ACCESS FLOOR TECHNICAL DOCUMENTATION CONTENTS AN INTRODUCTION TO ACCESS FLOORING INSTALLATION MANUAL ACCESS FLOOR COMPONENTS ACCESS FLOOR CLEANING MANUAL AN INTRODUCTION TO ACCESS FLOORING CONTENTS 1 BACKGROUND 2 THE CONCEPT OF FLEXIBILITY 3 ACCESS FLOORING AND ARCHITECTS 3.1 A NEW CREATIVE FREEDOM 3.2 NEW BUILDINGS 3.3 REDEVELOPING OLD BUILDINGS 4 ECONOMIC COMPARISON WITH OLD BUILDINGS BACKGROUND
Conveying air and liquid in and out of buildings through under-floor channels is not a new idea. The most advanced ancient civilisations also used this technique and designed areas in variouspoints around some buildings where the channels could be reached. Movable stone slabs andwooden boards gave continuity to the flooring and at the same time allowed easy access to thechannels themselves. The recent history of access flooring, however, started with the invention of the first computers andwith the need to connect machines with multi-pole power cables. Initial attempts to lay cables under traditional rigid flooring, and then under raised structurescombining fixed and moveable panels were soon overtaken by completely moveable systems, theforerunners to modern access flooring. The introduction of electric and electronic machines into offices marked an upturn in the qualityand quantity of access flooring and signalled a new way of dealing with the design andconstruction of commercial buildings. The appearance and furnishing of offices has changed drastically in recent years. The advent ofcomputers has revolutionised working methods and space management. It is significant that we no longer talk of desks, cupboards, filing cabinets, etc. Today the designand subdivision of office space revolves around the creation of work stations. Nowadays operatorsreceive, process and send information via keyboards, terminals, video screens, telephone setsand interphones. They are connected directly to other operators and to electronic filing systems orjunctions, thus creating a complex data communication network. Every work station must be supplied with optimum light, temperature and air humidity to ensurethat the operators and machines work as comfortably and efficiently as possible. Other factorssuch as noise levels and aesthetics are essential when creating the ideal working atmosphere. THE CONCEPT OF FLEXIBILITY
Construction techniques have changed significantly in recent times to make way for new conceptsof flexibility, indispensable in the way we manage space nowadays. Work stations and environment lay-outs are becoming increasingly sophisticated to keep pacewith both the advanced technology of work and information systems, and the improvedorganisation of modern, dynamic companies. The flexibility provided by access flooring has provedan indispensable asset to the organisation of modern businesses. The availability of an almost limitless systems area that, at any given time and in any givenposition, allows access to electric power supplies, telephone and data cables, connections to othermachines, air-conditioning, pipes for hot or cold water, or any other type of fluid, not to mentionvarious security systems, is indispensable when ensuring that an area is perfectly served. It canbe changed whenever necessary to meet new needs without any further cost, while leavingaesthetics unaffected and systems operational. It is important to stress that the concept of flexible space is by no means limited to largecompanies with hundreds or thousands of operators. Nowadays even small firms with a handful ofemployees can no longer do without modern, flexible and efficient organisation systems. In the past various attempts were made (and some are still in operation) to avoid the use ofaccess flooring. These involved various types of flat cables hidden under the layer that coveredthe floor. The specific nature of the cables, their cost and limitations imposed by the usefulsections of power supply cables, the difficulty of connecting cables both to one another and toequipment means this system pales when compared to the benefits offered by access flooring. Other attempts have been made using perimeter channels or elements installed in false ceilings. Forseeably enough these methods were completely insufficient. It is easy to understand how the advantages offered by access flooring to computer centres andoffices could be directly transferred to countless others sectors such as scientific laboratories,medical research rooms such as TAC, RMS and radiological departments, doctors’ and dentists’surgeries in general, control rooms, conference halls, television studios and cinemas, industrialproduction departments, photographic and photocomposition studios, restructuring and conversionof disused buildings, museums, banks and shops. Wherever work is carried out using electronic or electric equipment that must be connected to apower-supply or other systems, access flooring can be used with undeniable advantages in thesefields, too. If this type of work is prone to change because of developments in technology, access flooringbecomes a necessary and irreplaceable asset. ACCESS FLOORING AND ARCHITECTS A NEW CREATIVE FREEDOM
Access flooring is a construction element which can be adapted to suit any type of building, be itnew or under redevelopment. It is much praised by architects because it is easy to manage and flexible, both in the design stageand when work is underway. This means that planning is not restricted by the limitations oftraditional systems and architects can give free rein to their creativity. Although architects will continue to act as co-ordinators for groups of specialists responsible fordifferent systems, access flooring offers them new freedom as they are no longer forced tointeract continually with these specialists, nor follow rigid plans and fixed programmes. Plant can be easily accommodated in the almost limitless space under the floor and is free frominterference from other systems both during the design and installation stages. Any changes canbe made at a later stage without an increase in costs. NEW BUILDINGS
With regard to new buildings, a few fundamental factors must be observed when drawing upplans. Although in theory access flooring can be used in any environment, there are some special areassuch as bathrooms, landings and stairs where for obvious reasons, it would be best to usetraditional hard flooring. The design of the different levels must take into account the fact that rigid flooring areas arehigher than access flooring areas, and that once the latter has been installed, the two must bejoined without using ramps or steps. Obviously the same must also apply to windows. Plant engineering will be considerably simplified; planners only have to worry about designing riserareas for electricity, water, air, gas, etc. The distribution of these services around the floor is an extremely easy and economical operationas there are no longer any limitations imposed by detailed plans of the various building areas. Laying cables and pipes is simple and does not add to the basic costs since plant areas will beaccessible at any time for modifications, additions and extensions to systems. This method means there are no design or installation problems for new systems developed in theforeseeable future. Experience has proved that it is practically impossible to predict the systems ofthe future given the pace of technological development and work organisation. There is no longerany need to pre-establish sub-divisions or future purposes of different building areas with all theplanning problems this entails. Experience has proved traditional planing to be so rigid and inflexible that consequently it isdifficult to implement the changes which inevitably arise between the planning, completion andinstallation stages. This invariably means that any changes or improvements made are oftenunsatisfactory and unproductive for the user and are always expensive, both financially and interms of time. Prefabricated partition walls and access flooring are an ideal combination when considering spacemanagement. Architects can therefore design plans and continue working until building has beencompleted, without knowing the interior lay-out of the environment, or if they so choose, ignoringits future purpose. These are obvious advantages to be gained from using access flooring forbuildings destined for multi-purpose commercial use. REDEVELOPING OLD BUILDINGS
With regard to redeveloping existing buildings, or, as frequently happens nowadays, when oldindustrial buildings situated in urban areas are reconverted, access flooring is an indispensableasset. Support structures and modular panels can be easily installed on flooring which is rough, old,unusable, or unsuitable. All the technical systems that were not available in the old structure andare indispensable to the new one can be installed in the space underneath the new floor. Accessflooring can also easily reduce the height of old environments, unsuited to modern spacemanagement, or bridge any existing differences in height. Reconversion will be simple and economic with a considerable reduction in work times and mostimportantly, will not limit any future changes, should the areas have to be used for differentpurposes. It is also worth mentioning that during the redevelopment of old buildings which are of historical orarchitectural significance, it is often prohibited to alter the floors and existing building structure. Inthese cases only access flooring can make efficient use of the space available, equipping theenvironment for its new function. Only the availability of space under the floor will allow theinstallation of the necessary plant and technical services. The existing structure will not bedamaged in any way and can easily be returned to its original state if necessary. Architects will also be able to create special aesthetic effects, blending the new structure andcolours with any existing areas still visible. ECONOMIC COMPARISON WITH TRADITIONAL SYSTEMS
Why choose UNIFLAIR ACCESS FLOORING rather than a traditional floor?
First and foremost for the amount of time saved:
• Shorter work time: when constructing or redeveloping a building, a considerable amount of time
is spent waiting for the concrete to dry. As UNIFLAIR FLOORS are “prefabricated”, they areinstalled dry and do not need special concrete: the flooring is installed with finishes already inplace;
• Shorter installation time: due to the simplicity of the components;
• Shorter plant installion time: the area created in the plenum allows direct connections and
instant access to plant, without the building work this would normally entail;
• Shorter system maintenance/repair time: it is well known that norms and technology for
technical plant are forever changing; with access flooring any consequent adjustments areconsiderably simplified as total access is given to every system.
UNIFLAIR ACCESS FLOORING has revolutionised construction site economy. INSTALLATION MANUAL CONTENTS STORAGE AND ON-SITE CONDITIONS INSTALLATION LAYOUT STARTING INSTALLATION STRINGERLESS STRUCTURES STRINGERED STRUCTURES PERIMETER ACCESSORIES EQUIPMENT
Although using the highest quality components is very important, it is not enough to
guarantee correct installation of the access flooring. CORRECT, ACCURATE AND PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION IS ESSENTIAL FOR A TOP-QUALITY RESULT. GENERAL STORAGE CONDITIONS
Environments where UNIFLAIR access flooring is to be installed must be checked beforehand toensure they are suitable. This involves:
1. Environments where access flooring is to be stored after being unloaded or installed must be
dry, water-tight and have sealed window and door frames.
2. The temperature of these environments must be between 10° and 35°C and humidity must be
3. If flooring cannot be stored directly in the installation environments, use immediately adjacent
areas with temperature and humidity conditions which are the same as those in theenvironments concerned and in any case within the above limits. WORK-SITE CONDITIONS
Inspections of the work-site allow general conditions to be checked and the installation areas to besurveyed and checked against the plans. On-site inspections must be performed with authorised persons from the work-site:
Director of WorksSite foremanUNIFLAIR Manager
1. That the room is solid enough to support the flooring;2. That work-sites are accessible to the usual vehicles (Lorry, lorry and full trailer, articulated
3. How the material will be unloaded from the lorry and who will be appointed for said operation.
(Lorry crane, work-site crane, fork-lift truck);
4. How the material will be transported to the installation site. (Crane, lift);5. That the dimensions and weight of the packaging are compatible with the transporting vehicle;6. That the height of the flooring is that envisaged by the plans/specifications;7. The existence of a collection point for installation waste;8. The flooring must be installed in dry environments with temperatures between 10° and 35°C
inclusive and relative humidity between 40% and 70%;
9. If there are any plans to lay pipes conveying fluids at temperatures which may create
temperature or humidity conditions (locally or generally) above those previously mentioned, it isessential to insulate the heat sources and to install a suitable ventilation system to maintainconditions within those in point 8;
10. Any building work must be terminated at least 60 days beforehand and any wet-finish work at
11. The environments must be fitted with sealed window and door frames;12. The concrete slab must be dry, smooth, clean and of a floated surface type, or equivalent. If
the concrete slab is cast, an on-site check must be made before installation can go ahead todetermine whether it is suitable for laying;
13. If an anti-dust product has to be applied to the concrete slab, its compatibility with the adhesive
used to anchor the structure pedestals to the concrete slab must be verified;
14. In order to start the installation, the environment concerned must be clear and clean, and no
other fitters or workers must be present;
15. The plant lay-out must respect the modular structure of the access flooring and must also take
into account the weight of the components for the flooring;
16. The Director of Works must clearly point out to the Installation Manager the floor height in the
installation sites. The compatibility of heights with other existing limitations must be definedbefore any work is started and also clearly stated in the installation contract;
17. The correct assembly procedure is as follows:• Inspect the work-site• Trace the installation grid• Install plant following the traced lines• Install the access flooring• If necessary, install partition walls above the flooringIf this is not possible an operation sequence will have to be agreed;1. Access of unauthorised persons to the environments must be prohibited during assembly. If
fixing adhesives are used, nobody must walk on the flooring for at least 48 hours after theinstallation has been completed;
2. Access to the work-site and the building where the access flooring is to be installed must be
kept clear at all times so materials can be unloaded close to the access areas and liftingmachines;
3. Horizontal access to the installation area and to lifting machines must also be kept clear at all
times to allow easy movement of pallet trucks;
4. Movement of the materials in the environments must be guaranteed by organising routes for
pallet-trucks. The features and programmes of use for the vertical lifting machines must bestipulated by contract.
5. The access flooring must be approved formally as soon as it has been installed in each
individual environment, before any protection and coverings are applied and in any case beforeany operations by plant workers. INSTALLATION LAY-OUT
By surveying the dimensions of the lay-out it is possible to draw a flooring installation grid.
1. The grid is drawn up following very strict procedures which take into account the clients’
indications, stipulated in the installation contract, (e.g. starting with a principle axis, installationat 45°, or other). If there are no such indications, the grid must be positioned by inspecting theperimeter areas in order to waste as little of the cut panels as possible, and to set the startingpoint for the two orthogonal axes.
2. In order to set these correctly, it is advisable to cut all the perimeter panels. Fitting whole panels
to the perimeter walls is to be avoided if the walls are not perfectly linear and therefore offerneither a sufficient support, nor ensure that the panels are aligned correctly. Wherever possibleit is best to avoid closing the perimeters with panels less than 150 mm in size, as they are lessstable.
3. This graphic lay-out procedure can be performed by placing a sheet of checked tracing paper
to the same scale over a plan of the area, or alternatively by using a computer programme fordesigning. This procedure is indispensable for installing the panels correctly as it:
• allows the quantity of material necessary to be determined• shows planners and system fitters the position of the pedestals and thus where not to fit
4. To make fitting the systems easier it is also possible to trace the lay-out of the flooringbeforehand and therefore mark out the position of the pedestals with coloured paint. This can beperformed in different types of module, but always in multiples of 600 mm. 5. It is often advisable to treat the surface with sufficient layers of anti-dust varnish, generally vinylor polyurethane. This serves to fix the concrete slab surface and prevent dust collecting. Thisvarnish is essential when the under-floor plenum is used for air-conditioning. 6. To ensure the concrete slab is varnished correctly, it must cleaned thoroughly. After the varnishhas been applied it is advisable to let it dry for at least 24 hours. 7. Applying the varnish will be quicker and more efficient if done before the systems are laid. 8. Ensure the anti-dust varnish is compatible with the fixing glue used to fix the pedestals. Anyother waste that might ensue should be removed by thoroughly vacuum cleaning the area beforeinstallation. STARTING INSTALLATION
The installation begins with the definition of the two starting orthogonal axes, previously agreed with the Director of Works and/or verifiable from drawings or tracings. 1. The operation is performed by fixing a pair of orthogonal crossed nylon threads to the walls, at a height slightly above the walking surface. 2. To determine the orthogonal angle (90°) of the two threads, use Pythagoras’ Theorem, or more simply the 3-4-5 formula: starting from where the two threads cross, mark off 3 m on one and 4 m on the other. The diagonal between the two points should be 5 m (if the diagonal is any longer it means there is less margin for error). E. STRINGER-LESS STRUCTURES
1. The four pedestals must be complete with gaskets and levelled in accordance with the height of the work-site. Position the first panel on the 4 pedestals ensuring that one of its corners sits perfectly in the point where the threads cross (pedestals can be correctly positioned with the aid of a spirit level or with a laser level). Before positioning the pedestals, apply the glue to the base to ensure the pedestals are fixed firmly to the ground. 2. Continue to install the pedestals and their respective panels, aligning them with one of the two reference threads. Always check the panels are installed at the correct height and the glue covers the base to ensure the whole base is firmly fixed. 3. Using the same method, continue laying the panels in parallel until all the whole panels have been installed. Take special care that the panels are at right angles, perfectly aligned and flat. 4. To ensure all the panels form a uniform surface, it is important not to disturb the floor during installation and for at least 24 hours after the glue has been applied; the minimum time needed for the glue to set properly. NB: all the pedestals must be complete with gaskets. 5. In the B structure, the flooring is supplied with packets of fixing resin, which must be used once the assembly has been completed. Apply a few drops to the centre of the head on every pedestal (simply raise one panel for access to four pedestals). F. STRINGERED STRUCTURES
1. Start from the point where the threads cross at right angles and align all the structurecomponents, pedestals, stringers and screws. Then install and screw the modules into place. 2. Using a spirit level or a laser level, and taking the work-site level as a guide, adjust all thepedestals to the required height. 3. Install all the gaskets on the pedestals and stringers. 4. Lay the first panel by placing one of the corners in perfect alignment with the point where thetwo threads cross at right angles. Then fit a second panel taking care to align it with the referencepoints. 5. Continue laying the panels in parallel with the nylon threads until all the whole panels have beeninstalled. Take special care to ensure the panels are at right angles, aligned and flat. 6. It is essential that all the pedestals and all the stringers have gaskets. 7. When installing floors higher than 500 mm, we advise fixing the pedestals to the concrete slabwith glue (taking care not to disturb the floor for at least 24 hours after the glue has been appliedto let it dry. PERIMETER
1. With stringered structures, cut the perimeter stringers to the required length. Then fix them with the appropriate screws and adjust all the pedestals to the required height (the hole on the end of the cut stringer can be made directly with the anchoring screw). Cover the pedestals and the stringers with the appropriate gaskets, which are cut to size. 2. Before fitting the cut panels, the tabs of the gaskets parallel to the walls must be removed with a cutting instrument. 3. Finish the flooring by cutting all the perimeter panels to the correct size, ensuring that they follow the shape of the wall perfectly. One of the simplest systems is to place the panels that need to be cut in a row adjacent to the perimeter one. Then, using a strip of panel as a spacer, run it along the wall. By resting a pencil against the spacer, the exact portion to be cut can be marked. 4. Special attention must be paid to panels with a directional pattern. 5. It is advisable to protect the sides of the shaped panels, e.g. with a coat of anti-dust varnish. H. ACCESSORIES
Steps 1. Once it has been decided where to install the steps, the pedestals must be lowered by 5 cm and aligned with edges of the panels. 2. Now install the skirting. This acts as a rise against the edge of the panels and is fixed to the concrete slab with normal brackets. The step is then positioned against the skirting and fixed to the concrete slab. 3. Both the side and front skirting must be trimmed to the exact height of the access flooring. They come with an aluminium corner piece which must be fastened with normal wood screws and cover the width of the skirting. Ramps 1. Once it has been decided where to install the ramps, the pedestals must be lowered by 5 cm and aligned with edges of the panels. 2. Place the ramp against the edge of the panels and adjust it to the exact height of the access flooring. Then fix the ramp to the concrete slab with normal brackets, and fix the aluminium connecting profile with nog screws between the ramp and the concrete slab. 3. Both the side and front skirting must be trimmed to the exact height of the access flooring. They come with an aluminium corner piece which must be fastened with normal wood screws and cover the width of the skirting. Skirting 1. Once it has been decided where to install the steps, the pedestals must be lowered by 5 cm and aligned with edges of the panels. 2. Now install the skirting. This acts as a rise against the edge of the panels and is fixed to the concrete slab with normal brackets. 3. Both the side and front skirting must be trimmed to the exact height of the access flooring. They come with an aluminium corner piece which must be fastened with normal wood screws and cover the width of the skirting. Drilling 1. Any holes which might be required during installation must be made with equipment suitable for the type of hole, for the type of panel and for the type of covering (drill or hack sawing machine). Partition walls 1. Partition walls are positioned as normal on the access flooring (once the installation is complete) following the specific instructions provided by the wall manufacturers. 2. If the partition wall uprights exert pressure on the ceiling and access flooring, it is best to install additional pedestals under the contact points of the upright. This will stop the panel bending too much. 3. When partition walls are installed directly onto the concrete slab, the flooring is installed normally. However this system is uneconomic because a larger area of wall has to be purchased, more of the access flooring becomes waste and installation times are increased. On-site movement and connecting machines and conditioners.
1. In order to move particularly heavy machinery, regardless of the load bearing capacities of the flooring, a gangway with boards must be used to distribute the load and prevent the wheels of the trolley from ruining the finish. 2. Machines must be placed on appropriate support frames (if envisaged by the manufacturer). Failing this, the access flooring can be used, but it must first undergo a mechanical load capacity inspection and if necessary, be reinforced. If machines that cause vibrations are being moved, it is advisable to insulate them and place them on rubber shock-absorbers. 3. As regards air conditioners, make completely sure that the hydraulic circuits are sealed and that they do not leak, as this may damage the flooring. I. EQUIPMENT
1. Electric screwdriver 2. Electric drill complete with bits for iron and cement 3. Electric hack sawing machine complete with blades for metal 4. Electric circular saw with hard wood disk 5. Hammer 6. Nylon thread 7. Valance cutting knife 8. Pencil 9. Hack saw for metal 10. Decametre and measuring tape (metric) 11. Spirit level (or laser level) 12. 3 m rigid rod 13. Appropriate tool for lifting panels
ACCESS FLOOR COMPONENTS CONTENTS SUBSTRUCTURE FINISHES GLUED FINISHES: High pressure laminate Linoleum Reconstructed marble and granite Natural marble and granite Terracotta Ceramics Using ceramics LOOSE-LAID FINISHES ACCESSORIES Structural accessories Ventilation accessories Electrical system accessories LIFTING TOOLS SUBSTRUCTURES
Support structures can be made of various materials such as aluminium, plastic and steel. Aluminium has been gradually abandoned due to its low resistance to fire and because it disintegrates, a phenomenon caused by parasitic microcurrents present in metallic systems. Plastic materials are used rarely, mainly because of their poor resistance to fire. Steel is undoubtedly the best material because of its strength, fire-resistance, good conducting of electrostatic discharges and excellent durability. To prevent oxidation, a protective coating such as galvanisation is needed. It does not matter whether the galvanisation is white or yellow, as this will not affect the durability of the steel. Support structures for access flooring are a fundamental component for UNIFLAIR, whose design department has developed two types of pedestals. The QUATTRO and OTTO pedestals, with their varying use of stringers, can form more than 12 configurations to solve any problem of adjustment, height and mechanical load capacity. The QUATTRO substructure, which is made solely from galvanised steel, has a base that allows height adjustment and a stem with a four branches on which the orthogonal stringers are fixed. There are two types of stringers, the medium open-section type and the heavy closed-section type. The upper level of the structure is covered with plastic gaskets which act as sound-proofing and air-tight seals. The advantage of the QUATTRO system is the simplicity of its components which make it both economic and reliable. The OTTO substructure, also made solely from galvanised steel, has a base that allows height adjustment and an eight branch stem. This pedestal is used in both a stringer-less version and with connection stringers. This structure uses as many as six stringer solutions: Light, Medium, Heavy, Diagonal, X-type and H-type. The main feature of the OTTO structure is its innovative head which allows simultaneous use of both orthogonal stringers and stringers placed at diagonals to the module. This increases both the stability and the mechanical load capacity of the flooring. Every type of stringer (excluding the H- type stringer, because of its special anchoring system) is interchangeable with the other types. This means that at any given time the flooring can be strengthened by either adding or replacing stringers, even in isolated zones, with a simple and economic procedure, leaving the pedestals unchanged. The upper level of the structure is covered with plastic gaskets which act as sound- proofing and air-tight seals. The most significant advantage of the OTTO system is the flexibility given by the wide range of solutions available. PANELS
Panels can be subdivided into two types depending on the core they are made from: particle board or inert material. These two materials have different characteristics. Particle board (wood which has been deliberately chosen from coniferous and hardwood trees) is considered the basic material for access flooring because of its good mechanical properties, high resistance to fire, high density and low price and finishing costs. On the other hand, it is affected by humidity. Inert materials, normally calcium silicate or calcium sulphate, have good mechanical properties, excellent fire-resistance and sound-proofing properties, and a greatly reduced sensitivity to humidity. On the other hand, they are more expensive and weigh more than particle board. The panels also differ in their construction methods which depend partly on the norms of the countries where they are made: • Panels whose core perimeter is finished with edging; this process determines the dimension of
the panel itself. They can be used with all coverings currently available on the market.
• Panels with a shaped steel box that covers the bottom and sides of the panel.
• Panels with dual steel boxes (upper and lower) that completely seal off the core, which acts
solely as a filler. The dimensions are practically the same as those of the metal box. Thissystem however does prevent the use of some coverings. FINISHES
The finish, or covering, is the component which gives the access flooring its functional and aesthetic qualities. Experience and technological innovations have allowed all the coverings used on traditional flooring to be used on access flooring, thus leaving the architect total creative freedom. They are mainly divided into two categories: glued coverings and loose-laid coverings. GLUED COVERINGS
The following materials can be used as glued coverings: HIGH PRESSURE LAMINATE (HPL) This is a hard flooring made from various sheets of kraft paper and a layer of decorative paper which are impregnated with heat-set resins. In order to impregnate them, they are subjected to a combination of high pressure and high temperature. The result is a material with the following properties: • High resistance to wear
Laminated plastic flooring was originally designed for computer centres because of its anti-staticproperties, and is still widely used in this field today. It is used wherever flooring must have a goodresistance to wear and be easy to clean. Thickness
VINYL This is a flexible flooring made from polyvinyl chloride resins mixed with inert materials, plasticisers, stabilisers and colorants. It is generally produced with multi-colour directional motifs or plain colours. If conductive elements are added, anti-static and conductive vinyl can be made. Vinyl flooring is used in fairly busy offices or technological environments with special electrical resistance needs and for Telecoms applications. Thickness
Wax-treating the flooring is recommended for some vinyl. LINOLEUM This is a flexible flooring made from natural materials: linseed oil, cork, natural resins and colouring pigments. All these materials are mixed and calendered on a jute support; the use of natural materials means that the product both ecological and anti-static. This covering is both homogenous and very resistant to burns and abrasions while if electrical loads are present, a conductive version can also be made. Because it is colourful and comfortable, linoleum flooring is used in environments such as fairly busy offices. It must be specified that oxidation of the material is only completed after it has been installed, with exposure to light for 2-3 weeks. After this time, the colour shade will be stable. Thickness
Wax-treating the flooring is recommended to make maintenance easier. RUBBER This is a flexible flooring made from a homogenous mixture of natural and synthetic rubber, minerals and coloured pigments. These produce a long-lasting material which is resistant to wear and has good anti-slip properties. It is also very hygienic because it is easy to clean. Rubber flooring is produced in both a smooth type and with relief patterns. Conductors can be added to make a conductive version. Rubber flooring is mainly used in busy offices and technological environments, where the flooring must be easy to maintain, or where there are special electrical resistance needs. Thickness
CARPET This is a flexible flooring made from synthetic fibres of varying diameters which have been compacted and are generally combined with a support-layer base, suitable for gluing. Needle- punch carpets are recommended for access flooring because of their high resistance to wear. velour, bouclè or canettate carpets are most widely used in the loose-laid version. A conductive version can be made by adding metal fibres. Carpet flooring is normally chosen where sound absorption is a fundamental requirement to create a very comfortable environment. Thickness
Carpets must be maintained with special equipment. PARQUET This flooring is made with a special procedure which allows the thickness of the wood to be reduced and the panels to be stabilised, reducing to a minimum the risks of parquet deformation, a problem typical of traditional parquet. The parquet finish is made with 60 cm strips made from a 4mm-thick layer of natural wood, applied to two 3mm intermediate stabilising layers in wood fibre, all of which are stuck to the panel. The surface is varnished in 5 stages (2 primer coats and 3 top- coats). Various woods, designs and compositions are available. It must be specified that parquet is liable to change size depending on the surrounding conditions. It is used for prestigious applications.
RECONSTRUCTED MARBLE AND GRANITE This flooring is made from a mixture of broken marble or granite and polyester resins which act as bonding agents (6/7%). The grain is more or less homogenous according to the type of product
NATURAL MARBLE AND GRANITE This finish is made from slabs that have been smoothed, ground and calibrated to 600 x 600mm. Colour and grain may vary but any variations are regarded as the highly-valued properties of natural materials. When used for access flooring, slabs which have a higher density, such as granite, are recommended. These finishes are used in entrance halls and prestigious buildings. Stone does not generate static electricity.
TERRACOTTA This flooring is made from a mixture of precious clays, drawn and baked in a kiln. When used for access flooring, where consistent dimensions are an important requisite, a ground, calibrated and smoothed version is preferable. The surface may be opaque or polished, but in any case it needs to be impregnated or waxed, following the relevant instructions and using special products. CERAMICS The development of gres porcelain sparked a technological revolution in the world of ceramic flooring, and was the deciding factor for its use with access flooring. It is actually a single mixture material with a non-enamelled surface, produced by pressing. The raw materials (precious quartzes, clays and feldspars) are ground, wet-mixed and blended, adding mineral oxides which create the different coloured effects. The tiles are made in various pre-set sizes by pressing in dies and they are then baked in kilns at very high temperatures. This creates flooring with a durability and resistance to impact and abrasion, superior to that of any other ceramic product and comparable to that of granite. The finish of the gres porcelain is added at the end of the production process and is opaque (known as natural). The material can be subsequently smoothed to create a polished surface (known as smoothed). The continuous development of this product has enabled relief or “structured” surfaces. The nominal sizes which are mainly used in access flooring are 30 x 30 cm, 30 x 60 cm and 60 x 60 cm. In addition to these, it is also possible to use any other size compatible with the 60 x 60 cm module. The smoothing process removes approximately 1 mm from the surface, resulting in a difference in thickness between the smoothed and natural versions. Smoothing not only makes the surface mirror-like, but also opens up micro-pores on the surface, leaving the finish more at risk from staining. Therefore an impregnation treatment which facilitates the usual cleaning operations is recommended.
USING CERAMICS The main problem with using ceramics for access flooring has always been combining the imprecise dimensions of a product to be laid traditionally (using channels to compensate for any variations in the dimension of the tiles) with the high dimensional precision of the modular panels. Since it was founded UNIFLAIR has been manufacturing solutions that stand out for their originality and high quality. The company has developed a highly automated system specifically and solely for the production of panels with ceramics, using the application of “UNI edging”. The concept that UNIFLAIR has transferred to access flooring is the traditional way of laying the flooring with channels stuccoed to 600 x 600 mm panels with -0.1mm / +0.2mm dimensional tolerance. The ceramics are applied to the panels with a special resin-polymerisation process using an automated system which positions the tile in its exact location on the panel. In the 4-tile version, the system produces a central channel exactly twice the size of the channel produced on the outer perimeter. The channels are filled with a semi-elastic plastic material produced by controlled polymerisation of resins with high chemical stability and high resistance to abrasion which can be produced in any colour. Edging made in this way has two purposes. The first is to protect the ceramic material from accidental impacts, with the aim of avoiding damage caused when handling panels with hard coverings (it must be remembered that an important feature of access flooring is that it allows very easy access to under-floor system areas by simply removing one or two panels, therefore handling the panels must be safe and easy). The second is to provide panels with perfect dimensions and with extremely limited tolerances so that the product is perfectly modular, regardless of the less precise dimensional tolerances of the ceramic tiles it is made up of. This method allows the production of flooring with ceramic tiles of 30 x 30 cm, 60 x 60 cm and 60 x 30 cm. This has produced results which until today were unthinkable for access flooring; in fact once the tiles have been laid, they create a traditional ceramic flooring effect, and all the channels are the same colour and thickness. LOOSE-LAID FINISHES
These coverings are laid after the installation of access flooring made especially to accommodate these materials and after any internal subdivisions with partition walls have been made. The sizes are generally 500 x 500mm, a modular structure deliberately different from the access flooring. This flooring can be easily replaced if damaged and colours and types are also easily changed in the event of radical redecoration. Despite its name, manufacturers of these materials advise the finish be laid using a type of “stick/unstick” adhesive, or simply with strips of double-sided adhesive tape, in order to increase the stability of the loose-laid finish. Loose-laid carpet This is undoubtedly the most popular material in the loose-laid version, mainly because of the wide choice of different types, ranging from needle-punch for busy buildings, to velour and bouclè. Loose-laid vinyl This has been developed more recently than the carpet finish and has a support layer which stabilises the flooring. N.B. Further information about coverings is available in the individual product catalogues.
A wide range of structural accessories can be added to the access flooring, e.g. ramps, steps, turrets, recessed cable outlets, or accessories for air conditioning. STRUCTURAL ACCESSORIES
Perimeter skirting This is used to cover perimeter areas which remain exposed, and is made from black particle board. It can also be used instead of steps when the difference in height between floors is less than 17 cm, where a step would be superfluous. Steps These are used to compensate for the height difference between two floors and are made from strips of wood covered in black, grooved, anti-slip rubber. They comply with the criteria of the building industry which envisage a 30 cm foot support (tread), and an average height between the treads of 17 cm (rise). Obviously this last measurement must be modified according to the height to be reached. Ramps These are used to compensate for any height differences between two floors and are made from inclined strips of wood, covered in black grooved anti-slip rubber with a support frame in galvanised steel. They are closed off at the sides. Building industry criteria envisage an average gradient of 8%. Obviously this figure must be modified according to the space available. VENTILATION ACCESSORIES
Grilles Ventilation grilles are used where space is left under the flooring for air-conditioning. These grilles are made from a series of anodised aluminium fins and are 600 x 150mm in size and 30 mm thick. All grilles have screws which allow their thickness to be regulated to suit the thickness of the panel. They can also be fitted with a manual device to regulate the airflow These grilles can be installed with any type of panel, since the grilles occupy a central part of the panels themselves. The only condition is that the structure must have stringers to support the grille and the two parts of the panel. For structure 8BS/NS, which has no stringers, it is only necessary to put stringers under the panel with the grille. There are also circular grilles known as diffusers. These can be made from aluminium or plastic and the most common are 150 or 200 mm in diameter. These diffusers can either be installed with a support ring or embedded in the panel itself. In this case the precision and quality of the holes must be perfect and some types of panel may not be suitable. Even when the flooring has not been designed for air conditioning via the plenum, it is nevertheless advisable to install some grilles so there are no significant differences in temperature between the environments above and below the flooring. Ventilation panels These are used in flooring where space is left under the floor for air-conditioning. There are two different types: normal panels with 196 holes and metal panels with 672 holes. The normal panels with 196 holes are made by drilling a series of 12 mm holes with precise geometrical spacing. They can be fitted with a manual device which when applied to the bottom of a panel, closes the open section gradually, regulating the airflow. There are however some limitations to this process, i.e. only laminate, linoleum, vinyl, rubber or carpet finishes can be drilled; in addition it is not advisable to drill 30 mm panels that do not have steel sheet on the underside. The drilled metal panels with 672 holes are made from a flat metal sheet of suitable thickness, fixed to a perimeter and central frame, made from suitably sized metal tubes. The sheet is perforated with a series of holes, 12 mm in diameter, in precise geometrical positions. The covering, which has been drilled in the same places, is then stuck to the panel. All the metal parts are then painted. They can be fitted with a manual device which when applied to the bottom of a panel, closes the open section gradually, regulating the airflow. There are however some limitations to the use of coverings, i.e. only laminate, linoleum, vinyl, rubber or carpet finishes can be drilled. ELECTRICAL SYSTEM ACCESSORIES
These are elements which can improve the flexibility of access flooring. Various types and models exist and the majority of these are manufactured by electrical component companies, depending on the country they are destined for. External turrets These are produced in a wide range of shapes and it is possible to install system terminals via cables (electric, telecom, data, etc.) on one or more sides. Obviously the system terminals must conform to the users’ standards. Frequently the company that manufactures the systems will supply these terminals, providing the necessary instructions to make the holes to install the turrets. Cable outlets The most widespread type generally comprises one hatch which, when installed in a special hole in the panel, allows access to the lower area of the access flooring. The derivation terminals for the various systems will already be installed in the plenum. There is a space in the upper part of the window where the covering material for the flooring can be installed. This space will generally not accommodate coverings thicker than 5 - 6 mm (e.g. ceramics and granite). Outlets complete with boxes for electrical accessories These are made in a similar way to cable outlets, but also include a box in the lower part to house various sockets. This outlet, installed in a special hole in the panel, allows access to terminals for the various systems (electric, telecom, data, etc.). Obviously the system terminals must conform to the users’ standards. The company that manufactures the systems will normally supply these materials, providing the necessary instructions for making the holes to install the outlet. There is a space in the upper part of the outlet where the covering material for the flooring can be installed. This space will generally not accommodate coverings thicker than 5-6 mm (e.g. ceramics and granite). UNIFLAIR flush cable outlet frame In an attempt to meet all the requirements of the system, UNIFLAIR has designed an innovative system to feed cables through access flooring. The advantages of this frame are as follows. • Reduced cost
• Completion of the wiring systems before the flooring is laid (installing the electric and signal
• There is no need for any covering unlike for traditional flush outlets.
The frame comprises a semi-rigid plastic frame and has side gaskets in the form of two brushes. These brushes are made from natural material and allow the cables to be fed easily. The brushes remain sufficiently rigid to support the cable but at the same time are not subject to any permanent deformation. They also prevent any air escaping directly from the plenum system and dust or deposits falling under the flooring. Columns These are made from black painted steel and have two switches and two plug sockets. The columns are normally placed close to the doorways in each room. They have been stylishly designed and the controls are within easy reach. They can be installed in any type of access flooring by simply making a hole. LIFTING TOOLS
These accessories allow panels to be lifted to gain access to the under-floor: Single suction cup: in aluminium with a rubber suction cup to lift normal panels with smooth surfaces. Double suction cups: in aluminium with two rubber suction cups to lift heavier panels with smooth surfaces. Carpet lifting tools: in aluminium with two needled plates to lift panels covered in carpet.
SURFACE CLEANING MANUAL CONTENTS Use and maintenance of access floors Cleaning of access floors with: Linoleum finish Plastic laminate finish Varnished parquet finish Natural granite finish Ceramic finish Vinyl finish Aluminium finish USE AND MAINTENANCE OF ACCESS FLOORING
Since the modular panels act reciprocally on each other, it is necessary, when removing them, not to create large areas or strips without panels. In the event that it is necessary to remove panels from an area where there is a significant weight on the floor, then it is recommended that the minimum number of panels be removed at any one time. The raising and replacing of the panels must be done with care, making sure that the edging of the panels is not damaged. The correct panel handling tools must be used for this operation. In particular: • NEVER use blunt instruments which may damage the border and surface of the panels • NEVER knock the panels against one another; they may be marked or damaged • DO NOT use a rigid hammer when replacing the panels; this will damage the covering In the exceptional event that it is necessary to dismantle a section of the support structure, take the greatest care when re-assembling it. Pay particular attention to ensuring that sections are correctly aligned, using an accurate spirit level. Before re-positioning the panels, ensure that: • All gaskets on the metal structure are correctly positioned and fixed in their housings
• There are no foreign bodies between the panels and the other elements of the structure in
order to avoid unevenness or incorrect alignment of the panels.
If at all possible, avoid removing the perimeter panels. These are usually cut to fit the shape of theperimeter wall exactly. If it is absolutely necessary to remove them, they must be identified so asto enable their replacement in exactly the same position. If it is necessary to move loads across the access floor, it is recommended that a manual tractionpallet truck is used on wooden boards laid over the access floor in order to better distribute theweight. In any case, ensure that the maximum weight limit of the floor is not exceeded. For all maintenance or modification of access floors, the manufacturer recommends that aspecialist company is employed. LINOLEUM FINISH
Having laid the panels, the initial treatment consists of:• De-waxing the surface to remove the protective coating applied by the linoleum manufacturer.
Use a single brush machine with the red brush attached (the colour indicates the type of brush)
• Use dry de-waxing products such as Taskin STRIPO, or equivalent, following the instructions
• Remove all wax residue with a well wrung-out cloth
• Apply a layer of base sealing wax, distributing it evenly with a single brush floor polisher with
• Apply a layer of protective acrylic wax (metallising wax) in two coats, allowing at least two hours
• Pay careful attention to the choice of wax as this can affect the anti-static properties of the
Normal cleaning must be done only with an extraction cleaner with neutral cleaning products specifically designed for the type of covering. It is recommended that, at intervals depending on the amount of use, the flooring is cleaned with a waxed floor cleaning product and a single brush floor polisher with the black disk attached. Depending on the type of traffic passing over the flooring, it may be necessary to re-apply the treatment. First carefully clean the flooring as described above and then apply a layer of acrylic wax of normal concentration. Take particular care not to leave water or other liquids on the surface or between the panels as this could damage the flooring if absorbed.
For all cleaning of the flooring, the manufacturer recommends that a specialist company with experience in this area is employed PLASTIC LAMINATE FINISH
Plastic laminate surfaces need only to be vacuum cleaned daily, if necessary alternated withcleaning with a cloth soaked in lukewarm water and well wrung-out. • A neutral detergent can be used, diluted to half the concentration recommended by the
• Once a week a vacuum cleaner with rotating felt brushes should be used
• Wax should NOT be applied because it significantly reduces the anti-static properties of the
flooring and also makes it slippery.
• NEVER use liquids directly on the flooring - only use a damp cloth which has been well wrung-
• NEVER use pumice, sandpaper, soda, soap, “Brillo Pads” or other materials which may scratch
Take particular care not to leave water or other liquids on the surface or between the panels as this could damage the flooring if absorbed.
For all cleaning of the flooring, the manufacturer recommends that a specialist company with experience in this area is employed
VARNISHED PARQUET FINISH
The varnish forms a layer on the parquet surface which protects the wood from wear. For correct cleaning it is necessary to :• Thoroughly clean the surface with a vacuum cleaner
• Remove marks and restore the shine of the finish with a soft cloth or with a floor polisher with
• If necessary, the surface can be cleaned with a cloth which has been soaked in a solution of
water and wax cleaner and well wrung-out; follow the manufacturer’s instructions
• DO NOT use pumice, sandpaper, soda, soap, “Brillo Pads” or other materials which may
Should there be any serious wear with deep marks or scratches, the panels involved can be returned to UNIFLAIR where they will be smoothed and re-varnished. Take particular care not to leave water or other liquids on the surface or between the panels as this could damage the flooring if absorbed.
For all cleaning of the flooring, the manufacturer recommends that a specialist company with experience in this area is employed
NATURAL GRANITE FINISH
Access flooring with natural granite finish, thanks to the special assembly and laying processesinvolved, does not need any special treatment after being laid. For cleaning:• Clean the surface thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner
• If necessary, the surface can be cleaned with a cloth, soaked in a solution of water and neutral
• An extraction machine may be used, fitted with non-abrasive brushes
• DO NOT use materials or products which may scratch the surface
Granite, with its great hardness and resistance to abrasion, does not need to be waxed. Take particular care not to leave water or other liquids on the surface or between the panels as this could damage the flooring if absorbed.
For all cleaning of the flooring, the manufacturer recommends that a specialist company with experience in this area is employed
Access flooring with a ceramic finish, because of the assembly and laying process involved, needsan initial cleaning in order to remove the residue from the application of the border. The presenceof any such residue does not constitute a defect in the product. This operation cannot be performed at the end of the manufacturing process because of the timeneeded for the maturing of the polymer. Once the laying of the panels is completed, the initial cleaning consists of:• Deep cleaning of the surface with a floor cleaner with Scotch-Brite disks fitted, vacuuming and
the use of specific detergents for ceramics.
• Removal of the detergent residue by washing with extraction machine
• In the case of vitrified stoneware, it is advisable to spread a layer of sealer over the surface,
according to the manufacturer of the ceramic material
In the case of POLISHED fully-vitrified stoneware, which is more susceptible to marks and stains, it is advisable to treat the surface with an anti-stain impregnation solution. Follow the instructions given with the solution carefully. Normal cleaning only involves vacuuming and the cleaning of any dirty patches with a slightly damp cloth. Wax should be applied according to the type of material being used. Take particular care not to leave water or other liquids on the surface or between the panels as this could damage the flooring if absorbed.
For all cleaning of the flooring, the manufacturer recommends that a specialist company with experience in this area is employed.
Having laid the panels, the initial treatment consists of:• De-waxing the surface to remove the protective coating applied by the vinyl manufacturer. Use
a 150 rpm single brush machine with the red brush attached (the colour indicates the type ofbrush)
• Use dry de-waxing products such as Taskin STRIPO or equivalent, following the instructions
• Remove all wax residue with a well wrung-out cloth
• Apply a layer of base sealing wax, distributing it evenly with a single brush floor polisher with
• Apply a layer of protective acrylic wax (metallising wax) in two light coats, allowing at least two
• Pay careful attention to the choice of wax as this can affect the anti-static / conductive
properties of the covering (such as ANTISTATIC made by DIANOS)
Normal cleaning must be done only with an extraction cleaner with neutral cleaning productsspecifically designed for the type of covering. It is recommended that, at intervals depending on the amount of use, the flooring is cleaned with awaxed floor cleaning product and a single brush floor polisher with the black disk attached. Depending on the type of traffic passing over the flooring, it may be necessary to re-apply thetreatment. First carefully clean the flooring as described above and then apply a layer of acrylicwax of normal concentration. Take particular care not to leave water or other liquids on the surface or between the panels as this could damage the flooring if absorbed.
For all cleaning of the flooring, the manufacturer recommends that a specialist company withexperience in this area is employed. ALUMINIUM FINISH
The only maintenance necessary is a thorough vacuuming before the installation of the self-adhesive covering and after any operation which uncovers an area of flooring. Any cleaning of the self-adhesive covering must be done with a vacuum cleaner with, if necessary,the aid of a dry foam cleaner. Take particular care not to leave water or other liquids on the surface or between the panels as this could damage the flooring if absorbed.
For all cleaning of the flooring, the manufacturer recommends that a specialist company withexperience in this area is employed
Guidelines for supplying imagesfor printing in Australian Wood ReviewIn general we require images of the highest quality. There are some differences in our requirements for images supplied by authors and images supplied for competition and book submissions. Image quality • Set your camera to the highest quality setting available. We can accept PSD, RAW, TIFF and JPG images, however, we pre
Dear Sir or Madam COMMISSION DECISION 2010/381/EU – EMERGENCY MEASURES APPLICABLE TO CONSIGNMENTS OF AQUACULTURE PRODUCTS FROM INDIA AND INTENDED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION Further to my email of 5 May 2010 I am writing to advise that the Commission published Decision 2010/382/EU on Friday 9 July 2010, and a link to the Decision follows ion comes into effect immediately. The