FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of commonly asked questions to RMF. Please see our answers to your questions by clicking the links below.

If you cannot find the answers you require, get in touch via our email info@rmf-services.co.uk  or call us directly on 01926 425289.

What is a RMF raised access floor system?

A RMF raised access floor comprises of load bearing floor panels laid in a horizontal grid, supported by adjustable vertical pedestals, to provide an under floor space for the housing and distribution of services.

The floor panels are readily removable to allow quick access to the under floor services.

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What are the key components of a RMF raised access floor system?

The key components of a RMF raised access flooring system can be defined as follows:

Floor Panel

This is the horizontal load bearing component of a raised floor. It is normally 600 x 600mm square (industry standard module size) but can be 500 or 750mm.

These sizes are nominal sizes and clarification should be sought from the manufacturer as to their stated panel size and tolerances. These floor panels will be supplied as either bare finished to accept a carpet tile finish on site or, with a factory bonded finish such as vinyl, carpet, timber or stone.

Pedestal Under structure

This is the complete vertical, adjustable supporting structure to the raised floor panels. The pedestals are normally bonded to the sub floor using a epoxy resin based adhesive, with mechanical fixings also required depending on the floor height required. The pedestal assembly provides vertical adjustment to allow the raised floor to be installed flat and level despite potential undulations in the sub floor. The pedestal head provides panel location, electrical continuity and also, when required, a means of fixing the panel to the pedestal head.

Stringer Bars

This is a horizontal component that connects pedestals together. It connects to the pedestal head and is used to provide additional lateral support at greater floor height and/or increase the structural performance of the raised floor system.

These can be snap on or bolted dependent upon the manufacturer. Stringer bars form a grid system under the base of the panels positioned above.

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Where is a RMF raised access floor used?

RMF raised access flooring is used today in a wide range of situations where there is a significant level of building services. Examples include:
Financial, National and Local Government offices where there is a need for a significant level of computer/telecom equipment.
General administration buildings across the complete range of industries where the use of computer and telecommunications is widespread.
Call Centre Office environments set up to handle large-scale customer enquires thereby requiring significant levels of computer/telecom equipment.

Data Centres - Large scale computer rooms set up for the processing of electronic data e.g. customer information, financial information.
Telecom Centres - Old mechanical telephone exchanges now replaced by electronic switch facilities. Also new mobile technology requires new electronic switch facilities.

Distribution Centres - These facilities distribute a vast range of fast moving consumer goods with order processing and such activities handled in a modern office environment.

Educational Facilities - Raised flooring used in specific learning areas in schools, universities etc. Also used in library and major archive areas.
Retail facilities such as major department stores increasingly using raised floors surfaced with special finishes.

Industries requiring clean room facilities such as electronic and pharmaceutical.

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Why use a RMF raised access floor?

A RMF raised access floor is used to provide a means of creating a void below floor level which is capable of ensuring building services are available at their required destination. These services will typically include the following:

  • Electrical power
  • Data
  • Telecom
  • Air conditioning
  • Fire detection and suppression
  • Security
  • Water & drainage.

The use of a RMF raised access floor will allow quick and easy access to these services for maintenance reasons. Also in today's modern office environment “Churn” is a major issue. That is the number of times that the office layout has to be modified to cater for changing requirements brought about by new technology, new personnel or new tenants to a building.

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What are the benefits of using a RMF raised access floor?

RMF raised access floors are used extensively to provide the following benefits:

  • Quick and easy access to the ever increasing volume of power, data and telecom services found within a modern building.
  • The under floor void or cavity depth is often used as a large duct for HVAC systems.

  • In speculative buildings premises need to be adaptable for the needs of incoming occupiers.
  • Once occupied offices need to cater for office Churn and lend themselves to new office organisations and layouts with the redirection of services that implies.

  • Accessibility is a major consideration, easy access to the services for maintenance, rerouting or upgrading with as little disruption as possible.

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What types of RMF raised access floor are available?

There are two basic groups of raised access floor system available each with their own advantages:

RMF “Gravity Lay” products.

The floor panels simply rest on the pedestal head. The panels are held in place by their weight with lateral location providing engagement between panel and pedestal head. These systems allow very quick and easy access to the floor void and the panels can be readily finished with factory bonded finishes.

RMF “Lock Down” or screw down products. In this case the floor panel is screwed or locked directly to the pedestal head thereby holding the panel in place and also providing lateral location. This system provides a very solid and rock free floor with quick and easy access to the floor void.

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What is the construction of a floor panel?

There are various basic floor panel constructions that are outlined below along with various attributes of each type.

Steel encapsulated wood or calcium sulphate core –

This panel construction comprises of a high density particle board core that is encased by galvanized steel laminated to the particle board by a structural polyurethane or epoxy resin adhesive. This construction type is capable of providing high strength and good fire and acoustic performance. By varying the thickness of the steel sheet and the strength of the core material a wide range of structural performance is available.

Steel / Cementicious core –

Here a structural steel shell comprising of a flat steel top and a profiled steel base are welded together to form a hollow shell. This shell is then filled with a foamed cement based core to give a panel that gives good structural performance in conjunction with excellent fire performance. In certain cases the hollow unfilled steel shell will provide a floor panel that gives suitable structural performance although its acoustic performance is limited.

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What are stringers and why use them?

Stringers are introduced for various reasons each with their own specific design.

Snap on stringers. These snap onto the pedestal head and are used to provide additional lateral support to the raised floor. They are normally introduced at floor heights of 600mm and above, or for use with floor panels complete with factory bonded finishes. Snap on stringers are normally designed to increase the structural and lateral performance of the raised floor.

Bolt-on stringers. These are screwed into the pedestal head and are designed as structural components and, as such, increase the structural performance of the raised floor system. They will also provide increased lateral stability.

Air plenum stringers. These stringers are designed only as a means of providing an air seal to the panel joints through the use of a gasket strip. They do not provide any increase to the lateral stability or structural performance of the floor.

Perimeter stringers. These provide additional support to cut panels around the perimeters if required by the project specification. Screwing down the cut panel is also an alternative.

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What is to be the use of the building in which the RMF raised access floor is to be installed?

It is important that consideration is given to the intended use of the building as part of the evaluation process. Raised access floors are used in a wide range of buildings which includes the following:

  • General modern offices, any office environment where there is a need for a significant level of computer/telecom equipment.
  • Call Centres, office environment set up to handle large scale customer enquires thereby requiring significant levels of computer/telecom equipment.

  • Data processing centres. Large scale computer rooms set up for the processing of electronic data i.e. customer information, financial information etc.
  • Telecom switch centres. Old mechanical telephone exchanges now replaced by electronic switch facilities. Also new mobile technology requires new electronic switch facilities.

  • Distribution centres. These facilities distribute a vast range of fast moving consumer goods with order processing and such activities handled in a modern office environment.
  • Educational facilities, raised flooring used in specific learning areas in schools, universities etc. Also used in library and major archive areas.

  • Retail facilities such as major department stores increasingly using raised floors surfaced with special finishes.

The type of area in which the raised access floor will be used will help to define the structural performance required of the raised floor and also the specific type of finish required to the floor surface.

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What level of services is anticipated under the raised access floor?

The anticipated use of the basic space in which the raised access floor is to be used will determine the projected level of power, data, telecom, HVAC and other services that will be located under the raised access floor. This information can then be used to determine the cavity depth required under the raised floor and hence the finished floor height which will then be used in specifying the raised access floor system.

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What are the anticipated structural requirements of the raised access flooring in terms of static loads, rolling loads and pedestrian traffic?

It is important at an early stage in the consideration of a raised access floor that a detailed assessment is made of the likely loadings that will be imposed on the floor surface. These loadings need to be assessed in terms of:

Static loads:

  • Uniformly distributed loads
  • Point loads

Dynamic loads:

  • Rolling Loads
  • Vehicle configuration and weight

Pedestrian traffic:

  • Areas of high traffic need to be determined.

This information can then be used to determine the structural requirements of the raised access floor.

Structural performance charts for all the products we endorse can be found under the systems section.

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What if I have an old raised floor system that is no longer required or being removed?

Should you have an old raised floor system that is no longer required and is to be removed, we would be pleased in discussing the actual manufacture of the panel and condition. Please contact us with details and pictures where possible info@rmf-services.co.uk

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Where can I find a “second user” raised access floor system?

Here at RMF we specialise and are leading the way in the refurbishment and recycling of raised access flooring. We offer our ECO-range of products which can be found in our systems section. We always have a plentiful stock and would be pleased to discuss your individual project requirements.

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