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Floor Height

Views:113     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2018-04-18      Origin:Site

The height of your raised floor will be determined in part by your need for underfloor space, combined with available ceiling height and budget. While taller floors may cost more, the additional cost may be surprisingly lower than you thought.


Traditional Raised Floor with Underfloor Air Distribution


During the concept and design stages, the height of your raised floor will be determined based upon the amount of cabling, wiring and piping to be installed under your floor, as well as any underfloor air distribution you may need. 


For example, if you plan to have underfloor air distribution in a data center environment, your mechanical engineer should be able to tell you how much floor height you need for effective airflow. 


Typical heights are 24"-48", but this is based upon several factors, not least of which is the type of air handler, fan (centrifugal vs. backward curved) and any type of air containment system implemented.


Your access floor height should be sufficient so that, once you subtract out the space used by wires, cables and piping, you are still left with sufficient floor height for air distribution.


This is one of the biggest points that we need to make, so we will talk about it some more. The floor height is often determined by the design team early on in the process, with other trades vying for space.


We usually see better results when the absolute maximum height is known up front, and the actual floor height can be a dynamic value that may change as the electrical, mechanical and IT teams have their input.


I can't tell you how many data centers I've been in that have a 12"-24" floor, because that is a standard minimum for air distribution, yet the floor is completely full of wires, cables and pipes! 


Obviously, these data centers have serious cooling issues that are usually exacerbated by adding more cooling units. 


The underlying issue is insufficient floor height and lack of proper airflow..


So, we cannot stress enough the importance of proper design! However, if you have an existing space, and you are experiencing some of these issues, there are still some things we can do! 


We do renovation work, which includes increasing the height of a floor while reusing the existing floor panels.


Low Profile, Cable Management Floor (no air, cables only)


One of the biggest trends in building design and operations is the use of low profile access floors. These are floors from 1.5"-6" high that allow for simple, effective cable management, without the need for concrete trenching or overhead cable management. 


If you don't need underfloor air distribution (usually for large, industrial applications like data centers, electrical rooms or production lines) you probably don't need a traditional access floor, which could be 2 feet or higher. 


Many industries outside of data centers are now using low profile floors to simplify cable management; industries like the retail industry, command/control centers, call centers and even traditional office space.


Another benefit of these lower floors is the built in cable management trenches and variety of integral electrical floor boxes. This technology takes an otherwise cumbersome job and turns it into a simple plug and play affair.


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