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5 Benefits of a Pre-wired Power Distribution System for Raised Floors

Architects and engineers have known for years about the advantages of raised access floors. In addition to creating an interstitial space for easy access to power lines and data cables, raised flooring eliminates the need for HVAC ductwork. Rather, climate-controlled air is pumped under the entire floor and rises up through diffusers. Besides eliminating the labor and expense of fabricating sheet metal air ducts and vents reaching every floor and room of a building – in itself a major cost justifier – the removal of these obstacles allows for greater flexibility when running power lines and data cables, and contributes to increased airflow for better heat dissipation.

Once limited to the frigid underbellies of corporate data centers, raised access flooring has evolved into standard practice for the design and construction of every level of today’s multi-story office buildings. However, the technology that lives under those 2′ x 2′ raised panel-and-pedestal access floors has changed greatly. Snake Tray’s Snake Bus is a next-generation modular power distribution system for multi-story buildings with raised access floors. It reduces the cost of construction and minimizes the time and expense of reconfiguring commercial spaces for new or expanding tenants.

Early implementations of the raised access floor concept combined elements of both pre-wired and hard-wired power distribution systems. Electric metal tubes (EMT) protecting the electrical wires inside fanned out from the power source with stub-ups at desired positions. Some mid-level floors might have been connected to the electrical grid from overhead; via holes drilled through the floor above to run power lines directly to the workspaces below from EMTs extending from the ceiling. While offering the benefits of easy access and free air flow, these early designs did not provide the flexibility of being able to easily move or add connection points. Each EMT and wire terminated at a fixed point, connecting to a wall outlet or mid-floor recessed junction box. Adding another cubicle meant running another EMT and wire below the floor.

Snake Tray’s Snake Bus prefabricated wiring systems deliver infinite flexibility during the construction process to give contractors the speed and convenience necessary to complete installations on time and under budget. Post-construction, it gives commercial landlords the ability to execute moves, additions and changes to the power distribution system as needed. Ideal for general office environments, trading floors and command and control centers, Snake Bus brings the next level of power distribution efficiency to raised level flooring.

Snake Tray’s Snake Bus power distribution system is one of the fastest, easiest and most cost effective ways to pre-wire a commercial space for power underneath raised access floors. The only one of its kind, the Snake Bus system uses proprietary bus bar technology instead of copper wire and EMTs to run power wherever it is needed in one easy-to-install track. Snake Bus tracks are available in 4-foot and 8-foot segments that snap together with Lego™-like ease to create a power distribution system for spaces up to 1,000,000 square feet. Tap offs (called Snake Whips) deliver power to individual offices and workstations by connecting to receptacles positioned every 12 inches along the track for ultimate flexibility. Simply exchange a solid floor panel for one outfitted with a recessed power box at the desired position. Data network cables can be run alongside the power bus bar using hand-bendable Snake Tray cable trays in the same under-floor space. The primary benefits of the Snake Bus power distribution system include:

  1. Fast and easy installation. Pre-configured components eliminate material waste and allow architects to design a power distribution system optimized for the building layout. Easily run tracks around the core of a building as needed. Use less material to connect to individual workstations and eliminate the use of inflexible stub-ups. Its height of just 2.5″ makes Snake Bus compatible with either 2′ x 2′ panel-and-pedestal or low-profile raised access floors.
  2. Energy and cost efficient. Snake Bus’ innovative bus bar technology is much more energy efficient than traditional wiring. It uses less copper and experiences reduced voltage drop over longer runs. Because it is pre-manufactured and snaps together in seconds with infinite flexibility, Snake Bus provides a 30% reduction in material and labor costs over alternative and traditional hard-wiring methods.
  3. Flexible and reusable for tenant new renovation. Simply lift the raised floor tiles to move or add outlets for new cubicles and workstations in seconds. Every component is movable, changeable and reusable – no waste!
  4. Powerful and smart. Snake Bus provides three-phase, 50 Amp/120V phase to neutral current to deliver up to 18,000 Watts of power in one track. One of the phases is capable of connecting to a building management system for California Title 24 compliance to de-energize non-essential devices and outlets when not in use. Phases can be combined to deliver two-pole and three-pole service to specialized equipment. Snake Bus offers an optional IP-addressable current monitoring system.
  5. Reusable and reclaimable. Reduce the building’s carbon footprint further while saving energy. Snake Bus is made from 75% recycled products, and 99% of it is reclaimable at end of life. Snake Bus can potentially generate more LEAD points to improve the green rating of every building.

Reduce your cost of building ownership and tenant renovation expenses. Contact Snake Tray and let us help you design a smarter pre-wired building with Snake Bus.

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