Last Minute Fix for a Technical Ground Grid

Our fast-track, high-tech building project was nearly complete. The tenant’s incredibly expensive computer equipment was rolling in, and the sophisticated equipment power system was being tested. Then the electrical contractor reported a problem. The technical ground grid did not test out as required. All the components were in place, but there was a widespread loss in the system. Investigation isolated the loss to the computer room raised floor system in nearly every room of the building. The grid of the raised floor system was an intended major component of the technical grounding system. Computer equipment would be grounded to the floor grid, and an electrical grounding conductor tied each room’s floor grid to the technical ground rod system outside the building. Through further investigation, the contractor found that the perimeter of the raised floor system was in contact with drywall screws at the floor line, providing unplanned continuity between the raised floor system and the metal stud partition framing throughout the building. It seemed like a monumental problem, and the team had almost no time to correct it before the tenant’s scheduled start-up date. An eleventh hour brainstorming session turned up a solution worth trying. Small pieces of thin plastic laminate were installed in one room to separate the raised floor perimeter frame from the drywall screws. The fix proved effective, so the plastic laminate “band-aids” were used throughout the building, and the tenant’s start-up occurred on schedule.

Posted in Construction Administration, Construction Documents

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