raised floor history

Raised access floors: a look at their history

We could say that the first raised floor was created in the Roman Empire. By using pillars that support huge tiles, they were able to create a space under the floor surface in Rome in which hot air from a furnace located outside of the building was blown through channels. This hypocaust, used in public baths and the wealthiest houses, was made of very resistant natural stone tiles, capable of conducting the heat throughout the rooms.


(Interior of the thermal baths of Campovaldés (Gijón) and the thermal baths of Alcora (Castellón), both from the 1st century, which show the structure of a Roman hypocaust)

Since then, the floor construction has evolved following human needs, up until the raised access floor arrival that we know today: a technical floor assembly system.

In the 1960s, raised access floors were first produced by a company called Hiross in Europe. At that time, these kind of flooring were used in “technical” rooms where there were very few employees, such as central computer or electrical switchboard rooms.


(Image of a computer room in the 1960s at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California).

Fire protection, constant humidity and temperature control were essential. Moreover, acoustic control, ambient noise reduction and electrical safety were also crucial. This is why the floor was made of modular chipboard panels, light and movable, suitable to be lifted at any time due to the continuous manipulations of this kind of rooms.

Ten years later, in the 1970s, POLYGROUP began to manufacture its raised access floor systems in Spain, adapting themselves to the needs of these technical rooms and improving the quality of the materials used in their manufacturing process.

Later, in the mid-1980s, these floors began to be transformed, at a time when raised access floors were also being installed in large offices with high activity rates. From this moment on, their characteristics began to be improved, making them more functional and adapting them to the demands of the employees, who wanted to move on a floor that, despite of being raised from the floor, had the same characteristics in appearance of the traditional floor: stable, insulating and safe in terms of fire and electrical insulation features.


(Large office image from the 80s)

From that moment on, the development of this kind of flooring systems has been unstoppable, all thanks to the work of research in this field that has led to the raised access floors we know today.

One of the greatest advantages of these systems, in addition to being able to keep wiring and other installations hidden, is that their modular system is very manageable and can be easily dismantled without debris -and of course reuse themselves-. Likewise, their execution times have shortened, as it is easier to install the materials on site.

One of the greatest advantages of these systems, in addition to being able to keep wiring and other installations hidden, is that their modular system is very manageable and can be easily dismantled without debris -and of course reuse themselves-. Likewise, their execution times have shortened, as it is easier to install the materials on site.


(Different kinds of raised access floor coverings. Photos POLYGROUP©)

The use of raised access floors has now also spreaded to the domestic sphere. They’re used to create different levels in homes, hide new sewage pipes in kitchens and bathrooms or being used in outdoor terraces.


(Image of raised access floor covering in a house)

With different kinds of coverings: wood, metal, PVC, porcelain, carpet… raised access floors are no longer reserved for data centres, workshops or offices. They have become versatile solutions for various places, both for public and private use, to which they also contribute with their aesthetic and, as a consequence, to the people’s well-being.

Headquarters / Factories:
P.I. Navisur
41907  Seville
SPAIN
info@afpolygroup.com
(+34 ) 955 99 77 31

Headquarters / Factories:
P.I. Navisur
41907  Seville
SPAIN
info@afpolygroup.com
(+34 ) 955 99 77 31

POLYGROUP EUROPE
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