Based on their prior experience with the vast improvement in air quality, reduction in cigarette smoke, and the modular flexibility UFSD brought to their other casinos, PCI Gaming was certain they wanted to implement an access floor system at Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino, an 85,000 sqft casino in Wetumpka, Alabama. There was a major constraint, however – no air diffuser grills could be visible on the gaming floor. PCI also chose to go with a variable air volume setup (VAV), which means that the airflow is controlled based on environmental conditions, such as temperature or smoke levels. The combination of these two factors led to the decision to place the floor grills beneath slot machines, but there was no product currently in production that fully addressed the casino’s needs.
Therefore Tate, AirFixture, and Johnson Controls began working with the architectural team, the project engineering team, and casino ownership to create a new product that did. A steel plate diffuser the size of a full 24” x 24” floor tile called Air Valve Tile Assembly (AV-TA) was created – it was load bearing, contained smaller openings acting as high capacity valves to support the VAV setup, was plug-and-play compatible with existing modular wiring, and used the same Tate access floor pedestals in use in the rest of the casino floor.
Using this new technology has made Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino operations run more smoothly – no more frequently cleaning out diffusers or worrying about water and soap from shampooing the carpet. The AV-AT was also more efficient than traditional VAV units – meaning that since fewer units were needed, there was also a cost savings. Combined with greatly improved customer comfort, installing access floors with the AV-AT units under the slot machines was a definite success for the casino.
“When you walk into an overhead casino, there’s a haze and a fog. When you walk into an underfloor system, it smells much cleaner, it’s so much clearer - visually you don’t see that haze or fog,” stated Ghassan Elkhatib, AirFixture’s Business Manager for central and southern United States. “(Using access flooring) led to more people playing more games.”