A raised floor is a data center construction model in which a slightly higher floor is constructed above the building's original concrete slab floor, leaving the open space created between the two for wiring or cooling infrastructure.
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A raised floor frame must be designed to accommodate the anticipated load of data center equipment. Although the raised floor model was once the standard way to deliver power and provide connectivity, newer design models move cabling overhead and use the space beneath the raised floor for water-cooling pipes or air flow for hot aisle/cold aisle cooling systems.
Raised floors are subject to local building codes and national and industry regulatory standards. Floor tiles should resist wear and abrasion and should contain conductive materials to help remove the buildup of damaging static electricity from the environment. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) provides structural guidelines for raised floors that house cooling mechanisms.
Matt Stansberry interviews Pitt Turner about the advantages and disadvantages of raised floor and slab floor construction models.
This short video from PhoenixNAP shows how a raised floor is installed for a datacenter.