Introducing

The Electro-Mechanical Distribution System that Changes Everything

Ventilation effectiveness 137 feet from cooling equipment!

This unique, simple design separates cabling and piping from airflow

We split the underfloor into two separate levels, the top for wires and piping, the bottom for air, making an efficient electro-mechanical distribution system.

Easy Wire Management

  • Put all the wiring under the floor where it belongs—faster, cost effective installation
  • No need for plenum rated cables
  • Change, add, or relocate wiring without disrupting air flow

Simple Piping Installation

  • Install all chilled water piping and hoses in the upper utility plenum
  • Underfloor piping is a best practice and meets NFPA 75 (2024) standards
  • Eliminates risk of water leaks mixing with IT Equipment

Dependable Air Distribution

  • Regardless of room size, configuration, or equipment kW
  • No more hot or cold spots
  • No need for costly containment

Planning to build a new data center?

One of the first and most critical decisions you’ll need to make is how to distribute services such as cabling, power wiring, liquid-cooled piping and air.  Learn how the Interstitial electro-mechanical distribution system follows best practices, is building code and standard compliant, safe, and provides sustainability not otherwise available in traditional data centers.

Yes, Effective Distribution of Services Leads to a Sustainable Data Center

There’s no greenwashing here––Interstitial takes sustainability seriously––striving to reduce the depletion of natural resources.

Sustainability Begins with Building a Life Long Right Size Structure

A purpose-built data center is risky––there’s no crystal ball for ultimate Life Long needs, and clearly buildings are bigger than need be.  The best design is one that is readily adaptable.  Change is inevitable––cabling, power, cooling whether air cooling, rear-door heat exchangers, direct to chip cold plates, immersion or any combination thereof––Interstitial easily accommodates them all.

Why Interstitial

Reliable, simple distribution of power, cabling, liquid cooling lines, and air protects your equipment while being sustainable

The data center industry is struggling to introduce a variety of liquid cooling methods into existing operations and/or create appropriate purpose-built facilities, while maintaining best practices, adhering to building standards, minimizing risks and maintaining insurance requirements.

The TIER E/A electro-mechanical distribution system was designed as a future-proof methodology for distributing services within data centers by creating two distribution plenums, an upper utility plenum for pipes/hoses, wires and cabling and a lower pressurised air distribution plenum that precisely delivers an appropriate volume of air anywhere in the room without containment.

1 Don't judge a book by its cover
2 Simplicity
3 Unequaled air distribution
4 Weight distribution second to none
5 The time is now ...

A new era of Data Center air and wire distribution has finally arrived.

We split the entire underfloor space into two horizontal plenums, the top for wiring pipes and hoses, the bottom for air, making an efficient electro-mechanical distribution system.

Easy-to-install dampered chimneys channel supply air through the utility plenum and into the room, assuring precision air distribution to the top of each cabinet throughout the room regardless of size.

The unique “pyramid” design creates a room size truss improving load distribution on the slab by 40%

A Multi-Level Electro-Mechanical Distribution System. Solving the Performance Problems Associated With Data Center Wiring, Piping and Air Distribution.

A Logical, Simple, Efficient Solution

1 Don't judge a book by its cover

A new era of Data Center air and wire distribution has finally arrived.

2 Simplicity

We split the entire underfloor space into two horizontal plenums, the top for wiring pipes and hoses, the bottom for air, making an efficient electro-mechanical distribution system.

3 Unequaled air distribution

Easy-to-install dampered chimneys channel supply air through the utility plenum and into the room, assuring precision air distribution to the top of each cabinet throughout the room regardless of size.

4 Weight distribution second to none

The unique “pyramid” design creates a room size truss improving load distribution on the slab by 40%

5 The time is now ...

A Multi-Level Electro-Mechanical Distribution System. Solving the Performance Problems Associated With Data Center Wiring, Piping and Air Distribution.

A Logical, Simple, Efficient Solution

Interstitial OVERVIEW

Electro-Mechanical Distribution System

In today’s ever changing tech world having an adaptable infrastructure to meet unknown needs is a daunting task that keeps leaders up at night, especially doing so as a best practice and in accordance with codes and standards.  Selecting the right equipment is an analysis proposition that is constantly evolving.  However, an effective, efficient, and reliable means of distributing services such as air, liquid cooling lines, power and cables is a decision that you’re stuck with for the life of the building, unless undergoing a major overhaul.

TIER E/A is a unique, multi-level electro-mechanical distribution product that isolates wires and piping in its upper utility plenum from supply air in its unobstructed and virtually leak-free pressurized lower plenum.  The system is easily adaptable from an air-cooled facility to one with any combination of air and liquid cooling that may arise.

Practical Wire, Piping, Cable Distribution and Management

Without disrupting airflow or the structural integrity of the floor

  • Unlimited Removal of Floor Panels for Easy Access
  • No Top Stringer to Impeded Installation of Wires or Hoses
  • Wiring is Isolated from the Airflow
  • No Need for Plenum Rated Wiring
  • Underfloor Piping is in Accordance with NFPA-75 2024
  • Simplifies Work for Operations Staff, e.g. No Need for Ladders
  • Faster Installation and Reconfiguration
  • Eliminates Need for Expensive Overhead Wiring
  • System is a Signal Reference Structure for EMP
  • Effective Electrostatic Discharge Control

Workers installed all of the power wiring for 232 cabinets in 1 day. Installation of piping, hoses and/or cabling is just as easy.

Precision Air Distribution Throughout the Entire Room

Whether the data center is air cooled or any variety of liquid cooling Interstitial works with all cooling methodologies

  • Pressurized Unobstructed Airflow
  • Ventilation Effectiveness Regardless of IT Equipment Configuration or Room Size––Saves Energy
  • Cools Each Cabinet kW Individually Within the Same Aisle––Efficiency
  • Precision Air Delivery to the Top of the Cabinets
  • No Need for Costly, Burdensome Containment Devices
  • Genuine N+1 Redundancy
  • Use Fewer, Larger, More Cost-Effective Cooling Units
  • HVAC Equipment in a Separate Mechanical Equipment Room
  • No Pressure Drop when Floor Panels are Removed
  • No Air Leaks Through Cable Cutouts or Panel Joints
  • No Minimum Distance from Cooling Equipment to Cabinets
  • No Need to Reconfigure Sprinklers, Lights, or Smoke Detectors when Reconfiguring Cabinets
  • VAV Control (Optional)

Demonstration proves air will move all the way to the top of any cabinet at any airflow panel anywhere in the room

Additional System Features

Distributes air throughout the data center up to 200’ from the cooling equipment

  • Saves White Space and lots of it.  In on-slab air cooled data centers saving 30% or more in most instances (e.g. by reducing mechanical space and aisle widths)
  • Reduces building height by up to 20%
  • System meets seismic requirements throughout North America.
  • The strongest floor structure in the industry
  • 1,500 and 3,000 # floor panels available
  • Truss structure spreads the load on the slab over a 34% larger area
  • Simple Bonding/Grounding of system
  • System is a Signal Reference Structure (SRS)
  • Floor panel surface material designed for ESD control
  • No overhead wiring so no additional load to the roof or ceiling structure

There is less than 0.10” of movement (with cabinets) in the X or Z direction with an S DS of 0.400 (Longueuil, Quebec). Ashburn VA S DS is only 0.145

The Indisputable Value of Interstitial

Sustainable

Build a data center that will last decades regardless of technological changes

Energy Efficient

Precise air distribution delivers the air required to cool all the servers anywhere in the room or cabinet, while using fewer larger cooling units

Optimal Space Utilization

Space is Gold and Cabinets are Diamonds—build an on-slab data center 30% smaller than on-slab methods, or add 40% more cabinets

Environmentally Correct

Smaller building, less materials––better design, build, and operational savings

Cost Savings

Reliable, effective, efficient distribution of services means more revenue and higher margins

28 benefits when using Interstitial for distribution of services not available with any other method of designing a data center––provides more reliability, effectiveness and efficiency while improving revenue and margins

Mechanical
Electrical
Architectural
A/C Equipment
Use fewer, larger, more cost effective, energy efficient cooling units isolated in a separate mechanical equipment room
Effectiveness
Ventilation effectiveness, delivers air precisely where needed anywhere in the room, all the way to the top of the cabinets
Efficiency--Less Energy
Precisely delivering only the amount of cooling necessary from right sized equipment saves energy and lots of it––also preserves the life and function of the IT equipment
Effective N+1 Redundancy
When the A/C equipment is clustered together feeding into a common mixing box with dedicated pressurized air distribution only one unit is required to provide genuine N+1 redundancy regardless of the room size
Liquid Cooled Piping
All piping and/or hoses are easily and conveniently placed in the upper utility plenum for distribution from chillers to cabinets legally and safely––contrary to overhead piping methods in on-slab rooms.
Adjustable Airflow Control
Every airflow assembly has an easily adjustable opposed blade damper to balance the airflow throughout the room.
Containment
Is not necessary, because Interstitial provides ventilation effectiveness pushing volume-controlled air all the way to the top of every cabinet
Simple Design Engineering
The pressurized air plenum assures air throughout the entire space--to ALL servers. Therefore, eliminating the complications and generally unsuccessful attempts to deliver air in complex flooded room designs.
Service and Maintenance
Fewer, larger cooling units require less service and maintenance of the cooling equipment. Maintaining the floor surface is a normal cleaning procedure. The dirt and debris usually found in a single level floors air stream is contained in the upper utility plenum making for cleaner airflow.
Gasketed Cutouts
Aren’t required because the air is separated from the cables in its own dedicated plenum and doesn’t leak through the floor panel joints
Security
Install the A/C equipment in a separate mechanical equipment room so the service technicians don’t need to enter the white space
Simple Installation of Power
Laying power cables in the floor is as simple as demonstrated in the video above. In that installation A, B and C cables were installed for 232 cabinets in 1 day.
Power Cables vs. Busway
It is much faster and less costly to use underfloor power cables than overhead open track busway.
Underfloor Cable and Wire Installation
Installing wiring in the upper utility plenum is a much faster and safer install for technicians because the cables are not installed in contained airflow plenum spaces and there’s no need for ladders with underfloor wiring.
Plenum Rated Wiring Not Required
Conventional raised floors are generally air plenums and therefore require plenum rated wires and cables. Interstitial upper utility space is not an air plenum, it’s a dead air space, therefore plenum rated wires are not required.
Bonding/Grounding
Reduced number of ground points. Up to 200’ with a single ground point meets NEC 645.15, IEEE 1100, ANSI/TIA 942 and J-STD-607-A. Resistance does not exceed 0.1 Ω.
Cable Tray
The steel that separates the air plenum from the utility plenum serves as a built-in cable tray. Additional levels of trays can be elevated above that divider for installing additional cabling. Overall, fewer cable trays.
Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
The system will dissipate ESD. Industry accepted ESD control is achieved with our standard HPL, however, we offer a variety of surface materials for more stringent requirements if required.
Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP)
The system meets all criteria as a Signal Reference Structure (SRS)
Fire Detection
Isn’t required in the sterile air plenum and the upper utility plenum is a dead air space so if detectors are used, they can be distributed over a 450-sf area.
Building Size
When designing a building with Interstitial the data center can usually be 30% smaller in comparison to an on-slab flooded room design. Or, 40% more cabinets can be added if there is sufficient power available.
Building Height
Generally, the building height can be reduced by 20% when using Interstitial vs. an on-slab flooded room design.
White Space and Gray Space
Position high-density equipment anywhere in the white space and install all of the mechanical equipment in a single equipment room up to 200’ from the load.
Flexible / Adaptable
Interstitial is the simplest means to distribute air, water, power and cables. Adapting to any form of liquid cooling is simple––just install your pipes or hoses in the upper utility plenum.
Moves, Adds and Changes
Moves, adds and change are simple, and don’t require a reconfiguration of sprinklers, detectors or lighting because there’s no need for containment.
Lighter Slab Structure
The truss design of the Interstitial under structure distributes the load over a larger area so the concrete slab can be lightened by 34%, which could apply to a new build or make an older building with a lighter slab an attractive alternative.
No Need to Increase Roof or CeilingStructure
Placing all wiring and cabling underfloor means no need to reinforce the roof. When building an on-slab flooded room design the wires and cables are suspended from the roof, and/or ceiling structure adding considerable weight and generally requiring reinforcement.
Less Interstitial Required
Since the white space is smaller (up to 30%) the amount of Interstitial required is less.

28 benefits when using Interstitial for distribution of services not available with any other method of designing a data center––provides more reliability, effectiveness and efficiency while improving revenue and margins

Mechanical
A/C Equipment
Use fewer, larger, more cost effective, energy efficient cooling units isolated in a separate mechanical equipment room
Effectiveness
Ventilation effectiveness, delivers air precisely where needed anywhere in the room, all the way to the top of the cabinets
Efficiency--Less Energy
Precisely delivering only the amount of cooling necessary from right sized equipment saves energy and lots of it––also preserves the life and function of the IT equipment
Effective N+1 Redundancy
When the A/C equipment is clustered together feeding into a common mixing box with dedicated pressurized air distribution only one unit is required to provide genuine N+1 redundancy regardless of the room size
Liquid Cooled Piping
All piping and/or hoses are easily and conveniently placed in the upper utility plenum for distribution from chillers to cabinets legally and safely––contrary to overhead piping methods in on-slab rooms.
Adjustable Airflow Control
Every airflow assembly has an easily adjustable opposed blade damper to balance the airflow throughout the room.
Containment
Is not necessary, because Interstitial provides ventilation effectiveness pushing volume-controlled air all the way to the top of every cabinet
Simple Design Engineering
The pressurized air plenum assures air throughout the entire space--to ALL servers. Therefore, eliminating the complications and generally unsuccessful attempts to deliver air in complex flooded room designs.
Service and Maintenance
Fewer, larger cooling units require less service and maintenance of the cooling equipment. Maintaining the floor surface is a normal cleaning procedure. The dirt and debris usually found in a single level floors air stream is contained in the upper utility plenum making for cleaner airflow.
Gasketed Cutouts
Aren’t required because the air is separated from the cables in its own dedicated plenum and doesn’t leak through the floor panel joints
Security
Install the A/C equipment in a separate mechanical equipment room so the service technicians don’t need to enter the white space
Electrical
Simple Installation of Power
Laying power cables in the floor is as simple as demonstrated in the video above. In that installation A, B and C cables were installed for 232 cabinets in 1 day.
Power Cables vs. Busway
It is much faster and less costly to use underfloor power cables than overhead open track busway.
Underfloor Cable and Wire Installation
Installing wiring in the upper utility plenum is a much faster and safer install for technicians because the cables are not installed in contained airflow plenum spaces and there’s no need for ladders with underfloor wiring.
Plenum Rated Wiring Not Required
Conventional raised floors are generally air plenums and therefore require plenum rated wires and cables. Interstitial upper utility space is not an air plenum, it’s a dead air space, therefore plenum rated wires are not required.
Bonding/Grounding
Reduced number of ground points. Up to 200’ with a single ground point meets NEC 645.15, IEEE 1100, ANSI/TIA 942 and J-STD-607-A. Resistance does not exceed 0.1 Ω.
Cable Tray
The steel that separates the air plenum from the utility plenum serves as a built-in cable tray. Additional levels of trays can be elevated above that divider for installing additional cabling. Overall, fewer cable trays.
Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
The system will dissipate ESD. Industry accepted ESD control is achieved with our standard HPL, however, we offer a variety of surface materials for more stringent requirements if required.
Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP)
The system meets all criteria as a Signal Reference Structure (SRS)
Fire Detection
Isn’t required in the sterile air plenum and the upper utility plenum is a dead air space so if detectors are used, they can be distributed over a 450-sf area.
Architectural
Building Size
When designing a building with Interstitial the data center can usually be 30% smaller in comparison to an on-slab flooded room design. Or, 40% more cabinets can be added if there is sufficient power available.
Building Height
Generally, the building height can be reduced by 20% when using Interstitial vs. an on-slab flooded room design.
White Space and Gray Space
Position high-density equipment anywhere in the white space and install all of the mechanical equipment in a single equipment room up to 200’ from the load.
Flexible / Adaptable
Interstitial is the simplest means to distribute air, water, power and cables. Adapting to any form of liquid cooling is simple––just install your pipes or hoses in the upper utility plenum.
Moves, Adds and Changes
Moves, adds and change are simple, and don’t require a reconfiguration of sprinklers, detectors or lighting because there’s no need for containment.
Lighter Slab Structure
The truss design of the Interstitial under structure distributes the load over a larger area so the concrete slab can be lightened by 34%, which could apply to a new build or make an older building with a lighter slab an attractive alternative.
No Need to Increase Roof or CeilingStructure
Placing all wiring and cabling underfloor means no need to reinforce the roof. When building an on-slab flooded room design the wires and cables are suspended from the roof, and/or ceiling structure adding considerable weight and generally requiring reinforcement.
Less Interstitial Required
Since the white space is smaller (up to 30%) the amount of Interstitial required is less.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reduce air conditioning energy consumption with Interstitial?

Interstitial allows you to save energy and lots of it…

For over 50 years air delivery in computer rooms has relied on “precision” down-flow air handling units (AHUs) used in conjunction with cable-clogged, leaky, conventional raised floors. The fact that this doesn’t work is demonstrated by the universal plague of hot spots, cold spots, air handler short cycling, negative air flow (where cooled air actually flows back down under the floor through perforated panels) and the need for containment methods . These problems exist even though the typical data center design provides at least 25% more air conditioning than is actually required to meet the room’s heat load.

In on-slab flooded rooms Interstitial delivers the required amount of air to each cabinet regardless of kW.  If an aisle has cabinets with varying kW heat loads the airflow panels will deliver what is required rather than over cooling the entire aisle.

Interstitial is a precision air delivery system solving all of these typical problems, even in the demanding environment of critical (Tier I—IV) data centers. It does so by allowing the use of larger, more energy efficient cooling equipment sized to match the overall heat load. The A/C equipment can be located in a separate mechanical room (200′ from the furthest cabinet), if desired, and still provided uniform, reliably pressurized air delivery to the entire data center space.

Will Interstitial adapt to any future equipment and/or increased heat loads that I may encounter?

It will.

Interstitial was designed to provide maximum flexibility by simply relocating airflow grates to any module where air is required. And, it does so without the use of costly and cumbersome containment devices. So long as you have the cooling equipment available to meet the heat loads of the equipment.

The video demonstrates the ventilation effectiveness of Interstitial, which can be accomplished anywhere in the room.

Interstitial provides precision air distribution where you need it when you need it…

If liquid cooling were required for some IT equipment those lines can be installed under the floor in the upper utility plenum to prevent any leakage from damaging IT equipment.

Do I still need to have CRAC units surrounding the perimeter and sometimes in the middle of the room?

Not only don’t you need CRAC units around the perimeter of the room, or installed through the middle of the room, you don’t need CRAC units in the room–period. For example in this picture you see there are no CRAC units installed in the room, they are behind the single wall far away from the opposite wall (140 feet). In fact we’ve shown that with Interstitial it is possible to move air 160 feet from the unit discharging it, meaning you could build a 25,000 sf room with all the air coming from only one side of the room. This benefits security since all service and maintenance of the cooling equipment is performed outside the white space.

What’s it like to install cables and wires in Interstitial verses conventional floors or overhead?

Cables and wires are housed in the upper utility plenum, where they are completely isolated from the air stream. They are always up off the floor and easy-to-reach. Working on them always takes place in the ambient room environment. Because the wires are separated from the air stream there’s no need for costly plenum rated cables, which saves a lot of money.

The system is stringerless regardless of finished floor height and, without compromising structural integrity, an unlimited number of panels can be removed for fast, safe wire installation;

Wires and cables can be separated from each other in a variety of easy-to-install and easy-to-relocate modular cable trays. Overall it’s far safer and more flexible than using overhead cable tray.

There’s never a need to work using dangerous ladders.  In the US there were 22,710 injuries and 161 fatalities in 2020 due to ladders.

What our clients say

Interstitial is designed to deliver maximum reliability and value – regardless of moves, adds, and changes.

“Despite the fact that we use a tremendous volume of cables we have not experienced any serious cable congestion. We remove unused cables, and the large wireway level gives us the space we need.” Brian, Trans Union

“We installed all the power cabling for 232 cabinets in one day, that alone makes your system worthwhile.” Daniel, COLO-D

“Since the Interstitial multi-level floor system meets all FAA requirements, and since the life-cycle cost is more economical than a single layer raised floor, it is recommended that the multi-level system be installed in future FAA air traffic facilities.” FAA Report, Washington D.C.

Want to know more about a Customer Satisfaction study?

See the results

Table 6.1 FAA Customer Satisfaction Multi-Level Raised Floor Survey Summary

Rate the multi-level floor (versus a single layer floor) on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) in first four categories:

  1. Flexibility of routing cables
  2. Flexibility & reduced costs, cooling more efficient, cables can be moved without affecting air
  3. No hot spots, no cable trough problems, no screws
  4. Installed 2 times, feel free to call, Keith Osman, VP, Info Proc. Heller International
  5. Installed 8 years & no problems
  6. Six (6) years experience with this floor
Why Us

We use plain old common sense.

We have a real and simple practical solution for a complex problem.

We do it better than anyone else.

Talk to us, you’ll change the way you think about data centers.

One may think their current data center design approach is ideal––it’s not. Few people understand the role and degree of importance the distribution of services plays in the design, build and operation of a highly successful data center. Once the die is cast turning back becomes a costly and perhaps irrevocable U-turn.

If you care about:

Sustainability—the environment, energy, building life, efficiency, and safety

Reliability––effectiveness, efficiency, building codes and operational alterations

Speed to market––design, engineering and construction time

Economics––revenues, margins, CAPX, OPEX

Then we’re your answer.

Distribution of services is an all-encompassing issue that affects the data center for life and therefore deserves our all-encompassing solution. No one can distribute air, piping, power and cabling better than we can––lasting beyond opening day, for decades not years.

When we set out to create Interstitial, we weren’t interested in simply becoming another “me-too” raised floor product. We wanted to create a solution — a solution that would address ALL the issues associated with distributing air, piping, hoses, power wiring and cables throughout a data center.

 

Interstitial changes and dramatically improves upon the way customers are able to go about their business. It makes our customers’ facilities more reliable, sustainable, effective, efficient, and cost effective — and a lot less stressful.

 

We’ll open your world to a whole new experience regarding data center design, construction, sustainability, efficiency, reliability, operations, and adaptability.

 

At Interstitial Systems, we think long-term and therefore serving you for decades.

We understand that functional, reliable, sustainable Data Center design is more important than ever.

One of the keys to Interstitial System’s success is the ability to provide answers and results that offer lasting operational effectiveness and efficiency by means of collaborating with owners, architects and engineers BEFORE any decisions are made, so the unique Interstitial design and product experience can be fully optimized.

 

Furthermore, Interstitial Systems, inc lends their in-house data center design/consulting services to our customers and potential customers to help them best optimize the system within their facility––maximizing the system and the facility to their full potential.

 

Let us prove it to you. 

 

We are willing at our expense to convert your current and/or previous data center design to one using Interstitial.  This will demonstrate how you can take advantage of all our features and significantly improve upon your plans using our methodology initially and long term.

Planning to build a new data center?

Download any or all of these documents containing helpful information about about the distribution of air and wires within a data center.

1 Planning a New Data Center?
Download PDF
2 Tired of the same old data center electrical and air distribution methods?
Download PDF
3 The most critical decision you’ll face when building a data center
Download PDF
4 13 key issues to keep in-mind when planning a data center
Download PDF
5 Critical Data Center Design Decisions—Comparison Table
Download PDF
6 Data Center Temperature Rise when A/C Fails
Download PDF