Raised access floorings are defined as a system of panels and supports that create a raised floor above the actual structural floor. By raising the floor up, a space is created in between the raised floor and the building structural floor where functional components like wiring for power, voice, and data can be routed and plumbing lines located. This space in between has also become increasingly valuable for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) distribution either as a plenum space or with defined ductwork. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has identified this type of HVAC system as a way to improve indoor air quality through their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
Many architects practicing over the past 20-30 years or so have seen the appearance of raised flooring systems that allow for flexible access to the space below. One of the first applications of this type of flooring was for large, complex, mainframe computer systems that usually required separate rooms with specific climate control and wiring requirements. Today access floor systems are becoming increasingly common for a variety of reasons.
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