Frequently asked questions about Raised Flooring

FAQ

What is a Raised Floor?

It is a flooring system composed of modular elements (panels) placed without anchorage on a bearing structure that raise them at a certain height from the slab, in order to create under the floor surface a free space (plenum) to house service ducts and terminals. ALTAIR produces a very wide range of raised floors.

What are the minimum and maximum finished floor heights achievable?

The minimum finished floor height achievable is 50 mm using a modified Cross-Head under structure pedestal and a non-standard 500mm x 500mm panel. The maximum height that can be achieved is 1800mm using a Heavy Duty Stringer Grid pedestal with a standard panel. However, please consult with ALTAIR for further technical details as floors at both these extremes require further technical investigation.

What is the level adjustment possible in ALTAIR under structure systems?

The level adjustment possible is ±25mm. This adjustment is calculated from the average floor height which is the design height of the floor, and that in order to take into consideration differences in the level of the concrete sub-floor. Having said that, it is highly advisable to verify the level required on site as sub-floor level may not be within the generally recognized standard.

How are ALTAIR under structure pedestals fixed to the sub-floor?

Pedestals are generally fixed to the sub-floor using a pedestal adhesive. This applies to heights up to 800mm. Beyond that height, it is advisable that pedestals be glued and mechanically fixed to the sub-floor. The frequency of pedestals fixed as well as the number of mechanical fixes per pedestal may vary based on the final usage of the floor. Mechanical fixing of the pedestals without the use of pedestal adhesive is not recommended under any circumstances.

Are raised floors installed before or after MEP works?

There are two schedules that can be followed. ALTAIR raised floor can be installed before any other trades enter a job-site (provided that the floor is protected during the continuation of works at site). The other alternative is to install ALTAIR floors after all MEP (Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing) works are done, provided that such works have been executed following a 600mm x 600mm grid previously approved by ALTAIR.

What is the interface between cut panels and perimeter elements?

At the perimeter elements such as walls, partitions, and columns, ALTAIR panels are cut and installed on the appropriate under structure system. The gap created by the interface is generally covered with skirting. The most widely used skirting is a pvc skirting available in most markets even though wood skirting is also frequently used. In some cases, the gap can be minimized (down to 2-3mm) and no skirting is necessary unless required by the specifications.

How are ALTAIR panels cut at the perimeter?

ALTAIR panels can be easily cut at the perimeter using either a portable band-saw, or a heavy duty jigsaw. Band-saws offer speed and precision, while heavy duty jigsaws are more affordable and easily transportable to small job sites. Jigsaws are also necessary for cutouts within panels. In both cases, the correct blade should be used for best results. Please consult with ALTAIR for further information on tools and methodology.

How fast are ALTAIR floors installed on site?

A typical eight man team consisting of one foreman, 2 skilled carpenters, 2 semi-skilled assistants, and 3 unskilled assistant should be able to install approximately 150m2 of a typical floor in an un-obstructed area every eight hour work shift. Multiple rooms, columns, and other obstructions such as cable trays, un-expected level differences, non orthogonal shapes, and concrete ridges considerably slow down the installation team.

What is the weight per square meter of a typical ALTAIR floor?

The weight of a square meter of installed floor varies on the type of panel being used and the height of the floor. A typical ALTAIR Steel AL1000 floor in High Pressure Laminate finish on Stringer Grid under structure for a finished floor height of 300mm weighs approximately 45 kilograms / square meter. In general, unless a very heavy duty floor is used in a building not designed for raised floors (such as a refurbishment of an aged structure), the weight of ALTAIR floors is not a structural concern.

How do you support objects of excessive weight?

All grades of ALTAIR raised access floors are capable of withstanding most loads incurred in a standard office, data room, IT room, or control room environment. However, in some instances, additional support may be required for excessively heavy equipment (such a safe). This can be managed by using additional pedestals under the panel or the area where the object is placed. ALTAIR pedestals can handle a minimum of 3.4 metric tones each, by far surpassing the square meter design load of a concrete sub-floor. where the object is placed. ALTAIR pedestals can handle a minimum of 3.4 metric tones each, by far surpassing the square meter design load of a concrete sub-floor.

How are electrical boxes installed in the ALTAIR panel?

A standard electrical outlet box measures approximately 250mm x 250mm. A cut-out is done in the ALTAIR panel with the use of a heavy duty jigsaw. The outlet box is inserted in the cut-out, and a piece of HPL, vinyl, or carpet matching the finish pattern in the rest of the floor is adhered to the box cover. Generally, outlet boxes have a 10mm – 20mm ‘lip’ that covers all irregularities in the cut-out.

What size should lose-lay carpet tiles be?

Loose-lay carpet tiles should be 500mm x 500mm so as to minimize the superimposition of carpet and panel joints. This assists in avoiding dust accumulation and ‘curling’ at the corners of the carpet tiles. Carpet tiles also absorb the allowable 0.5mm tolerance in the level of adjacent panels. Carpet tiles can be used with or without carpet adhesive.

What are manufacturing lead times?

For a typical order of a standard floor (2000m2 of HPL finished panels), the manufacturing lead time is 2 to 3 working weeks. Subsequently, 2 or 3 days are required for the goods to be transported to port by land freight. Freight times to the Middle East are typically 3 weeks, and 4 weeks to North Africa and Europe. In general, goods should be ordered 8-10 weeks in advance if not available locally in stock.

Where should ALTAIR floors be stored?

ALTAIR floors should be stored in an enclosed and shaded environment away from direct sunlight and rainfall. Floors should be stored conditions not exceeding 35 degrees centigrade and 95% relative humidity.Factory finished panels are especially susceptible to damage from extreme conditions and may perform poorly after long periods of exposure to such conditions.

How are ALTAIR floors packed?

Goods are shipped in 20 foot containers that can fit from 420 to 490 square meters. Floor panels are packed in pallets of approximately 50 pieces (depending on the type of panel). Each pallet weighs at least 700 kilograms and a forklift or a similar heavy duty lifting device is necessary for loading and unloading. Other items such as pedestals, stringers, and screws are packed in cardboard boxes typically weighing 25 kilograms per box. Boxes can be moved manually.

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