Decoding Design Loads
Typically, our customers will provide us with the design live load they need to meet which is based on the use of the mezzanine. For example, storage mezzanines have a higher live load than work platforms. Even if a customer isn’t sure of their load requirements, Cubic Designs’ experienced team can determine the live load fairly easily during the quoting process. In addition, our engineers determine the design dead load based on customer requirements.
The dead load is the weight of the materials being used to create the structure and other permanent elements including the decking, columns, beams and fixed equipment. This is a force that will remain relatively constant over time. Meanwhile, the live load is the load resulting from the occupancy of a mezzanine. This includes the number of people walking/working on the mezzanine as well as anything that will be stored on the structure. Live loads are more dynamic and are more likely to change over time.
The distributed load and point/concentrated loads are also taken into account. A distributed load is the weight spread across the framing components of the mezzanine. An example of the distributed load is a fully loaded pallet. A point/concentrated load is a load applied to a single, specific force exerted on a small area of the structure. For example, the wheels of a pallet jack exert a concentrated/point load.
Additionally, all Cubic Designs mezzanines are designed for potential seismic loads based on the final location of the mezzanine. Seismic loads are determined based on seismic zone, height of the mezzanine and design loads including dead and live loads as required by the building code.
Finally, each mezzanine or work platform has a certain capacity. The capacity takes into account all the anticipated loads and ensures that the mezzanine will be able to support these loads. A fairly standard capacity is 125 pounds per square foot; this means that a 10 foot by 10 foot mezzanine could handle 12,500 pounds across the entire deck surface. Each Cubic Designs mezzanine system comes with a capacity sticker to ensure that everyone in a facility, as well as inspectors, are aware of what that mezzanine is rated to hold.