Interest in the use of reclaimed raised access floor panels has increased considerably, in keeping with the shift towards a more circular sustainable economy. Over the past number of months, the AFA have been investigating the market propositions, from speaking with contractors and developers, to suppliers and manufacturers, to fully understand what is on offer. In doing so, the intention is to provide some clarity around the topic, in order to support informed decisions.
The demand for available reclaimed raised access floor panels has certainly increased and for the most part, evidence of installations has largely been on small to medium scale projects. However, some contractors and developers have reported a real lack of availability, that has held up larger scale projects at critical paths and not only that, panels provided have come from various sources, of differing grades, tested to differing standards and from different manufacturers, which does gives rise to concern should something go wrong.
The AFA would recommend specific training on the removal of reclaimed panels from site and are happy to offer training assistance to any demolition contractor, to minimise wear and tear during the removal process. As per the PSA MOB PF2 PS/SPU Performance Specification, ensuring the correct climate-controlled environment when storing panels is essential, to limit warping and further damage. In addition, full disclosure of the chain of custody of panels should be provided to clients to ensure their strength and integrity are maintained at all times.
The PSA MOB PF2 PS/SPU Performance Specification standard, which is the leading standard for raised access floor solutions in the UK, provides guidance on achieving a performance of 25 years. As such the market expectation for a warranty on reclaimed raised access floor panels is similar. Through research, the AFA identified some providers offering a warranty to support the installation service but would encourage a move to a fully combined product and installation system warranty, which is yet to be made widely available.
In addition, there has been some confusion in the market regarding transferring warranties that were provided for on the original panel, that had not yet expired. From speaking with some manufacturers, it appears that once the panel is removed from its original position, the warranty becomes null and void, something contractors and developers should be aware of prior to agreement.
Customers should be made aware that testing is carried out on a proportion of the overall volume of panels. The AFA would recommend that a test plan is created and made available based on the mix of systems used and nature of the project the panels were removed from. The proportion of panels that are tested should be a significant volume, in order to minimise risk, carried out by an accredited independent test centre. Testing on the full system including the supplied pedestal should then be carried out to the PSA standard, in order to ensure strength and performance is maintained at all times.
Given that the raised access floor panel forms part of the structural integrity of a high-rise commercial office building, that is expected to last for a further 25 plus years, the AFA’s recommendation is that testing on the full system including the supplied pedestal should be carried out to the PSA standard, in order to ensure strength and performance is maintained at all times.
In addition to testing to the PSA standard, we recommend that specifiers seek clarity on what exactly is being warranted and that the warranty is fully understood when engaging with suppliers on reclaimed raised access floors.
In summary, the AFA recognise that the use of reclaimed raised access floor panels is a great concept when it’s safe and practical to do so. The AFA would encourage suppliers to address improvements around warranties, as well as testing to the PSA standard in order to ensure safety and wellbeing, while minimising any risk. For further information on the PSA MOB PF2 PS/SPU Performance Specification standard, please email firstname.lastname@example.org