Savings Advice for your Raised Access Floor
Hitting that happy balance of materials which cost less and meet performance requirements is an obvious goal for any enterprise. To that end, many of our blogs have demonstrated how raised access floors can improve efficiency and performance in virtually any work space while helping to cut operational costs.
There is one frequently overlooked detail however, which should not be left out of the cost equation...
That is, when undertaking the transition to a raised floor system, don't forget to consider the weight of the floor system itself!
Using lighter components and lightweight systems wherever possible can help to:
1) Reduce Labor Costs
While lightweight floor systems generally translate to reduced installation effort and cost from the outset, the true savings are realized over the lifetime of the system.
Raised access floors are designed for access! Whether it's for routine maintenance, repair, monitoring, or systems upgrades, raised floor systems allow for convenient access to utilities and infrastructure that would otherwise be difficult to reach behind walls or above ceilings. Since floor systems with lighter panels and components are easier to shuffle around, laborers can access and perform maintenance in less time and with greater efficiency than they can with heavier alternatives.
Lighter components = easier access = lower lifetime labor costs!
2) Reduce Shipping Costs
This one is a no-brainer! From handling, to fuel costs, to logistics, the shipping and handling of heavy freight can be costly. And who wants to absorb any greater shipping expense than is absolutely necessary?
3) Limit Structural Design and Material Costs
This one is crucial, as it could save a lot of trouble and money in the implementation of your design. When completing a structural floor loading assessment, your evaluation should solve for the sub-floor of your facility and it should factor the weight of the access floor as part of the load calculation. Overlooking the weight of the raised floor system could lead to having to make costly structural enhancements.
This article from the IBM Knowledge Center contains helpful information about server room floor loading assessments. While its focus is server room applications, the article contains a handy floor loading formula and descriptions which help to account for different variables.
When designing a facility with raised access floors, it's just as important to know what your space requires as it is to know what floor options are available.
For instance, while it may seem obvious that an application with large industrial equipment would require a heavy floor system with a high load capacity, it may not be so apparent that lightweight high load systems also exist. Such systems are designed to solve for both heavy equipment applications as well as "smaller" operations that may need the flexibility to grow into heavier equipment in the future.
SB Tech, in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), has developed a novel raised floor alloy called ECO Al-Mg. It combines the strength and durability of magnesium with the benefits of aluminum's natural corrosion resistance, light weight, and lower cost.
Through a proprietary blending formula, Eco Aluminum is a stable alloy specifically designed to carry loads comparable to heavier floor structures and tiles. The strength in SB Tech floor tile products is 12% stronger and the material weight is 15% lighter than competitors. These lightweight systems are now opening doors to new applications and extending their appeal beyond traditional markets.