A raised computer or access floor creates the much needed space for the distribution of electrical and data cabling. In many buildings the raised computer floor also conceals plumbing and air conditioning systems.
The advantages to choosing raised computer flooring
Taking the complex demands for wiring into account, today’s office environments need to have flexibility in cable, data and voice management. Access floors allow for maintenance, technological changes, and any other installations to be accomplished quickly, easily and economically. There will be no disruptions to the daily running of the office or business as technicians can work below where they are working.
If any type of remodeling is needed, then access flooring which may be combined with modular electrical systems and modular wall can be achieved in less time than in traditional brick and mortar situations.
The space between the panels and the subfloor acts as a plenum chamber and can distributed cooled or heated air throughout the office more efficiently, especially in winter, since warm air rises.
Data centers and telecommunication facilities need to draw cool air from below to keep their equipment from overheating. Raised computer floors and special perforated tiles assist the special equipment to cool down as the colder air is drawn upwards.
In some buildings, uneven flooring can also be a problem because it cannot support a variety of floor finishes. A raised computer floor will allow for the cabling to be hidden, while the floor is also leveled out allowing for a larger variety of flooring options.
Access floors are the perfect alternative to suspended ceilings, pre-cast trunking and dado trunking.
How is the floor raised?
A grid is constructed with vertical pedestals and a structural floor is composed of panels onto this. The pedestals are fixed to the subfloor with mechanical fixings or adhesives and the pedestals can be adjusted to the desired height. This is usually between 3 and 48 inches, but in industrial buildings it can be much higher if needed.
The panels come in many types of finishes such as: carpet, ceramic tiles, linoleum, laminate, rubber, stone, and vinyl and are usually 2X2 feet in size.
These floors are durable and easy to maintain and the cost will vary, depending on the height, weight it needs to bear, type of flooring etc.
What you need to know
Structural integrity according to the projected use will have to be considered before any installation is done. There are other considerations that have to be taken into account to ensure that the floor is completed without hitches on time and that it is safe.
Firstly, the subfloor needs to be examined and it needs to meet the conditions set. These conditions will include the type of material the subfloor is made of and also what other local of conditions have to be taken into consideration, e.g. earthquakes, string winds, etc.
Another important consideration is whether the door thresholds can accommodate a raised computer floor.
Lastly, safety guidelines have to be included and these are: fire suppression systems and warning systems, and automatic cut-off systems for electrical systems. Loads that the floor will have to bear need to be worked out, these include: rolling loads, stationary loads and pedestrian traffic.
Buildings with raised computer floors allow potential occupants the ability to easily move into the space in far less time, while also offering flexibility for future changes. If the new occupants want to change the color or type of finish of the panels, it is much cheaper to do and they will have a wide range of options.
Maintenance of raised computer floors
The professional installation of a raised computer floor is guaranteed to last for many years. New cabling can easily be added without the need to waste time or money as the office routine will not be disrupted. The floor can be maintained by cleaning it daily with the correct cleaner for the specific type of panel covering chosen. The panels should be lifted once in a while to ensure that dust and other particles are removed. This will prevent the cabling from heating up while it also serves as an opportunity for the maintenance team to inspect the cabling, piping and fire systems.