Lofty Inspiration At Home
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to chill at the mezzanine floor level or having a loft above your main living space. Some of us have yearn to live in a loft especially as space and homes are relatively small here in Singapore. For those whose homes are blessed with a great height and are looking to convert the house into a loft, here are some structural considerations you might want to note:
This refers to the amount of clearance space is legislated by the Building Control Authority (BCA). It is measured from the finished floor level to the underside of the ceiling slab. The minimum clearance required would be 2.4m, excluding beams or building structure supports. So in order to have a loft, you would need a clearance height of 2.4m below and as for above, it will depend on the usage of the space on the loft, pending approval to BCA.
Size Of Loft
Let’s say you do have the ceiling height to achieve this, then what? You need to know what size of the loft you want to create. If the area of the loft level is more than 5 square metre, sill need to provide structural plans and submit for approval to BCA prior to any works. Areas with less than 5 square metre are often known as ‘furniture decks’ and you do not need an approval considering you meet all the other regulations.
There are strict regulations governing the construction of staircases too such as the depth of the thread and the height of the riser (riser referring to the vertical height of each step, and thread refers to the horizontal plank of each). With the riser and thread calculation, you will be able to determine how much floor space your staircase shall take up and how to orientate it in your space. You can obtain the relevant information on staircase requirements from the BCA Approved Document.
This is one of the main reasons why we have so much regulations governing any construction, not only to a loft structure. Safety will cover many aspects such as the types of materials used and dimensions of walking space. You also need to consider if having a loft at your place might lead to a more accident-prone environment. Having young children or elderly around would further require more thought and consideration in this.
This article is written by Montie Mahtani, Creative Director of M3 Studio.Image credit: Prozfile and Inzz Studio.