Access Floors: A Twenty-First Century Approach


In the early years of information technology, the traditional raised or access floor was introduced to create a sealed air plenum for cooling mainframe computers. It featured a post and panel design—a square panel resting on steel posts at each corner, all fastened together by additional hardware. These were cumbersome and tiresome to work with. Panels weigh 42 pounds on average, requiring special tooling and outside labor. Original raised floors were 24-36” In height and some went as high as 7 feet! However, as computer technology advanced and the need to cool them became unnecessary, raised floors decreased to 4-6”. But aside from the drop in height, the post and panel raised floor design remained virtually unchanged.

Until FreeAxez introduced Gridd.

It was a distinctively bold move in access floor design—one so innovative, CSI awarded it a unique MasterFormat number.

Thought Leadership That Introduced a New Concept to the Access Floor Industry


Gridd was based on a whole new concept—the idea of adaptive cable management. It was a revolutionary idea for an access floor. And one that is changing the industry.

FreeAxez realized with foresight that information technology was advancing quickly and the need for cabling was extending beyond the computer room. Organizations that planned for success would not just consider how to manage their business, but also the information infrastructure their organization depended on.

And that meant providing cabling for an entire building with built-in flexibility that quickly adapted cabling to advancing technology. An access floor was a good approach. But the post and panel raised floor design was not a practical solution for an entire building.

It required a different kind of raised floor.

Gridd Low Profile Fixed Height Access Floor: Breaking From Raised Floor Tradition


FreeAxez introduced Gridd, a rugged, yet light-weight all steel construction with built in channels that neatly organized cables in a sleek 1.6” or 2.75” height. It was a low profile, fixed height access floor. Radically different than anything else on the raised floor market.

Rather than 4 posts at each corner, the Gridd raised floor had 34 legs stamped out of the steel that provided unparalleled support and stability. And it wasn’t fastened together like post and panel raised floors. Instead, it was held together by gravity so it installed quickly—up to 1,000 square feet per installer, per day.

What impact has the Gridd low profile access floor had on the raised floor industry?

In the past, if you asked someone in the access floor industry about the purpose of a raised floor, the answer was to cool computers. But now, the answer is for cable management.

CSI Assigns Low Profile Fixed Height Access Floors a Unique MasterFormat Number

Gridd’s new, low profile access floor became the preferred choice among architects and end users. But it was classified under the same MasterFormat number (10270) as traditional post and panel raised floors, which created confusion.

Architects called for 10270 in their building specifications thinking of Gridd’s low profile access floor, but contractors often substituted a traditional post and panel raised floor. End users were dissatisfied with the final result and it became obvious, greater clarification was needed.

In May, 2004, Earl Geertgens, President and CEO of FreeAxez wrote a letter petitioning the CSI governing body. He advised that classifying the Gridd low profile raised access floor with the same MasterFormat number as traditional post and panel raised floors did not serve the public interest.

The CSI governing body initiated an evaluation process that took 5 ½ years. And in December of 2009, responded acknowledging it would best serve the marketplace and the public to create a new MasterFormat numbering category for low profile access floors. CSI officially assigned a new MasterFormat number and title, 096933: Low Profile Fixed Height Access Flooring. 

Today, when Gridd is selected as the building’s adaptable cabling distribution system, Facility managers, CIO’s, CFO’s and CEO’s can rest at ease.


Because with today’s advancing technology requirements they’ll accomplish full infrastructure upgrades and office reconfigurations in less time, at less cost and with less disruptions and headaches!


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CSI MasterFormat #: 09.69.33
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