Why Raised Access Floors?

By: Trevor Cleves

Want to break out from the conventional choice and go for something new for your floors? If the answer is yes, try out raised access floors. They are meant for a different foot feel, something which will definitely make you feel better. Wood core raised access floors are the most popular among the many varieties that are available in the market. They are not like the China laminate floor materials, where the wood core is strongly abrasion resistant. Instead, the surface of wood core raised access floors are covered with a PVC or HPL tile, making the floor surface wear resistant.

For anyone wanting water resistant floors, the wood core variety is not the way to go. If you are open to a softer look, the carpet covered RA flooring may be more suited to you. The carpet, HPL and PVC floors are the perfect solution for the cement infill panel flooring. Likewise, for anyone wanting ventilated floors, the perforated raised floors are a great option. The OA floor is another type which offers a wonderful choice of several wires or cables that will be used on your floor.

They have a pedestal that enables you to make adjustments and bring the floor to a desired height. Check the thickness, length and width of the floor panel to ensure that it meets your needs. Also, check that the floor is galvanised, if you need galvanisation at all. To determine how much you will need, calculate the area of your room beforehand.

Here are just a few of the benefits of raised floor access.

Cooling. It is important to maintain a highly optimised temperature and raised access floors offer unique cooling features. They can be a base for cool, conditioned air to uniformly distribute below the equipment centre. They reduce any contact between the concrete foundation and the floor, allowing conditioned air to be upwardly dispersed with an increased level of effectiveness through tiles and diffuser ducts that have been spaced carefully. Furthermore, cool air can be controlled from chilled pipes running below the floor.

Fire Suppression. The content of your data centre is important and sometimes even critical. You can't rely solely on sprinkler heads, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors to protect it. However, since data centres need power to continually run, and because they maintain a vast amount of circuits and cables, there will almost always be a risk of fire. Raised access floors help to suppress this risk by providing an excellent copper grid grounding ability, as well as electrical continuity. The flooring is also non-combustible, with an excellent fire barrier located between the cables below and the equipment above. Automatic fire shut-offs can be installed below, which will prevent fire from spreading.

Flexibility. Most raised access floors have a number of interchangeable and lightweight tiles and so the design is largely flexible and adaptable. In data centres with equipment that is added and updated frequently, this enables data centre design to be more easily improved, modified and adapted without any significant operations disruptions. Ladders are not needed for wire repairs and management.

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Trevor has many years’ experience within the industry, and now puts his knowledge of raised access floors to use writing for Spacelink. See more at www.spacelink.co.uk.

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