Legislation & Regulation relevant to Mezzanine Floors
Mezzanine floor projects are primarily affected by the following pieces of legislation.
- Statutory Consents:Planning Permission & Building Regulations Approval.
- Health and Safety Law: The Health and Safety at Work Act and associated legislation and the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations.
Planning consent is not usually required for storage mezzanines, however some buildings have restrictive conditions within their original planning consent requiring planning approval to be applied for if a mezzanine is proposed.
This is to prevent industrial buildings being converted into offices without due consideration being made for the provision of adequate parking for the new office staff.
Out of town retail developments also require planning approval for mezzanines so that adequate parking provision is made for the additional car movements that the expansion may generate.
Ancillary work associated with the installation of a mezzanine floor may also require planning approval, such as the provision of new windows or an external fire escape.
Planning applications are dealt with by the Local Authority. An initial informal approach by telephone should establish whether a planning application is necessary.
Building Regulations Approval
A mezzanine floor project is a construction project, and the mezzanine floor is primarily a structural element, the minimum standards for the design of which are set out in the Building Regulations, and associated British Standards.
A building regulations application should therefore be submitted for all mezzanine floors. It is the mezzanine floor owners responsibility to ensure that the application is submitted.
The application will consist of a minimum of drawings, structural calculations and technical datasheets, possibly an access statement and further drawings and information if the mezzanine is part of a larger project.
The Building Regulations application will be submitted either to:
The Local Authority Building Regulations department, or
An Approved Inspector (privatised Building Regulations organisations)
Local Authorities charge an initial plan fee and inspection fees. These fees are based upon a sliding scale related to the value of the work to be undertaken. Fee tables are available from Authorities upon request.
Privatised Building Regulations organisations will provide quotations upon request.
Failure to obtain Building Regulations Approval for a structure could cause problems in the event of an accident or failure and could affect the saleability of the property in which the mezzanine is located (completion certificates for all work undertaken will be requested by solicitors).
Basic applicable parts of Building Regulations
The mezzanine must comply with the Building Regulations, Approved Document A, (Structure).
Any access staircases to, and handrailing around, the mezzanine will have to comply with Approved Document K (Protection from falling, collision and impact)as a bare minimum, and the requirements of Approved Document M (Access to and use of buildings) should be carefully considered depending upon the use of the floor and existing access arrangements.
If lesser standards than the provisions of Approved Document M are desired, then an access statement should be completed and submitted to justify the lower standard of provision.
If the mezzanine exceeds a certain size or is to be used by staff permanently, then fire protection of the structure will be required in accordance with Approved Document B (Fire Safety) of the Building Regulations.
Associated lighting, emergency lighting, fire detection & alarm systems will need to be designed to comply with the Building Regulations.
Depending on the use of the mezzanine space further regulations may need to be complied with.
It is also prudent to bear in mind that the Building Regulations specify the minimum standards that are acceptable. It is sometimes good practice to exceed the minimum standard by a significant margin in order to meet clients expectations.
The current edition of the Building Regulations Approved Documents can be accessed through:
The Building Regulations are widely available on the internet for download or on CD or USB drive at negligible cost.
Compliance with Building Regulations provides the minimum acceptable standards for mezzanine floors. Further guidance regarding design can be obtained from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) digest 437 which imposes higher standards for more demanding mezzanine applications.
Health and Safety
The installation of a mezzanine floor is potentially dangerous, making compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act and associated legislation essential. Often mezzanine floor projects will come within the scope of the Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM)
Construction Design & Management Regulations (CDM)
CDM 2007 aims to reduce construction deaths and injury through better project management and liaison between involved parties without unnecessary bureaucracy.
The regulations focus attention on making planning and management for health and safety from the design stage onwards a standard practice.
The object is to promote action to reduce and manage risk.
All commercial projects lasting more than 30 working days or involving more than 500 person days are notifiable to the Health and Safety Executive.
The regulations recognise four parties to a construction project, the Client, the Designer, the Principle Contractor, and the CDM coordinator.
The roles of Designer and Principal Contractor can be combined, however notifiable projects will require the appointment of a competent CDM Coordinator.
The regulations make the Client accountable for the impact that their approach makes upon the health and safety of those working on or affected by the project.
Find out more at:
If you'd rather benefit from our experience than deal with these issues yourself then call 01883 622068 now!