Challenge: Provide a cost-effective mezzanine flooring with a fire rated assembly
Solution: ResinDek® panels with a UL fire rated assembly were chosen. It not only proved to be more cost-effective than concrete, it allowed for a much faster installation and even withstood a substantial amount of water.
Managing Director of Facilities for City Furniture, Ian Peshel and Lindler agreed that the addition of two new mezzanines was the optimal solution. One mezzanine would be located in the warehouse to serve as an extension of the existing corporate offices for training, and the other would be in a different portion of the warehouse for product storage.
Peshel worked with Billy Lindler Jr., President of United Steel Storage Inc. (USSI), to develop a solution. The two companies have partnered since the 1970s, collaborating on design-build projects in both operations and logistics. Peshel and Lindler agreed that the addition of two new mezzanines was the optimal solution. One located in the warehouse to serve as an extension of the existing corporate offices for training and the other in a different portion of the warehouse for product storage.
"For the new training area, we decided to build a single level mezzanine that created 4,000 sqft of space above an existing employee lounge area that houses a pool table, ping-pong table, and other spaces for our operations teams to use on breaks," explained Peshel, who noted that it was important to maintain the open feel of the space beneath the mezzanine. "We bring all of our employees here for extensive customer service and sales training; we believe strongly in investing in our infrastructure to invest in our people," he continued.
When Peshel began to work through the design process, he initially considered concrete construction. "We realized that if we built the training mezzanine with a concrete slab floor, the foundations, footings, and support we would have to put in would be very costly," he recalled. "That's when USSI recommended we take a look at ResinDek as an alternative." Peshel determined that ResinDek® engineered wood flooring panels manufactured by Cornerstone Specialty Wood Products, LLC® (resindek.com) were both lighter and less expensive than concrete.
"One of the real benefits of ResinDek on the cost side was not only was it cheaper than using concrete, but it also greatly reduced the weight and the structural load that the columns would have to carry. That reduced the size of the columns and the size of the footings, which was a substantial cost savings," said Peshel.
Since City Furniture's training mezzanine structure supported the conventional construction of three separate, occupied, enclosed spaces used to create both classrooms and house the company's Learning and Development Department, the local authority having jurisdiction determined that a UL fire rated assembly was required. Fortunately, Cornerstone Specialty Wood Products previously put forth the time, money, and energy to have ResinDek panels independently evaluated and approved for use in Types I-V construction and as part of a UL fire rated assembly. According to Peshel, "To get a fire rating on a non-concrete product — a wood product nonetheless — is pretty rare without massive amounts of fire insulation; this only required a minimal amount of fire-retardant spray foam. That was another big win for us choosing the ResinDek," he continued.
Peshel was also surprised to discover ResinDek flooring panel's ability to withstand torrential rain. A 10-minute afternoon thunderstorm hit before the contractors could cover up the opening they had cut into the ceiling of the facility to add a fresh air unit. "Thousands and thousands of gallons of water came in and spilled all over. More than half of the ResinDek flooring panels were covered in water, and we were convinced we would have to rip it out and replace it," Peshel recalled.
Lindler immediately called Keith Shipman, Cornerstone's National Sales Manager. "I was convinced that the ResinDek was damaged. After all, any wood product that I've ever seen be submerged in water, it deforms or swells. Keith flew down the next day," said Lindler. Shipman pulled up the ResinDek panel directly underneath the opening in the roof. "Keith cut it open and there was zero deformation. He also ran some humidity and moisture checks on the bottom of the panel and noted that there was a negligible difference between the recorded level and the humidity specification range at the manufacturing facility where the panels are produced," continued Peshel. "No swelling. No additional moisture detected. It was quite remarkable."
"After the panel passed inspection, Keith also sent City Furniture a letter confirming that their 10-year warranty on the ResinDek flooring panels was still valid based on his inspection," Lindler added. "Cleaning up the water only required basic water mitigation work using vacuum dryers and blowers, and there was no damage to the floor. I personally was amazed."
As with the training mezzanine platform, Peshel initially considered concrete slab construction for the storage mezzanine. "If we had used concrete, we would have had to use such large columns and footings to support the structure that we wouldn't have been able to use any of the space at grade level; with ResinDek flooring we are able to use the space under the mezzanine because we could reduce the number of columns and use smaller footers," he said. "Because we used ResinDek flooring we were able to build a three-story mezzanine above ground level with 8-foot clearances on each level and gain 15,000 square feet of additional space. We would not have been able to build anything even similar in size or in return on investment than we could with the lighter weight ResinDek panels."
In addition to gaining a total of 19,000 additional square feet inside City Furniture's existing warehouse space, achieving a UL fire rated assembly for the occupied training mezzanine, and adding three levels of extra storage for clearance products, Peshel noted that using ResinDek flooring system cut down on the overall installation time. "Using ResinDek greatly sped up installation because we didn't have to pour concrete then wait for it to cure for 7 to 14 days," he concluded. "Plus, now we know you can submerge it in water and it will come out okay! I don't know of any other wood flooring that would perform nearly as well as ResinDek."
If you're interested in our UL fire rated flooring panels, don't hesitate to contact our team.