What is raised access flooring?
Raised access flooring is the installation of an elevated, structurally-sound floor surface above a solid base (sometimes called a substrate), which is often a concrete block. The purpose of this hidden void is to enable the passage of mechanical and electrical services, for example, wiring systems, under-floor air conditioning, or data cabling services, safely beneath the floor. This allows for a neater aesthetic by minimising unsightly wires and cords across the space, and also helps to avoid the health and safety issues caused by accessible wiring.
What are the benefits of raised access flooring?
You might be wondering whether your project needs this secondary flooring structure above the building’s original floor. Whether the building is a new build or an existing historical structure, there are further benefits to a raised access flooring system. Beyond the usefulness of a space reserved for the delivery of important services, raised access flooring can actually be additionally used to protect an original floor from further wear and tear – important in some historically significant settings.
Five advantages to installing a raised access floor:
- The aesthetic appeal. Vital but visually unappealing wires and cables are easily routed where necessary but without becoming an eyesore or trip hazard in the space.
- Easy access. By simply lifting the floor tiles, maintenance is easy and efficient.
- Equipment (and people!) can be kept cool more efficiently. By installing air conditioning beneath the raised floor, both equipment and people can be kept cool while using less energy, cutting down bills in the long term.
- Design options. Your raised flooring can be given all sorts of finishes, from wood to concrete to carpet. If you’re reluctant (or unable) to alter the native flooring, this is a great way to allow for a change.
- A raised access floor is easy to change or fix if the building undergoes a change of use and needs an alternate flooring option.
Why do you need raised access flooring?
Buildings and spaces are often designed by architects to fit a business’ needs. Perhaps a tech firm needed heavy wiring to each workstation, for example, allowing for desktop monitors, wired internet access, secondary monitors, and printers. So the architect’s design would take this into account. But what about in ten years? Suddenly the workforce is working predominantly wirelessly, and without a desktop base.
We’re all aware that the nature of business and how we work has undergone drastic changes over the past decade, with remote, flexible, and wireless working now often considered no-brainers – so how will your designed space adapt? Raised access floors allow your space to pivot much more easily, removing and replacing redundant elements with the new facilities your business might need, at a much lower cost than a significant redesign.
Raised access flooring can be utilised across many scenarios, from office venues to HMRC’s regional centre in Belfast, Erskine House, one of our recent raised access flooring projects.
Need to discuss? CCL Interiors are industry-leading installers of raised access flooring. Based in Belfast but providing professional interior fit-out solutions across the UK and Ireland, get in touch today to see if we can help you to install raised access flooring.