MEZZANINE FLOORS LIGHTING ELECTRICAL SUSPENDED CEILINGS PARTITIONS
About the project
Retailing furniture, soft furnishings, lighting, luxury paint and innovative designer wallpapers requires careful merchandising and extensive, appeal display areas especially when attracting both consumer and trade customers. It also takes up a lot of space, which is why luxury home décor company Andrew Martin encountered problems when it wanted to increase its product offer
Seeking a way of substantially extending their display space within the existing warehouse building, they contacted Spaceway for some suggestions. During discussions it became clear that it was not just a matter of providing extra space, there had to be a way to provide access for large products as well as public access with a wide staircase. The building was huge and led itself to easily being transformed with a mezzanine area. As Spaceway points out, “It was effectively a big mezzanine floor with two staircases. We enclosed one as a fire exit route and an access into their existing first floor office, and then the main route was at the front of the building where all the general public could go in.”
Among the design criteria given by Andrew Martin was the need for continued public access at all times, and that the new mezzanine would also have to be suitable for public access. There was also the question of merchandise size. Furniture items such as tables, chairs, bookcases and sideboards could be very bulky and large. An additional consideration had to be flexibility, since the merchandise ranges on offer were continually evolving so as to provide inspiration for customers.
Design & Tender
After several meetings and studying the design options and visualisations created by Spaceway as part of the tender process, Andrew Martin undertook a final due diligence on the viability of the scheme. From the beginning of discussions, Andrew Martin were very impressed with the suggestions and approach being taken by Spaceway, with Andrew Martin just needing to carry out due diligence and final costings in order to move forward.
Spaceway says “We took the brief and then did all the designs. Mike Durbridge was very commendable about our approach, how we worked, how proactive we were. Ånd when we did put the costs on the table, the quotes on the table, our costs were in the region they wanted to be, and they wanted to work with us.”
A decision was quickly reached, indicating that Spaceway would provide the most cost effective, professional and suitable building option, reaching a price that was acceptable to all parties.
The next step was to set up site meetings to discuss contracts, the exact nature of the build and how it would be built. The key consideration was the need to maintain public access and continue trading while the new mezzanine was being built, especially since it was impossible to empty the warehouse. This meant that care had to be taken to avoid damaging the merchandise on display, and allow Andrew Martin staff to continue operating on site.
“We had to look at a phase build so that they could strategically move a certain amount of kit to another site while the build happened. But they also wanted to maintain operations there while we were building to the best of their ability. There was a number of meetings where we came up with a programme of works, and a look at the phasing of the building so that we could agree with the client what their capabilities were and ours. What we required so that we could carry out the build whist minimising disruption to them. From point of order, there was a process doing that. And then we obtained all the building regulations and got it certified,” explained Spaceway.
A Big Build
It was a big build, covering 700 sq metres of space and four and half metres high to allow for large items to be displayed attractively and effectively. In total, the entire project took 10 weeks to complete. This covered all aspects of the installation, including the mezzanine fire protection, electrical works and fire alarm work in order to comply with building regulations. Pallet gates had to be installed so that larger items could be accessed using a forklift truck. In addition, a small office was installed at the front of the building to house the warehouse manager and staff on site as part of the project.
Despite the sheer size of the project, and the complexity of ensuring trading could continue on site throughout the building works, it proved to be a seamless, hassle free process without any problems occurring. Spaceway believe this was achieved simply because of the way they had approached the project from the beginning. They had asked all the right questions, undertaken their due diligence as to the circumstances and requirements being sought by Andrew Martin. It was a matter of logistics, rather than design.
“We pre-planned it very well and accommodated time between phases for the client to be able to move their kit around. Dates moved slightly, but there were no issues during the build at all. I think because the pre-planning was done so well, it wasn’t changed on site. Because we’d put the time in at the front end, in getting the design right, getting the column layouts in grid to suit so that they’d have lots of columns underneath. We looked at the planning of it in great detail. And then the pre-planning, the contractual pre-planning of how we were going to do the build was done so well, it was a pretty seamless, well-executed job..”
The End Result
The resultant build proved extremely successful. “If you look at the size of the floor, they’ve got an additional 700 sq metres of showroom space. They’ve literally been able to double the amount of products they put out on the floor for people to come and view and buy. They doubled their warehouse floor area. We filled the whole building with their mezzanine. They’ve effectively doubled their footprint, which meant they could double their shop space.”