Raised access floors: a look at their history
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 this space, hot air was blown from an oven located outside the building through channels. This hypocaust, used in public baths and the wealthiest houses, was made of very resistant natural stone tiles. In addition, they were capable of conducting heat through all 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)
The arrival of raised access floor
Since then, the construction of the floor has evolved. The raised access floor assembly system that we know today began by fulfilling human needs. Until we reach the raised “technical” floor that we know today. The first raised technical floors were produced by the Hiross company in Europe, in the 1960s. At that time, this type of flooring was used in “technical” rooms where there were very few employees. For example, in central computer rooms or electrical panel rooms.
(Image of a computer room in the 1960s at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California).
Among its essential benefits are fire protection, constant humidity and temperature control. In addition, others such as acoustic control, environmental noise reduction and electrical safety. That is why the floor has been made with modular panels of agglomerate, light and mobile, suitable to be raised at any time due to the continuous handling of this type of room.
Ten years later, in the 1970s, POLYGROUP began to manufacture its raised access floor systems in Spain. Its first objective is to adapt to the needs of these technical rooms and improve the quality of the materials used in its manufacturing process.
Later, in the mid-1980s, these soils began to transform. Therefore, it was possible to install raised access floors in large offices with high activity rates. From that moment the characteristics of the soil were improved. Getting a more functional product and adapted to the demands of employees. Since they wanted to move on a floor that, despite being elevated from the ground, had the same appearance characteristics as the traditional floor. A stable, insulating and safe floor in terms of fire and electrical insulation characteristics.
(Large office image from the 80s)
Types of flooring systems
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.
(Different kinds of raised access floor coverings. Photos POLYGROUP©)
Now, the raised access floor is used in the domestic sphere. They are ideal for creating different levels in homes, hiding new drains in kitchens and bathrooms or simply for placing on outdoor terraces.
(Image of raised access floor covering in a house)
Raised access floors have different kinds of coverings: wood, metal, PVC, porcelain, carpet… Therefore, raised access floors are no longer reserved for data centers, workshops or offices. They have become versatile solutions for various places, both for public and private use. And, of course, they also contribute to its aesthetics and, consequently, to the well-being of people.