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  • Writer's pictureHGCI

Building Your Next Data Storage Facility? An Evolution is Taking Place

It may seem hard to believe, but large data centers used by governments and corporations trace their history back to the 1940s. And today, without question, data centers used by broadband providers and other industries need data/energy storage now more than ever. Contractors who build data storage centers can use the latest technical advances to work faster, smarter and more nimbly—saving you time and energy and eliminating hassles in the process.

Data Storage Flooring: The Established Way

Raised flooring in data centers became popular to allow for plenty of cool air to prevent the overheating of cables and the subsequent fires that were all too familiar in previous years. With a raised floor, part of the flooring could be removed to let workers maneuver beneath the data systems, rerouting cables as needed.

Raised flooring still presents benefits in some data centers. If you have visited a data center in the past decade or so, it is likely that you walked on one of these raised floors. However, this may not be the case for much longer. The industry is changing.

Data Storage Flooring: The New Way

Slab flooring is becoming increasingly popular in data centers as new options for cable management and mechanical equipment have come into play. Both mechanical and electrical components can now be easily placed overhead, and cantilevers and raceways distribute power throughout the center. Cables and systems are easily cooled with the ventilation system already used for the room.

Slabs Versus Raised Floors for Data Centers

Because of the needs of today’s powerful and complex data centers, slab floors now have the clear advantage over the raised floors of the past. Raised floors have some clear disadvantages over their slab counterparts. First, they create huge airflow losses as unused cooled air is allowed to mix with the room temperature air before passing back to the air handling unit. Second, there is not enough space for raised flooring in smaller data centers already at capacity.

On the other hand, slab floors have obvious benefits for today’s data needs. First, there are no weight restrictions on these solid floors. Second, it is easy for workers to see every electrical and mechanical part thanks to the overhead cantilever systems. Third, cooling systems work more efficiently as air flows from above. Finally, slabs do not create space concerns.

Overall, while raised flooring was once needed for bulky equipment and proper cooling of data center mechanics, slab floors typically have the advantage of ease and efficiency these days as data center designs become more standardized.

HGCI is a general contracting firm that has been serving the San Francisco Bay area since 1997. We provide clients a full spectrum of commercial building services, including design and conceptual estimating. HGCI has works with many broadband providers and has done projects for Comcast, built data centers for Paxio Atherton Fiber Facility , and Century Link, among others.

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