Key Benefits Of Raised Floor Systems in Your Building
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Advancements in technology have led to some simple yet revolutionary improvements in the way we do things. In the workplace, raised floor systems have become ubiquitous especially with office buildings filled with companies making the shift towards more computerized business processes.
Access floors serve the dual purpose of actually isolating the messy wirings underneath and looking clean and sophisticated above. Now different people, from business owners to building developers, have been integrating the concept of access floors to meet the challenges of modern business upkeep - from the dynamic office needs to increasing attrition rates. Even more imposing are the demands to keep up with the rapidly changing technology and the need to maintain high flexibility against low downtime.
To better appreciate the advantages of implementing a raised floor system in your building, here are some of the key benefits of this flooring technique.
1. Energy savings
One of the original purposes of raised floor systems has been to facilitate underfloor air distribution as an energy-efficient method of cooling the building and managing its thermal loads.
Usually in server rooms or data centers, perforated tiles are set underneath computer terminals to lead cooled air towards them. The cycle continues as the computers exhaust its generated heat across the room where an air conditioning unit draws the ambient air, cools it, and releases it in the space below the raised floors.
It also reduces fan power requirements by creating areas underneath with large cross-sectional areas. This space can supply air with low pressure drops.
This improvement in the management of your temperature will then affect your energy efficiency and your power consumption. Simply put, the implementation of a raised floor system improves the temperature in your office, which reduces your power consumption. This is best appreciated when the next electric bill comes.
Temperature is a key factor in the efficiency of most appliances. For cooling appliances such as fans and air conditioning units, higher average temperatures mean that they have to work for extended periods of time, often at maximum capacity. This forces your cooling appliances to consume more electricity.
In computers and handheld devices, cooling is an important part of maintaining their optimum performance. It is generally known that the small integrated circuits acting as the brains of your computer generate heat and without ample cooling to support it, could affect their performance. In fact, older model CPUs directly fail due to overheating while newer models simply adjust their frequency depending on the temperature.
2. Safety, health, and comfort
Now that the temperature concerns are out of the way and the electronic equipment is now in a better place, the next beneficiary of raised floor systems are the occupants themselves. A study has identified links between thermal discomfort on an individual’s performance of their respective office works.
As the raised floor facilitates a more uniform and efficient ventilation in the room, personal comfort concerns are addressed, if not outright eliminated. Also, the air quality is improved since the now upward flow from the raised flooring carries pollutants upward and is carried into filter-equipped cooling equipment instead of letting these microbes float around in the room air.
All these benefits contribute to an overall savings in costs that would otherwise be incurred from different factors such as employee absenteeism from health or psychological concerns.
While environmental discomfort as a deterrent has been addressed, there are still a lot of other factors which affect the occupants’ psychological state and their productivity at work. Noise is another cause for distraction and is an important environmental factor affecting an employee’s well-being. Exposure to noise comes from a variety of sources such as transport to and from work as well as the indoor work environment itself. Studies have shown that raised flooring, when designed and installed with the right materials, can actually dampen some of the common background sounds in the office from footsteps to humming of electronic equipment.
Another circumstantial factor often overlooked is the visual and aesthetic advantage of using access floors. Aside from the fact that an office floor with minimal wires slithering about is visually pleasing, it actually contributes to employee productivity by reducing clutter found in the area when paired with efforts to tidy up.
Lastly, keeping all your wires underneath the floors tidy up the space above and reduces the risks of tripping over them. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified that trips, together with slips and falls, collectively make up about 20% of job-related injuries and costs employers close to 40,000 USD for every incident. Instead of working it halfway by investing in cable organizers later on, why not start out right and design your workspace with an access flooring.
3. Easy access and reconfiguration
Raised floor systems have been popular among highly computerized office spaces because its design offers easy access for installation, maintenance, and reconfiguration of wires and cables. Maintenance and repair work can be performed without interrupting other users.
With traditional office setups using the normal floors, if a wire or a cable is damaged, it will most likely require taking the entire line off or worse, an area of the office needs to be temporarily closed down for repairs. This equates to downtime and losses in output and profit.
With raised floors, the technician can just take off the exact tile where the repairs needed to be done and put it back after. This is especially important for telecommunications and data centers, where the mission-critical processes depend on rows after rows of cables.
While the reasons listed above are some of the most common benefits of having a raised floor system, it’s still better to do a bit more research and see if it is a worthwhile investment for your organization.
Do not hesitate to make additional research on costs and materials and if needed, you can ask providers for their input. This additional work will save your time, money, and energy in the long run and will definitely help you arrive at a raised floor system that will work perfectly with you and your company’s needs.