needs of any space.
Eliminates Need For Welders and Heavy Machinery
As detailed in the Losani Storage Mezzanine example, and as demonstrated in several other iSPAN mezzanine installations, steel mezzanines don’t require welders, skilled craftsmen, or the use of heavy machinery. All of the materials in our TotalJoist and Composite TotalJoist systems are precut, and these solutions are delivered on-site with everything that’s needed for the job, excluding tools. Each part is clearly labelled for maximum efficiency, and the entire system is easy to install. In some cases, only one installer is needed to get the mezzanine up and running, which is a major cost and time saver for any business.
No welders are required because all of the beams are contained within the joist plenum. And, no machinery is required because the system is lightweight. With concrete mezzanines, the sheer weight of the raw material and the complexity of the install would demand more resources.
A Non-Combustible Mezzanine System
In addition to the many other benefits of using a steel mezzanine system, it’s also non-combustible. Cold-formed steel offers unparalleled fire safety, with several tests showing how effectively it resists fire damage. In the event of a building fire, the steel mezzanine would not melt, as its melting point is 2700°F and most fires never exceed 1800°F. Simply put, when exposed to fire, steel studs will not ignite.
Lightweight Mezzanines Using TotalJoist and Composite TotalJoist
iSPAN’s TotalJoist and Composite TotalJoist systems are the ideal choices to add a steel mezzanine to any commercial space, regardless of size, layout, and existing material. TotalJoist has high fire and acoustic ratings, unmatched spans that allow for open design, and a dimensionally stable system that won’t shrink or warp over time. Composite TotalJoist doesn’t require any shoring or temporary formwork and accommodates your space’s flooring systems.
To learn more about both systems and choose the right mezzanine solution for your business, contact us today.