Raised access flooring systems are modular in construction, supported by a grid of pedestals. They serve to create an underfloor space which can house electrical cables, date and communications systems, and heating and air conditioning systems. They are an excellent solution to the modern office, allowing the latest technologies to be fully utilised without disruption to the workforce.
The PSA Specification
The PSA (Property Services Agency) Specification has been a UK industry standard for raised access floors for over 25 years. The requirements are complex and demanding but there are just 4 main categories: light, medium, heavy and extra heavy. Light is deemed sufficient for general office use with extra heavy being reserved for main frame computer rooms. The categories are arranged vertically, meaning that a higher grade will comply with all of the requirements of grades lower in the scale.
With the PSA, grades are awarded through independent testing and certification.
More recently, the trend has been to reduce loadings for raised floors and the PSA medium grade is the most common for contemporary spaces. A medium grade floor can carry loads of up to 35kN/m², which often far surpasses the capacity of the floor on which it stands.
The BSEN 12825 Specification
In 2001, the “European Committee for Standardization” created the BSEN 12825, in a move to regularise standards throughout the EU. With the BSEN 12825 there are now 72 performance standards. These standards are not arranged vertically, thus creating potential for misunderstanding and confusion.
Under BSEN 12825, floor systems are rated in four separate categories: ultimate load, safety factor, deflection under working load and dimensional tolerances. The advantage of BSEN 12825 is that the specifier can prioritise certain criteria over others to suit different applications.
Comparison of PSA and BSEN 12825
- Compared to the PSA, the BSEN 12825 requires considerably more technical detail for a specification to be drafted.
- The PSA specification is very clear on the suitable applications for each grade. The BSEN 12825 is not.
- The BSEN 12825 only accounts for vertical loading. Unlike the PSA, pedestal height is ignored.
- The PSA specifies that all systems must be subject to independent testing and certification over a 24 hour period. With the BSEN 12825 there is no independent testing. It is down to each manufacturer to test and self-certify.
- Under the PSA all products must be guaranteed for 25 years. With the BSEN 12825 no guarantee is required.
About Fieldmans Access Floors
Fieldmans Access floors have been installing raised floor projects on a global scale since 1993. We can undertake projects as small as 3m² and as large as 25,000m². We have an extensive experience over a range of environments giving us a unique perspective and depth of knowledge.
We can supply access flooring systems to support loads from light to heavy. We are thoroughly familiar with the PSA and BSEN 12825 industry standards and our work is compliant with both.
Our case history includes several high profile contracts including the £820 million Terminal 2 building at London Heathrow Airport.
If you have a raised access flooring system project in mind, please call us today on 020 8462 7100 and our expert staff will be happy to advise you further.
A strong focus on customer satisfaction, with a can-do attitude, coupled with a wide breadth of experience and understanding of the many products and systems on the market are the key benefits to you when partnering with Fieldmans Access Floors Ltd
Should you wish to contact us directly for a no-obligation site survey or just some advice, please call on