How to Extend Your Business Premises Without the Need for Planning Permission

A businesses needs can soon change (and change again!), and it isn’t long before space is at a premium and day-to-day operations become awkward and in-efficient to carry out.  As a business owner or manager, your first thought might be to relocate your business and find bigger premises. But there’s a hefty cost involved with moving, not to mention the hassle and delays it inevitably brings. You might also think of an extension to your existing premises – another good idea. But extensions are also costly and require planning permission which is not guaranteed.  So what options are you left with?  Let’s think vertically… could a mezzanine solve your workplace woes?

A mezzanine floor installation can double your workspace and does not require planning permission… what a result?  That said, you will need building regulation approval… if only you knew of a reliable company to manage all of that for you, eh?

Cubex to the rescue!
Building regulations are intended to protect people’s safety, health and welfare in and around the building.  The regulations are designed to improve conservation of fuel and power, protect and enhance the environment and promote sustainable development. Local councils administer the regulations and it can soon become a logistical nightmare… and don’t even get us started on the paperwork!

Thankfully Cubex Contracts are on hand to support our clients – we will administer the building regulation application on your behalf so that’s one less thing for you to worry about.

Fire protection… let’s not forget that!
A mezzanine floor is considered an additional storey in your premises and it is therefore a legal requirement to provide a 60 minute fire protection to the underside.  A mezzanine floor must be fire rated when:

  • Used for any other purpose besides storage, where people are permanently employed (eg an office space).
  • It measures more than 20 metres in each direction.
  • It exceeds 50% plus of the floor area of the space that it is installed.
  • The size of the mezzanine floor exceeds 400sqm.

Providing your mezzanine is used for storage only and doesn’t exceed 20m in length or width, nor does it exceed more than 50% of a business’ total floor area, then fire protection is not required.  Here at Cubex we offer guidance to our customers regarding fire regulations and consult with them and Building Control during the design and installation process, so you can be sure your workplace refurb is designed with safety in mind.

Regulations… do we really need them?
Absolutely!  Failure to comply with building regulations will result in prosecution and enforcement notices including a hefty fine and/or the instruction to alter or remove the work which contravenes the regulations.  If the business does not comply with the notice then the local authority has the power to undertake the work itself and recover the costs of doing so from the owner.

Building regulations are unavoidable with every mezzanine floor installation and most office refurbishments; as a general rule of thumb, if the means of escape eg in the case of fire are being affected then yes, your office refurb will require building regulation approval.  Also, if the purpose group of the building is changing and if any changes are taking place to the structure then, again, building regulation approval must be sought.  Similarly, if your refurbishment makes any changes to the number of toilet facilities, insulation, protected fire escape route or compartmentation of the building then approval must be sought then too.  But it’s no biggie – Cubex will deal with all of that for you while you concentrate on the important stuff like running your business.

Save yourself some wonga!
A mezzanine floor is a cost-friendly solution for businesses who are short of space, whether that be in terms of storage, production or customer-facing zones, and they’re so popular because of their versatility, stability and durability – they can store literally anything, even the weight of heavy machinery!

Many commercial buildings are designed with headroom of 6m or more and, apart from being expensive in terms of heating and cooling, this un-productive space can be used to erect a mezzanine floor to create a useful space with a variety of uses.

As your business grows you may want to re-direct your cash flow to other departments rather than a new office building. Well, a mezzanine floor is a rent-free space because it’s not part of the structure of the building and therefore the cost per square metre is significantly reduced.  Why move if you don’t have to, right?

If your office needs are changing and you’d like to discuss how a mezzanine floor may work for you, get in touch with Cubex Contracts and we’ll find the right solution for you.

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