Raised floors: Structure and technology
Raised floors are a technological system with five main parts:
• Support structure
• Perimetral edge
The last four parts make up the supporting panel. There is a range of accessories to complement these basic parts.
The combination of the horizontal and vertical parts supports the raised floor panel so it can be raised up higher than the building’s floor slab and be set level. Each part can interface and be used in conjunction with the other parts in the system to cope with any functional or design requirement.
Different types of load bearing structure are possible by combining the various parts based on the load bearing needs and the layout of services and cables. Marazzi Engineering has focused on the development of high-performance solutions since 1989 that have helped it expand the variety normally available on the market.
There are two basic types depending on the material it is made of:
• High-density resin and wooden chipboard with high mechanical resistance
• In inert material (anhydrous calcium sulphate) reinforced with extra strong cellulose fibres
Applied on top of the upper face of the core, the surface covering is the material that gives the floor its final looks. Marazzi Engineering has many years of experience in the coverings market and has been able to develop solutions whose shape,looks and durability surpass standard ceramics.
Designers can be confident of choosing the best product for the job and the optimization of the various needs, including the cost, with the benefit of the support of Marazzi Engineering if necessary.
The perimetral edge is another important part of the system because it protects the sides of the panel during transport and installation and also provides a permanent barrier against humidity or water infiltration. As it is also the point where two adjacent panels come into contact, it also has to let them move without producing any noise.
Marazzi Engineering has developed different edging technologies that are used according to the type of material the panels are made of.
The bottom surface of the panels can be finished with a covering (also called plating) that can play a:
-structural role: in this case thick sheets of flat or tray-shaped galvanized sheet bonded to the panel using special adhesives are used to help improve the mechanical specifications of the panel;
-functional purpose: thin metal coverings or synthetic materials are used as a barrier against humidity.
Accessories are available to interface the raised floor with its immediate surroundings and exploit its features fully. These include:
• Indoor and outdoor ramps
• Indoor and outdoor steps)
• Partition walls for sound-proofing, fire prevention or air ducts
• Front curtain walls
• Grills and perforated panels for ventilation
• Panels with grommets for electric wiring and data cabling
• Grommet hatches
• Raised or flush outlet boxes with electric sockets or telephone points
• Expansion joints
• uction caps for lifting the panels
• Lateral finishes with contrasting strip for connection to the wall
• Structural Bridges