A mezzanine (or in French, an entresol) is, strictly speaking, an intermediate floor in a building which is partly open to the double-height ceilinged floor below, or which does not extend over the whole floorspace of the building. However, the term is often used loosely for the floor above the ground floor, especially where a very high original ground floor has been split horizontally into two floors.
Mezzanines may serve a wide variety of functions. Industrialmezzanines, such as those used in warehouses, may be temporary orsemi-permanent structures.
In French architecture, entresol also means a room created by partitioning that does not go up all the way to the ceiling; these were historically common in France, for example in the apartments for the nobility at the Palace of Versailles.
What is mezzanine floor?
A mezzanine floor is an intermediate floor between main floors of a building, and therefore typically not counted among the overall floors of a building. Often, a mezzanine is low-ceilinged and projects in the form of a balcony. The term is also used for the lowest balcony in a theatre, or for the first few rows of seats in that balcony. The word mezzanine comes from Italian mezzano “middle”.
In industrial applications, mezzanine floor systems are semi-permanent floor systems typically installed within buildings, built between two permanent original stories. These structures are usually free standing and in most cases can be dismantled and relocated.
Commercially sold mezzanine structures are generally constructed of three main materials; steel, aluminium, and fibreglass. The decking or flooring of a mezzanine will vary by application but is generally composed of b-deck underlayment and wood product finished floor or a heavy duty steel, aluminium or fibreglass grating.
The mezzanine is often used in shops and similar spaces for storage of tools or materials. The high roof of the shop is ideal for a mezzanine, and offices can be put either below or above it. Mezzanines are frequently used in industrial operations such as warehousing, distribution or manufacturing. These facilities have high ceilings, allowing unused space to be utilized within the vertical cube. Industrial mezzanine structures are typically either structural, roll formed, rack-supported, or shelf supported, allowing high density storage within the mezzanine structure.
What is ‘Mezzanine Financing’
Mezzanine financing is a hybrid of debt and equity financing that gives the lender the right to convert to an equity interest in the company in case of default, generally after venture capital companies and other senior lenders are paid. Mezzanine financing tends to be completed with little due diligence on the part of the lender and little or no collateral on the part of the borrower. It is treated as equity on a company’s balance sheet.
Mezzanine financing is generally offered to companies that have a track record in their industry, an established reputation and product, a history of profitability and a viable expansion plan for the business, such as through expansions, acquisitions or an initial public offering (IPO).
A typical interest rate for mezzanine financing is 12% to 20%, making it a high-risk, potentially high-return debt form. Mezzanine financing typically replaces part of the capital that equity investors would otherwise have to provide a company. For example, a private equity firm is purchasing a $200 million business. Senior lenders agree to provide $150 million. The private equity company secures mezzanine financing for $20 million and puts in $30 million of its own funds for the buyout. By using mezzanine financing, the purchasing company leverages its return while contributing less of its own capital.
In industrial settings, mezzanines may be installed (rather than built as part of the structure) in high-ceilinged spaces such as warehouses. These semi-permanent structures are usually free-standing, can be dismantled and relocated, and are sold commercially. Industrial mezzanine structures can be supported by structural steel columns and elements, or by racks or shelves Depending on the span and the run of the mezzanine, different materials may be used for the mezzanine’s deck Some industrial mezzanines may also include enclosed, paneled office space on their upper levels
Industrial mezzanines are typically not constructed of wood, although advancements in the engineering of composite lumber in the late 1990s and early 21st century greatly increased the viability of wood-based products as a mezzanine flooring solution. While mezzanines made out of wood are traditionally considered only as a solution for storageand not for material handling purposes, composite lumber panels are a commonly used for elevated platforms or in LEED certified warehouses due to the presence of recycled contents in the compost and a decreased dependency on the amount of structural steel required to raise the platform.
A structural engineer is sometimes hired to help determine whether the floor of the building can support a mezzanine (and how heavy the mezzanine may be), and to design the appropriate mezzanine