There you are.
Sitting in the project planning meeting. The clock ticks. The coffee is gone.
Are you having fun yet?
If you are talking about access floors, probably not.
Raised access floors aren't much fun. They serve a purpose by creating a space in which to run cables, wires, piping and even cold air.
But it's still just a floor. You walk on it. Enough said, right?
We truly believe an access floor is a living, breathing part of your building, and can have a bigger impact than you imagined. It can make your job, and your life, much easier.
But before I share how, you should ask yourself why you need a raised floor in the first place.
Let's get beyond the status quo here. We know you need to manage your cables. Got it. We know you may need underfloor air distribution. Check.
What are the underlying reasons you need these things? What bad experiences in the past are you trying to avoid?
So much work goes into designing a building, yet so little thought is given to the access floor. Some organizations have been sold on the idea of a raised floor when they may not have needed one. Still others were sold a cookie-cutter system which didn't take into account their specific needs and goals.
You should spend some time talking about the concept behind your access floor, and if an alternative design might serve you better. Or better yet, engage with us, and we can do that hard work for you.
If you start the project with a great team backing you, you're already set up to make your job easier.
1. Using the Wrong Height Floor
Access floors come in varying heights from 1.5" to over 6 feet. I'm sure you know that already. But did you know that, while having too short of a floor can be bad, having too high of a floor can be worse?
A floor should be high enough to provide room for cables, wires and pipes, while keeping plenty of access space when your team needs to change the configuration.
If you are using the underfloor space for air distribution, subtract out the height taken up by any and all piping and wiring, as well as the panel thickness. That's what is left for your airflow. Consult with a mechanical engineer to ensure that won't impact the cooling of your critical equipment. (By the way, this is a consulting service we can provide for you, just to make your job easier).
If your floor is too high, though, you could be stuck with higher capital expense, lower ceiling height, and a big waste of space. Rightsizing vs. Upsizing, it makes a difference!
2. Not Using Enough Access Floor Throughout Your Building
This one may sound self-serving, but hear me out. Yes, we would like to sell more raised floor, but, do you know what we'd love even more? To have you as a great customer who got the perfect solution for your needs!
Still, I have seen many customers take an under floor cabling project to a certain point, but then stop short. Literally.
Putting an access floor in your data center is not only a great idea, it's been the defacto way of building a data center for decades. (Check out our other articles and blog posts for alternatives). But many times, the floor stops at the threshold of the data center and office space.
Today's work environments are highly-connected, cable intensive spaces, and your team members need to be connected to the each other and the outside world. Continuing the access floor into general office areas is a great way to do that while making cable management much easier.
If you think a 3 foot high floor in an office space is too much, have you thought about low profile access floors?
3. Using the Wrong Type of Floor
All raised floors are created equal, right? Wrong! This isn't the 1990s and we aren't your typical manufacturer. You have choices, people!
Steel-encased, concrete core panels on 3 foot high pedestals are great for a data center, but do you need that in an office space? What about in a retail store? A library? Not only would 3 feet be too high for most of those applications, but the panel types themselves are ill-suited.
Look, cementitious raised floor panels are great for industrial type applications, data centers included. But do you really need that in an office space?
The top way that an access floor can change the way you work is by simplifying your cable management. With a low profile, cable management floor, your job as IT or Facilities Manager just got a lot easier.
With an easy-to-manage height range of a mere 1.5"-6", low profile floors have built in cable trenches. With a wide range of electrical distribution boxes, the cabling layout for your space is infinite.
And how about changing and re-routing cables as your workspace changes? As easy as picking up a carpet tile, moving the cable, and putting back down the carpet tile. Easy, right?
So why are so many office and retail spaces still using tall, expensive, cumbersome access floors? Yeah, I'm not sure either!
I did make that promise, and it will. If you think about it, I've already given away the secrets to success with access floors and cable management.
There is no secret to what we do and how it helps our customers. We believe that access floors can make electrical, data and voice cable management easier than other methods. We know that our customers have different needs and applications, and that a single type of floor will not be the best solution for everyone.
That's why we manufacture the widest range of access floor of any brand. We have a solution to fit your need, from 1.5" to over 6 feet high.
If you have used this type of floor in the past, we'd love to work with you on your next project. If you currently manage cables with trenching or overhead cable management, give us a call; we'd love to share our success stories and see if we can help make your job easier.
Our goal is to help you get back to work.
You should not have to worry about how to run your cables. Reconfiguring an office space to accommodate new employees and more cubicles should not be a major project. It should be as easy as peeling up a carpet tile, moving the cables and electrical boxes, and putting the carpet back.
Wiring for a newsroom should be easy and efficient. It's just as easy in a retail store, too.
If carpet isn't your thing, check out our other finishes. From terrazzo, to marble and granite, to wood grain and bamboo, we have a wide selection of professional and warm floor finishes that have been specially designed to stand up to the rigors of an access floor.
If your raised access floor has been giving you fits, it might not be the floor; it might be the floor company. We'd love to make your job easier.
Give us a call or send us an email. We'd love to hear from you!Access Floor