We're working on a detailed article on proper access floor height, and it should be out in a week or two.
In the meantime, I thought we'd put out a short primer on raised floor height, because it's one of the biggest, recurring issues customers face.
We briefly covered floor height in our article on access floor basics; it might be interesting for you to read if you get a chance.
So in order to get our creative juices flowing for the article on height, and to get you thinking about your own experiences with access floors, let's dive in!
Why Not Get a 12" Floor and Call It a Day?
It seems simple, right? The problem is, that some customers need to have underfloor airflow, and in our experience, 12" is almost NEVER enough!
12 Inches Is Not Enough
Once you start eating up that underfloor height with the panel, wires, cables, conduit and piping, you are left with far less than 12". Ask any mechanical engineer who specializes in data centers, and they will likely agree that no data center should have such a small air plenum.
12 Inches is Way Too Much
For others, twelve inches of floor height is simply too much. If you are not using the raised floor for airflow, why do you need a foot of space? Do your cables stack a foot high? Probably not!
There are better (and shorter) floors that are very useful for managing your cables. And it's all about managing cables and making your life a lot easier. Hint: Integral cable trenches are a lifesaver!
Do You Need a 4 Foot High Access Floor?
Probably not, but we still sell plenty of them for some very high profile clients. Hint: Did you find us via a web search? Hint 2: Did you see this post on Google+? (wink, wink).
Some clients, and thus some buildings, are institutional in size. We're talking 30 foot ceilings in some cases. That's plenty of room for a floor that is 4+ feet high.
When you start getting that vertical, you have plenty of room for big chilled water pipes, as well as a maze of cabling.