Creating the Perfect Life Science Environment with Raised Access Floors

25 April 2022 Tate

The life science industry covers a wide range of disciplines. From education and research to healthcare and pharmaceutical, each has its own unique set of needs when it comes to the design of its facility. But what if there was one solution that worked across all disciplines to increase flexibility and futureproof the space against unforeseen changes, while increasing access to services and daylighting and improving indoor air quality?  

We know this almost sounds too good to be true but raised access floors with Underfloor Service Distribution are an ideal solution for life science facilities. Underfloor Service Distribution takes services like electric and lab gasses that are traditionally distributed through the walls and ceilings and routes them under the raised floor for easier access and reconfigurability. Additionally, Underfloor Air Distribution eliminates overhead HVAC equipment by utilizing the underfloor plenum to deliver air and improve indoor air quality and occupant comfort. By putting these services under the floor, you eliminate the need for drop ceilings or overhead ductwork, increasing access to windows and daylight.  

 Here are a few examples of raised access floors in life science facilities. 

Rockefeller University Lab

The Rockefeller University in New York City is the world’s leading biomedical research institution and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus features two acres of state-of-the-art laboratory and office space. The lab space uses raised access floors with Underfloor Service Distribution to route lab gasses, water and electric under the floor, directly to each lab bench and workstation. If the lab needs to be rearranged at any point, the underfloor services can be rerouted to accommodate the new layout. Additionally, the labs utilize field-applied rubber tile that overlaps the raised floor grid, improving the raised floor’s water resistance. The rubber flooring is also easy to clean and maintain and allows easy access to the underfloor plenum. 

Read the full case study here.

Tulsa Cancer Institute Treatment People

The Tulsa Cancer Institute is a great example of an innovative, green medical office building. It is Oklahoma’s single largest medical facility built by a group of private physicians and the largest number of cancer specialists at one center. In addition to new technologies, the facility also features a wellness center, healing gardens and bright, open spaces with access to natural light. In a healthcare facility like this, indoor air quality is, obviously, extremely important. Underfloor Air Distribution utilizes stratified airflow to improve ventilation effectiveness and indoor air quality by delivering air at a lower velocity through the raised floor directly into the occupied space. This allows the air to naturally rise to a ceiling return, pulling contaminants and CO2 away from occupants. This system also eliminates the need for overhead ductwork, which gave the Tulsa Cancer Institute the opportunity for larger windows and better access to natural sunlight. 

Read the full case study here.

Schneider Innovation Center

Schneider Innovation Center

The Schneider Innovation Center in Missouri features simulation healthcare facilities, like hospital rooms and doctor’s offices, on raised access floors with field-applied SelecTech FreeStyle interlocking floor tiles. The immersive simulation rooms are used to demonstrate sustainability, IT and technological advances in various industries, so it makes sense that those same concepts can also be applied to the flooring. 

Nova Southeastern University Dental Lab

Nova Dental Lab

The College of Dental Medicine at Nova Southeastern University utilizes raised access floors to route services to each individual desk to optimize student training opportunities. SelecTech FreeStyle BioLock interlocking floor tiles are installed over the raised floor panels to improve the floor’s water resistance, an important feature in labs and life science facilities. 

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