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Raised access floors: AFA reviews PSA standards

The Access Flooring Association classification system guarantees the longevity of flooring designed for high-performance commercial buildings and data centres

In association with the
The AFA is an advisory body that provides guidance on the specification, installation and maintenance of raised access flooring.
The AFA is an advisory body that provides guidance on the specification, installation and maintenance of raised access flooring.

Earlier this year the Access Flooring Association (AFA) reviewed and revised the main classification system for the provision of raised access floors in the UK.

The PSA MOB PF2 PS Specification was originally released in 1992 and provides performance grades and methods of testing for commercial buildings and data centres.

The PSA classification gives architects and specifiers confidence in the longevity and sustainability of the products they choose for their new-build, renovation and fit-out projects.

  • The AFA PSA MOB PF2 PS Specification for raised access floors.
    The AFA PSA MOB PF2 PS Specification for raised access floors.
  • The PSA standards guarantee specifiers a product lifespan of more than 25 years.
    The PSA standards guarantee specifiers a product lifespan of more than 25 years.
  • PSA standards: Giving designers confidence in the longevity and sustainability of the raised access flooring systems they choose.
    PSA standards: Giving designers confidence in the longevity and sustainability of the raised access flooring systems they choose.
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Guaranteed lifespan of 25 Years+

PSA standards specify that floor panels should have a minimum life of 25 years (excluding the floorcovering) and the supporting components, including pedestals, should have a minimum life of 50 years.

The manufacturer or supplier will state the minimum life during which the floor system is expected to meet the performance requirements in respect of:

  1. The complete system.
  2. The supporting system.
  3. The floor panels.
  4. The floorcovering (when applicable).
  5. Any other replaceable components.

The manufacturer or supplier will also state:

  1. The minimum maintenance-free period of life of the whole system.
  2. The recommended methods and period of maintenance for the system.
  3. The minimum maintenance-free period of life of any replaceable parts where this is different from that of the whole system.
  4. The minimum period that replaceable components will be available.

Although raised access floors by leading manufacturers are expected to perform longer than the minimum 25 years, they are built to withstand specific loading requirements over many years.

Therefore, warranties offered by AFA members on brand new floors do not extend to reused flooring systems due to the lack of traceability and uncertainty around the demolition of the systems.

The good news is that many manufacturers offer professional checking services and, where flooring systems are not found fit for reuse, some AFA members offer to take them back to recycle the steel and chipboard cores.

Rigorous testing

In order to confirm that any system specified will comply with the relevant test methods outlined in the PSA Performance Specification, numerous tests are carried out in accordance with the test methods detailed, by an independent UKAS Accredited test laboratory. The test report will contain the information detailed for each test and will also include dimensional and material details together with a full product specification and related drawings that will be validated by the test authority.

Methods of testing cover everything from concavity and convexity of panels, the maximum twist of panels, panel squareness, the pull-off strength of panel edge strips (if fitted), free play in supporting pedestals, as well as a series of loading tests, point loading tests, impact tests, Uniformly Distributed Load (UDL) tests, and Safety Factory Load tests to name a few of the 21 individual tests that every PSA-rated access floor undergoes.

By choosing an access flooring system with a PSA specification, architects get unsurpassed testing to safeguard their client's investment and ensure the ultimate in long-lasting performance.

For more information and technical support and to download a copy of the latest PSA standards, visit afa.com/standards

 

Contact:

0845 120 0068

information@theafa.com


 

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