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Tile-lifter-in-use-raised-floor

A suction-cup tile lifter has been used to remove a tile.

Beneath-the-raised-floor-0a

Beneath a raised floor

A raised floor (also raised flooring) is a type of floor used in office buildings (such as IT data centers) with a high requirement for servicing to carry cables, wiring, and electrical supply. Additional structural support and lighting are often provided when a floor is raised enough for a person to crawl or even walk beneath.

In the U.S., it is becoming a more common way to cool a building by passing chilled water pipes throughout it, as has been done in Europe since the 1970s.[1]

Design Edit

This type of floor consists of a gridded metal framework or understructure of adjustable-height legs (called "pedestals") that provide support for individual floor panels, which are usually 2×2 feet or 60×60 cm in size. The height of the legs/pedestals is dictated by the volume of cables and other services provided beneath, but typically arranged for a clearance of at least six inches or 15 cm.

The panels are normally made of steel-clad particleboard or a steel panel with a cementitious internal core. There are a variety of flooring finishes to suit the application such as carpets, high-pressure laminates, marble, stone, and antistatic finishes for use in computer rooms and laboratories.

Many modern computer and equipment rooms employ an underfloor cooling system to ensure even cooling of the room with minimal wasted energy. Cooled air is pumped under the floor and dispersed upward into the room through regularly spaced diffuser tiles or through ducts directed into specific equipment. Automatic fire protection shutoffs may be required for under-floor ventilation, and additional suppression systems may be installed in case of under-floor fires.

Because the flooring tiles are rarely removed once equipment has been installed, the space below them is seldom cleaned, and fluff and other debris settles, making working on cabling underneath the flooring a dirty job. Smoke detectors under the raised floor can be triggered by workers disturbing the dust, resulting in false alarms.

Panel-lifter Edit

Suction-lifter-one-cup

One-cup suction lifter

To remove panels, a tool with a suction cup on the end (referred to as a "floor puller", "tile lifter", or "suction lifter") is used. A hook-and-loop lifter may be used on carpeted panels.

Structural problems Edit

Structural problems, such as rocking panels and gaps between panels, can cause significant damage to equipment and injury to personnel. Regular inspections for the structural integrity of a raised floor system can be used to identify problems.

Cooling load implications Edit

The installation of a raised floor system can change the thermal behaviour of the building by reducing the interaction between the heat gains and the thermally massive concrete slab.[2] The raised floor serves as a separation between the room and the slab. Energy simulations of an office building located in San Francisco showed that the mere presence of the raised floor affects the zone cooling load profile and tends to increase the peak cooling load. When carpeting is present the negative impact of the raised floor on zone peak cooling load may be reduced.[2]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Template:Cite website
  2. 2.0 2.1 Schiavon S, Lee KH, Bauman F, Webster T (2010). "Influence of raised floor on zone design cooling load in commercial buildings". Energy and Buildings. 42 (5): 1182–1191. doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2010.02.009. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/2bv611dt. 
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