What is a Mezzanine Floor?
If you find that your furniture, cabinets, and all other essentials are taking up too much space in your house, there’s a space-saving solution for that—mezzanine flooring. Installing a mezzanine floor is an effective way of curbing space limitation in any property, whether it be residential or commercial. When you install one between the spaces of your floor and ceiling, you can save so much space.
But what exactly are mezzanine floors? How can a property owner in Singapore go about installing one? Is DIY mezzanine flooring installation possible?
We’ll answer all of that and more in this post.
What are mezzanine floors?
Basically, mezzanine floors are middle floors. They are usually installed between the ceiling and ground floor of a building. Mezzanines are much smaller than traditional floors and are 25% or less than the actual size of a property’s main floor.
Moreover, mezzanines are usually constructed for a specific purpose: as additional, useful space. You can find them commonly installed in factories, galleries, offices, showrooms, and warehouses to utilise the huge gap between ceilings and floors. When it comes to space-saving techniques, installing a mezzanine is a smart choice.
The Most Common Case Uses of Mezzanine
Let’s take a look at the most common use cases of mezzanine.
Manufacturing – Manufacturing premises need to maximise both space and productivity. With mezzanine flooring, manufacturing facilities can accommodate more machinery and employees working in a particular section.
Warehousing – Mezzanine flooring make for ideal storage solutions in warehouses. This is because they are more robust than racking units.
Distribution – Mezzanine is also a smart choice for space maximisation in distribution centres.
Office – You will also see mezzanine as a crucial part in an office renovation in Singapore.
Retail – Installing a mezzanine floor in retail stores is also a good way to maximise space and display more items.
Thinking of installing mezzanine in your property? Here are some things to consider when installing a mezzanine floor in Singapore.
1. Installing mezzanine without a permit is illegal in Singapore.
According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which determines and manages what can be developed on a piece of land, installing mezzanine is illegal in Singapore because it alters the gross floor area, which encompasses all covered floor areas of a building and uncovered areas for commercial uses.
Even though mezzanines are free-standing structures, technically they still alter the purpose, plot ratio, and floor space of a property. They also increase the structural weight of a building, which is another reason why installing mezzanine in Singapore is illegal. Take note that most buildings are not designed to handle additional load capacity.
The extra weight of a mezzanine might cause the structure to collapse. This could harm all occupants in the building. With this safety concern, both the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) do not approve mezzanine floors.
2. Authorised permits are important to install a mezzanine.
You might have noticed that some properties have mezzanine installed in them. How is this possible, you must be wondering? It’s simply because some property owners install them without getting permission from the relevant authorities. This is strictly not advisable.
There are heavy penalties associated with installing mezzanine without government approval. Not to mention, there’s the risk of the structure collapsing and harming others. However, there are cases where installing a mezzanine floor can be approved, despite strict regulations surrounding it. You simply need to secure an authorised permit.
Here are the steps you can take to have a permit for installing mezzanine:
- Check the floor plan of your home or commercial building.
- Determine whether it is high enough to accommodate a middle floor. (Trivia: Houses with mezzanine flooring have lofty ceilings.)
- Ask the developer or building management if it is allowed.
- Discuss your plan to install mezzanine.
- Let the developer and building management go into detail about the procedures and requirements needed to install one in your property.
- Get approvals from both the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
- Submit to the Fire Safety and Shelter Bureau to comply with the fire code. Safety mechanisms, like sprinklers, should be properly installed.
You have to do all these to ensure that the mezzanine you’re installing is legal and its design meets the required safety standards set by the relevant authorities. Regardless of what carpenters, interior designers, or renovation contractors might tell you, it’s critical that you get approval from the right officials.
3. You will have to pay a hefty fine if you fail to secure a permit.
It’s never wise to install a mezzanine in any property without securing the approval of the relevant authorities. You will have to pay a hefty fine of up to $5,000 if you fail to get a permit. Not to mention, you will need to pay to have the mezzanine flooring removed and restore the structure back to its unaltered state.
If you do not want to deal with the heavy penalties for unapproved installations imposed by the BCA and URA, then seek authority approval first.
Running out of space? Shelf N Store can help!
Whether you own a commercial or residential property, there are smart solutions for you to maximise your space. Here at Shelf N Store, we help property owners increase their property’s storage capacity with our mezzanine floor installation services. For us to do that, our clients need to obtain a Fire Safety Certificate from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
We also offer a smart storage solution with our SuperBlock Mezzanine System, the only approved system in Singapore. It is exempted from GFA by the URA as long as it is used for storage purposes only. For more information on our products and services, get in touch with us here at Shelf N Store.