The history of raised floors

Raised floors have a fascinating history that dates back to ancient times, with their use in modern times primarily in commercial buildings, particularly in office spaces and data centers.

In ancient times, the concept of elevated flooring was used for various reasons, including ventilation and protection against flooding. One notable example of elevated flooring is found in the hypocaust system of ancient Rome. This system used raised floors and a network of channels to circulate hot air from a furnace beneath the floor, providing central heating to large buildings such as public baths and villas.

Raised floors were also used in ancient China, where they were known as “kang” and were used for heating during the cold winter months. In medieval Europe, raised floors were used in castles and fortresses to create hidden passages and escape routes.

In the 1960s, IBM introduced raised floors in their data centers to create a space to run cables and manage the airflow. This allowed for better organization of the cables and improved the efficiency of the data center’s cooling systems. The idea quickly caught on, and raised floors became a popular feature in commercial buildings. In the 1970s and 1980s, raised floors became a popular feature in office buildings, with many large companies adopting them to create more efficient and organized workspaces. The demand for raised floors increased in the 1990s with the rise of the internet and the need for large data centers to house the vast amounts of equipment needed to support it.

Raised floors consist of a subfloor and a raised floor system, with a space between the two that can be used for various purposes, such as running electrical and data cables, HVAC systems, and plumbing. The raised floor panels can be easily removed and repositioned, providing easy access to the cables and systems underneath. Raised floors are often made from materials such as steel, concrete, or wood, with perforated panels that allow for the flow of air and facilitate cooling. Raised floors can also be used in residential buildings, where they can be used to hide electrical wiring and other systems. Some buildings use a “double deck” system of raised floors, where there are two layers of raised flooring, creating even more space for systems and cables.

In addition to their practical uses, raised floors have also been used as an architectural feature in modern buildings, creating a unique and modern aesthetic. The use of raised floors continues to evolve, with new materials and technologies being developed to make them even more efficient and versatile.

In modern times, raised floors have become a popular feature in office spaces, as they allow for easy reconfiguration of the space and provide a sleek, modern aesthetic.

Overall, raised floors have a rich history and continue to be an essential feature in modern buildings. They provide a versatile solution for managing cables and systems, allowing for easy access and maintenance while also improving the aesthetics of the space.