CABLE MANAGEMENT | Keeping the office alive


If a company has a huge requirement for the use of hi-tech equipment in its office, all of which demand the use of extensive cabling and communication systems, the professional design and installation of a custom-made access flooring system is the modern answer, but not every company has this need, says PentaFloor® Access Flooring.

Although most offices now have a wide variety of modern equipment such as computers, scanners, printers, and even audio and visual equipment, the installation of an access control system for their requirements would be costly and often not necessary – a well-designed cable management system will solve the problem of having wiring and temporary plug points all over the floor, which creates a hazard to both staff and equipment.

There is a great similarity between cable management systems and access flooring, because they are usually both provided with a 600 x 600mm modular grid, are quick and easy to install, provide immediate access to the services below, can overcome small discrepancies in the subfloor, and can accommodate almost any type of floorcovering to match the décor of the building.

Where cable management systems have an advantage is that they make little difference to the floor-to-ceiling height of the area, because they are commonly only 50-75mm in height, making them ideal for either retrofitting into existing buildings, or incorporating into the design of new structures.
They are also much lighter in weight and therefore do not require any structural alterations or support. Throughways are provided between the grid supports to enable power, lighting, data or other communications wiring to be readily installed and, in turn, readily available when office layouts are revised.
It has been proven through many case studies in the USA that reconfiguring the layouts of older offices, which often means the provision of new power and data outlets in the revised locations, can cost in excess of US$600 per workstation. However, with the ease of relating and provision of services with an access floor or cable management system, this can normally be achieved for around 10% of that cost – and in a much faster time, with less staff disruption and downtime.
The older methods of providing skirting or wall sockets for the power, conduit for a multiplicity of purposes, and junction boxes or temporary plug outlets spread throughout the floor area is an obsolete answer.

Modern cable management systems can be fitted to any structurally sound floor, and do not pose any problems to the provision of internal walls or the design and logistics of the area involved. Partitions may be fixed to the subfloor and demountable partitions can be mounted on top of the cable management system as required.

Cable management systems are ideal for many other applications other than office layouts because they will find favour in many other applications such as call centres, hospital wards, examination rooms and operating theatres, computer rooms, and many more. The advantages of using a cable management system in a large retail outlet are considerable, given that often the entire store layout is changed almost overnight, with displays and working models becoming immediately operational.

So, for total flexibility in the use of the building, at affordable cost and with the minimum of installation time, cable management systems can ensure that, old or new, the buildings will remain vibrant, viable and able to cope with ever-changing conditions for decades. In addition, Pentafloor® has recently acquired SolidFeel Access Flooring (Pty) Ltd so, whatever the client or architectural needs might be in terms of providing cost-effective answers to efficient office operation, this company has all the answers.

Pentafloor® is also a member of the Green Building Council of South Africa, so one can be assured that the company has the environmental aspects of the country at heart in everything it does.

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