Raised-Floor Facilitates Retrofit

A recent retrofit of a warehouse in downtown Kansas City, Mo., turned an 80-year-old structure into high-tech office space for the information technology department of DST, a financial services company. Helping to ease the facility's transition was the use of an underfloor-delivery system for the building's heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) requirements, as well as the data an...

07/01/2001


A recent retrofit of a warehouse in downtown Kansas City, Mo., turned an 80-year-old structure into high-tech office space for the information technology department of DST, a financial services company.

Helping to ease the facility's transition was the use of an underfloor-delivery system for the building's heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) requirements, as well as the data and power-cabling systems.

Client needs

DST processes transactions for mutual fund companies, and requires a reliable data and power infrastructure. Weaving these new systems into a facility that was built in the 1920s proved to be a challenge, according to David Rezac, the project manager with CDFM2, a local architectural firm.

"In order to expose the structure of the building for increased aesthetic value, to provide the tenant with exceptional flexibility and provide a greater floor-to-floor height for better lighting solutions, we decided to propose a raised-floor HVAC system," explains Rezac.

The decision to utilize a raised-floor HVAC system facilitated a number of other benefits, including reduced construction costs, greater flexibility for the future, quality comfort control and even the design of a new middle floor.

System specifications

Four 40-ton rooftop units provide air to the pressurized plenum, and the entire HVAC system is variable-air-volume, which offers good comfort control and energy savings.

Because air moves in the plenum between the structural floor and the access floor, conventional ceiling ductwork could be eliminated, saving installation costs and freeing overhead space.

Also, the building space provides flexibility for the future because office rearrangement costs are very low. The floor-vent terminals could be installed anywhere in the raised-floor grid, because the entire area under the floor becomes a pressurized air plenum. To reconfigure workstations, maintenance personnel simply remove one or two access floor panels to relocate voice, data and power cabling. Then, they can move the air terminals, bringing conditioned air to the reconfigured space as needed.





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