BRE Digest 437

Industrial platform floors: mezzanine and raised storage

As the purchaser of a mezzanine floor you may not be aware that the Government, due to persistent reports of failure in design and performance of mezzanine plat- forms, has just published its minimum design guidance for industrial platforms known as Digest 437. This guidance is the result of two years consultation with structural engineers and the mezzanine floor industry.

The Digest establishes a new improved minimum design standard, to give the user a ‘fit for purpose’ and safe solution. Any deviation from the recommendations contained in the Digest may save money but will reduce performance and could put the user at risk through failure of the platform. All Oracle Storage mezzanine floors meet the requirements of Digest 437 within their standard specification.

The key changes introduced in Digest 437:

Chipboard Decking: The new document insists on P5 or P7 particle board. These are both moisture resistant boards. BRE Digest 437 also introduces new reduced deflection design criteria for decking design, reducing the ‘bounce’ feel to the mezzanine floor

Mezzanine Stability: A minimum horizontal force of 2% of the total load should be assumed to be acting at the decking level – this percentage is four times greater than that required using the previous design method, BS5950:Part1. This has a significant impact on column design and bracing, but obviously improves the stability of the structure and provides a fit for purpose design for industrial platforms.

Handrail and Edge Protection: Where toe plates are provided they should be robust and imperforate, and should extend to at least 100mm above the finished platform surface. The design of the guarding should preferably provide for anchorage fixings to be connect- ed to the supporting steel structure. Reliance should not be assumed on the integrity of the decking for support unless verified by design calculations or testing.

If required, you can purchase the full digest from the BRE Bookshop

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