Whilst the UK high-street retail industry generally has taken a significant hit during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, online sales for companies such as Amazon have continued to soar!
This results in the need for further storage, warehousing and distribution centre requirements, which in turn provides a steady stream of work for the UK construction industry.
Constructed using a hot rolled steel frame, fabricated in a specialist’s workshop and assembled on site the frame is then clad in line with a clients desired brand and local planning requirements and restrictions. To attain the necessary floor areas for racking/storage of goods, levels of mezzanine floors are installed within the footprint, but not always covering the whole area. This can be done at the time of the original build or as a retrospective installation, the former being the most efficient in terms of the facilities speed of use.
A robust finish
Recent large facilities, such as those for Amazon, have undergone exactly this form of construction, where previously a retrospective mezzanine with its top surface being constructed using a 38mm Ply or Chipboard over a box deck and C section purlins carries the load between additional hot rolled primary steels. Although this type of floor construction was successful, over time the wear on the floor areas has started to show leaving the client in need of a more robust finished floor surface.
Method of choice
To enable optimum use of a mezzanine floor however, it is noticeable that composite floor slabs are becoming the method of choice, installed during the main project build, therefore ensuring early hand-overs for client occupation and quicker revenue flow. The structural topping gives extreme longevity and robust wearing surface for the automated robotics used within these facilities.
Specialists in composite design
SMD have been the company of choice for numerous facilities over the years and are one of the most respected composite floor businesses in the UK, having already worked on Amazon distribution hubs in Avonmouth (89,000m² of structural floor deck) and Durham (139,000m² of structural floor deck). We have now been appointed on an equally impressive scheme in Gateshead totalling a further 134,000m² (using our TR60+ 1.2mm structural floor decking and almost 330k shear studs) over three levels of mezzanine accommodating extensive racking requirements.
Managed by our Midlands Contract Team based in Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire, our works are due to commence in mid-September 2020 and last 12 weeks.