In order to help businesses save cost on valuable real estate, IT equipment manufacturers are continually building smaller more powerful servers and storage arrays.  These effectively allow more and more IT processing power to be installed within small footprints there by reducing the amount of floor space required to house them. The downside to this trend, is that it dramatically increases the potential overall weight of an individual rack of IT equipment.  This can have serious implications on the structure of the building.

It is possible to install 2000kg of IT equipment within a single (600mm x 1000mm) rack.  The loads exerted by this equipment on the floor slab of a building is significant and in many cases the average office building is just not designed to cope.  Therefore, if you want to install new IT systems on the 3rd floor of your building, it is prudent to have the loadings checked out by a structural engineer before you proceed.

A Structural Survey will specify whether the structural integrity of the building is adequate for the intended use and if not, propose possible structural additions to achieve the required result.  These can include spreader plates or additional steel frames underneath the raised access floor to spread the loads over a wider area.

A Structural Survey includes:

  • A review of the methods of construction from inspection of the surrounding structure and available building plans and specifications to determine load paths and capacity
  • Undertaking of core drilling of the floor slab to take samples of the construction for analysis (only completed where building plans and specifications information is not available for review)
  • A determination of findings post visit utilising:
    • The specific details of the loads planned for installation
    • The information collected during the survey
    • Completion of load calculations to assess the feasibility for proceeding with the planned works
  • Identification of potential solutions to overcome any identified problems where possible

To discuss your requirements, contact END2END to see how we can help you.


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