Raised Access Floors
Raised access floors are a type of floor offering structural elevation on a solid substrate, with the purpose of creating a hidden void able to be utilised as a passage of electrical and mechanical services. Raised access floors are not uncommon in modern office buildings and in specialised facilities, including command centres, banks, universities, schools, call centres, film and television studios, museums, showrooms and exhibition areas and IT data centres.
Computer rooms and modern equipment utilise air distribution below the floor with the purpose of cooling off the room with low levels of energy consumption. The space below the raised floor provides conditioned air that is intelligently dispersed vertically into the room through evenly spaced out ducts, blowers and diffuser tiles.
Raised access floors are cost-effective to have installed and in addition to that, they have a tendency to add to the building’s value, whether it is being utilised for rental purposes or is available for sale. The floors allow occupants to rearrange the room to fulfil the needs of those working there – without having to invest in masonry work or rip up the floor.
Below are the key features of raised access floors.
Floor panels. This is essentially the horizontal component that bears the load and features an industry standard size; 24 by 24 inches. These panels are supplied by the manufacturer as factory bonded finished or bare finished.
Stringer. A horizontal component connecting pedestals together.
Pedestal. This is a vertical structure that connects the panels and is typically adjustable. They are usually supported with the sub-floor through the use of adhesive based on epoxy resin, and can further be supported by mechanical fixing.
Raised access floors save energy in the the space that lies between them and the subfloor offers a certain degree of thermal insulation. Furthermore, once the central cooling system, along with the central heating system, has been installed, there is research to prove that this demonstrates more energy efficiency than what lies on the walls. When there has been a reduction in energy consumption, an organisation receives financial benefits with regards to a reduction of energy bills, while also having contributed towards greener operations.
Additionally, raised access floors offer fast and simple access to telecom and data facilities that are required in the modern office building. They also make access easy for the upgrading of services, re-routing and maintenance, with very little disruption to operations.