Title:
Service posts for electrical and air delivery to workstations
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A polygonal service post provides electrical services and optionally air to one or more workstations. The service post has a square cross-sectional shape with vertical faces having a channel for mounting a panel wherein adjacent panels form a workstation and having power and data outlets and an air damper for delivering air to each workstation. Alternatively, the service post has a hexagonal or octagonal cross-sectional shape with first vertical mounting faces alternating with second vertical utility faces. The first vertical faces provide a surface for mounting a panel wherein adjacent panels form a workstation and each second vertical face includes electrical outlets and an air damper for delivering air to each workstation. Wiring for power and data delivery is provided to the service post from the floor or alternatively, from a ceiling wiring system whereas air may be provided from an access floor or a cellular floor system.



Inventors:
Michlovic, John J. (Seven Fields, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/316092
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/08/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
H02B1/26
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
AKBASLI, ALP A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CLIFFORD A. POFF (PITTSBURGH, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for delivering electrical services and optionally air into one or more workstations, comprising: a polygonal service post adapted to enclose a floor outlet, said service post having a plurality of first vertical faces for the attachment of partition panels for forming said one or more workstations and a plurality of second vertical faces alternating with the first vertical faces and each second vertical face having a bank of power outlets and a bank of data outlets provided within each of the formed workstations, said service post further adapted to optionally receive power and data wiring from the floor outlet for extension in the interior of the service post and for connection of the power wiring to the bank of power outlets and the data wiring to the bank of data outlets on the second vertical faces.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said service post has a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of hexagonal and octagonal shapes, and which cross-sectional shape provides the first vertical faces and the second vertical faces.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein said service post further includes a mounting base and a removable top cap having a cross-sectional shape that corresponds to the cross-sectional shape of the service post, and wherein said removable cap provides the option of extending power and/or data wiring from the ceiling into the service post.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein the second vertical faces have a surface area greater than that of the first vertical faces.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein each of the second vertical faces includes an access opening and a removable cover plate mounted over the access opening for wiring access and optionally for delivering air into each workstation.

6. The device of claim 5 wherein the service post further includes an isolator plate for creating an air chamber in communication with the access opening which optionally is fitted with an air delivering device for delivering air into each workstation.

7. The device of claim 1 wherein the service post further includes an isolator plate located within the interior of the service post and between the bank of power outlets and the bank of data outlets.

8. The device of claim 1 wherein the service post further includes a removable cap for selectively providing an opening for receiving power and data wiring from a ceiling based wiring system.

9. The device of claim 1 wherein each of the first vertical faces includes a mounting device for mounting a partition panel along the vertical length of each of the first vertical faces of the service post.

10. A device for delivering electrical services and optionally air into a workstation, comprising: a polygonal service post adapted to enclose a floor outlet, said service post having a plurality of vertical faces for the attachment of partition panels for forming one or more workstations and for providing a bank of power outlets and a bank of data outlets for each of the workstations, said service post further adapted to receive power and data wiring from the floor outlet for extension in the interior of the service post and for connection of the power wiring to the bank of power outlets and the data wiring to the bank of data outlets.

11. The device of claim 10 wherein said service post has a square cross-sectional shape that provides the vertical faces.

12. The device of claim 11 wherein said service post further includes a mounting base and a removable cap having a square cross-sectional shape corresponding to the square cross-sectional shape of the service post.

13. The device of claim 10 wherein each of the vertical faces includes an access opening and a removable cover plate mounted over the access opening for wiring access and optionally for delivering air into each workstation.

14. The device of claim 13 wherein the service post further includes an isolator plate for creating an air chamber in communication with the access opening which is fitted with an air delivering device for delivering air from the floor outlet into each workstation.

15. The device of claim 10 wherein the service post further includes an isolator plate located within the interior of the service post and between the bank of power outlets and the bank of data outlets.

16. The device of claim 10 wherein the service post further includes a removable cap for selectively providing an opening for receiving electrical and data wiring from a ceiling based wiring system.

17. The device of claim 10 wherein each of the vertical faces include pockets for receiving and mounting a partition panel along the vertical length of each of the vertical faces of the service post.

18. A service post for delivering utility services to one or more workstations, said service post being polygonal and including a plurality of first vertical faces each including mountings for optionally attaching partition panels for forming said one or more workstations and a plurality of second vertical faces alternating with said first vertical faces, wherein each second vertical face includes at least one outlet for said delivering of said utility services to said one or more workstations.

19. The service post of claim 18 wherein said one outlet is selected from the group of outlets consisting of a bank of power outlets, a bank of data outlets, and an air delivering device.

20. The service post of claim 18 wherein said each second vertical face includes a plurality of outlets including a bank of power outlets, a bank of data outlets, and an air delivering device.

Description:

CLAIM TO PRIORITY

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/007,338 filed on Dec. 12, 2007, the contents of which are hereby incorporated into this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a device for delivering electrical services and/or environmental air to workstations in office buildings, schools, libraries, and other types of commercial buildings. More particularly, the invention relates to a power-data-air (PDA) service post configured to supply air and/or electrical services to a workplace, for example, an office workstation.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Commercial buildings, such as office buildings, are generally steel and/or concrete framed and require the delivery of power and data wiring to cubicles, which are used to subdivide large open spaces referred to as “landscaped offices” into multiple, individual workstations. Typically, common partition panels are used to form and enclose these cubicles. Such common partition walls or panels are less than floor to ceiling height yet offer privacy to each workstation. Layouts of three or four workstations or cubicles may be formed by the partition panels and each workstation is commonly supplied with power and data cables or wires from raceway systems which are located above the ceiling or below the floor. Such floor based raceway systems generally consists of a core drilled “poke-thru” system, a cellular-floor system, or an access floor system.

Raceway systems provided in the ceiling generally use cable trays and steel conduits to route the data cables and power wires within the ceiling space. Service poles are provided to feed the power and data wiring downward to a common intersection of the partitions where the power and data wiring are then passed into raceways that are built into the base of the partitions from where they are then distributed to power outlets within each workstation.

Although some present day service poles may provide a direct electrical plug-in on at least one vertical face, no present day service poles are constructed to provide plug-in capability directly in each cubicle where cables enter the service pole from an in-floor or under-floor raceway.

Environment air is generally delivered to an office space in one of two ways. The conventional variable air volume (VAV) systems supply air through the ceiling ductwork and the air diffusers at the ceiling level. The return air is exhausted through the ceiling space and drawn by an exhaust fan into equipment used to clean and recycle the air. Another common air delivery method or system utilizes a raised floor or an access floor in order to create a space under the partition panels forming the cubicles or workstations and air is pumped into this space. Selected access floor panels, which are supported by a series of pedestals, are cut out at desired locations to accept and support a diffuser and air is delivered through the air diffuser at the floor level. In this latter method or system, the exhaust air is drawn upwardly and through the ceiling by the fan pressure such as that used in the VAV systems.

There is a need therefore to provide an improved and simplified device for delivering power and/or data and/or air to one or more cubicles or workstations which eliminates the need for raceways within the partitions forming the cubicles or workstations.

There is a further need to provide an improved system or device for extending power wiring, and/or data wiring, and/or air into multiple workstations or cubicles from a centrally located common feed point.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention has met these needs. The present invention provides a device for delivering electrical services, i.e. power and data or computer services, and/or environmental air into one or more workstations. The device includes a PDA service post constructed to enclose an outlet in the floor and which floor outlet allows power and data wiring and/or air to enter the PDA service post from the floor. The PDA service post has a plurality of first vertical faces for the attachment of partition panels for forming one or more workstations and a plurality of second vertical faces alternating with the first vertical faces. Each second vertical face has a bank of power outlets or receptacles and a bank of data outlets or receptacles, which are provided within each of the formed workstations. Preferably, the second vertical faces have a surface area that is greater than that of the first vertical faces. The power wiring and/or the data wiring extend through the service post and are connected to the bank of power outlets and to the bank of the data outlets of the second vertical faces for access within each workstation either above or below the desktop level.

The service post is multi-faced or polygonal, i.e. it has several sides or vertical faces. The service post has either a hexagonal or an octagonal cross-sectional shape, and which cross-sectional shape provides the first and second vertical faces. If the cross-sectional shape of the service post is hexagonal then the service post is capable of receiving three partition panels along its first vertical faces for forming three workstations or cubicles. If the cross-sectional shape of the service post is octagonal, then the service post can receive four partition panels along its first vertical faces for forming four workstations or cubicles. These partition panels may be inserted into a channel or pocket that extends along the vertical length of each of the first vertical faces of the service post and these panels may be fixedly mounted within this channel or pocket through suitable devices.

The PDA service post further includes a mounting base that preferably has a cross-sectional configuration that corresponds to that of the service post, a conduit for routing the power wiring, and a removable cap for access into the power compartment. Optionally, the service post includes a task light preferably located in each of the second vertical faces of the service post and above the bank of power outlets and the bank of data outlets in each workstation. The removable top cap preferably has a cross-sectional configuration that corresponds to that of the service post. The top cap is selectively removed to provide power wiring access into the interior of the PDA service post, e.g. into the power compartment of the PDA service post.

Optionally, the service post includes one or more access openings along the second vertical faces and a removable cover plate mounted over the access opening. An air chamber with an isolator plate is provided within the service post to pressurize the incoming air and is in communication with each of the access openings associated with each of the formed workstations. In this configuration, the cover plate may selectively be removed so as to provide the access opening with an air diffuser that is in communication with the air chamber. The air diffuser or louver can then be used to deliver air from the floor and into each of the workstations.

In an alternate configuration, power wiring and/or data wiring may be extended from a ceiling based wiring system and into the interior of the service post. The power wiring may then be connected to the bank of power outlets and to the task lights, while the data wiring may be connected to the bank of data outlets provided in each of the second vertical faces of the service post.

The PDA service post may be made of metal, preferably steel and formed from one or more metal sheets and then connected together via butt welding or via fasteners, such as screws.

A further embodiment of the present invention includes a PDA service post for delivering electrical services and/or environmental air into a workstation which has a square cross-sectional configuration with four vertical faces. Each vertical face may have a channel extending along its vertical length and offset to one side of the centerline of the face for receiving and mounting partition panels for forming four cubicles or workstations. Each of these vertical faces also includes a bank of power outlets and/or a bank of data outlets offset to the other side of the centerline of the face which are provided within each of the formed workstations. The power wiring extends through the service post and is connected to the bank of power outlets and task lights and the data wiring extends through the service post and is connected to the bank of data outlets of the second vertical faces for access within each workstation.

The PDA service post of this embodiment of the present invention includes a mounting base that preferably has a square cross-sectional shape, a conduit for routing the power wiring and data wiring and/or air, and a removable top cap for access into the power compartment of the post. The removable cap has a square cross-sectional shape. Optionally, the task light is preferably located in each of the four vertical faces of the service post and above the bank of power outlets and the bank of data outlets for each workstation.

Optionally, this service post also includes one or more access openings along the vertical faces and a removable cover plate mounted over the access openings. An air chamber created by an isolator plate is provided within the PDA service post and is in communication with each of the access openings associated with each of the formed workstations. When the PDA service post is utilized for air delivery, the cover plate is replaced by an air diffuser or louver. The air diffuser or louver may then be used to deliver air from the floor and through the air diffuser or louver into each of the workstations serviced by the PDA service post.

The removable top cap may be selectively removed to provide access to the power compartment of the service post. Power wiring and/or data wiring can be extended from a ceiling based wiring system using a standard service pole and into the PDA post. Electrical wiring from the ceiling may then be connected to the banks of power outlets and the data wiring may be connected to the banks of data outlets provided in each of the four vertical faces of the service post. This service post may be made of metal, preferably steel, and formed from one or more sheets of metal. If the service post is made of two sheets of metal, then the sides are preferably butt welded. If the service post is made of more than two sheets of metal, then the sheets are fastened together, preferably via fasteners such as screws.

A further embodiment of the square PDA post provides pockets extending along the vertical length of each vertical face for receiving and mounting a partition panel. The pockets eliminate the need for a mounting channel or other mounting devices required in the other PDA post embodiments of the present invention.

A square PDA service post, either with or without mounting pockets, allows the use of square cornered desks or tables which fit closely to the PDA service post. A square PDA service post therefore eliminates any gap existing between square cornered furniture and the diagonal faces of the PDA posts having other than a square cross-sectional configuration.

The PDA service post is polygonal. It may have a hexagonal cross-sectional configuration forming three workstations; it may have an octagonal cross-sectional configuration forming four workstations; or it may have a square cross-sectional configuration forming four workstations.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a versatile electrical and air delivery system to the building and interior design markets for either existing or new buildings.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a service post designed to form one or more workstations and to provide one or more vertical faces with a bank of power outlets and/or a bank of data outlets and/or air to each workstation.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide an improved and simplified design for a service post adapted to deliver power and/or data and/or air to one or more workstations.

And a still further object of the present invention is to provide a PDA service post designed to simplify the manner in which power and/or data and/or air is delivered to one or more workstations whereby the equipment currently used for electrical, data and air delivery may be eliminated thereby offering greater economies to the construction market.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be better appreciated and understood when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevation view of a service post of the present invention having an octagonal configuration.

FIG. 2 is a view taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a service post of the present invention having a hexagonal configuration.

FIG. 5 is an elevation view illustrating the service post of FIG. 1 in an environment which provides an optional arrangement for delivering air, cables and wiring to the service post.

FIG. 6 is an elevation view of a service post of a further embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along lines 7-7 of FIG. 6 wherein the service post has an octagonal cross-sectional configuration.

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of a mounting base taken along lines 8-8 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view of an alternate arrangement of a mounting base for the service post of FIG. 6.

FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken along lines 10-10 of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a sectional view illustrating a hexagonal configuration for the service post of FIG. 6.

FIG. 12 is an elevation view of a service post representing a still further embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken along lines 13-13 of FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is a sectional view taken along lines 14-14 of FIG. 12.

FIG. 15 is a schematic, top plan view showing the service post of FIG. 12 used to form four workstations.

FIG. 16 is an enlarged schematic view showing the service post of FIG. 12 and an alternate manner in which the partitions are mounted into the vertical faces of the service post.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device for forming one or more workstations or cubicles and for delivering electrical and/or data services and/or air into a workstation of a building, for example, an office building. This device is a power-data-air service post, which may be referred to as a “PDA” post. The height of this service post may vary depending on the desired height for the workstation or cubicle, and the service post may be made of metal or formed from a sheet metal. The service post is polygonal in that it is many sided or multi-faced.

FIG. 1 illustrates generally a service post 10. As shown in FIG. 2, service post 10 has an octagonal cross-sectional shape with a plurality of vertical mounting faces 12, 14, 16 and 18 and a plurality of vertical service faces 20, 22, 24 and 26 that alternate with the vertical mounting faces 12, 14, 16 and 18. As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, service post 10 has a plurality of partition panels 28, 30, 32 and 34 which are shown broken away and which form several adjacent cubicles or workstations WS. Panels 28, 30, 32 and 34 are mounted to the service post 10 via channels 36, 38, 40 and 42 which, in turn, are mounted to the vertical mounting faces 12, 14, 16 and 18 respectively, and which channels may extend approximately the vertical length of service post 10. Channels 36, 38 and 40 are broken away in FIG. 1 for clarity purposes. Instead of channels 36, 38, 40 and 42 being used to mount the partition panels, slotted hangers, which are commonly used on partition panels may be provided on vertical mounting faces 12, 14, 16 and 18.

Mounting faces 12, 14, 16 and 18 are preferably smaller in surface area compared to vertical service faces 20, 22, 24 and 26. Mounting faces 12, 14, 16 and 18 are referred to as such since channels 36, 38, 40 and 42 are mounted thereto. Utility faces 20, 22, 24 and 26 are referred to as such since these faces are used to deliver utilities, i.e. electrical services, e.g. power and data, and optionally air to adjacent workstations WS. FIG. 1 does not show panels 28, 30, 32 and 34 for clarity purposes.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 5, the upper portion of service post 10 has a removable top cap 41 which may be removed for easy access into the interior of service post 10. Cap 41 may have an opening 41a for allowing cables and/or wiring to be extended downward from the ceiling and into service post 10 as shown in FIG. 5. Preferably, service post 10 has conduits for running power wiring and air from several sources within or under the floor, more about which is discussed herein below.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 1 and 3, each utility face 20, 22, 24 and 26 of service post 10 includes a bank of power outlets 44 (FIG. 3). Directly below the bank of power outlets 44 on each utility face 20, 22, 24 and 26 is a bank of data outlets 46 (FIG. 1) and directly above each bank of power outlets 44 on each utility face is a task light 43 (FIG. 1). The bank of power outlets 44 are separated from the bank of data outlets 46 by an isolator plate 48. Isolator plate 48 is fitted within the service post 10 to separate the high and low voltage compartments as required by the building and/or electrical codes. Isolator plate 48 further includes an opening 48a for allowing power wiring to extend there through.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, the bank of power outlets 44 and the bank of data outlets 46 on each utility face 20, 22, 24 and 26 are located above the desktop 49. However, these outlets 44 and 46 may be located below the desktop 49. Below the bank of data outlets 46 of each utility face 20, 22, 24 and 26 is a cover plate 50 which is used to cover an opening 51 (shown by in phantom in FIG. 1). Each cover plate 50 is provided for each of the utility faces 20, 22, 24 and 26 and are connected thereto by fasteners, such as screws indicated at 50a, 50b, 50c and 50d. Cover plates 50 are easily removed within each workstation WS for easy access into opening 51 and the interior of service post 10 for maintenance or rewiring of each respective workstation while avoiding service interruptions to the other workstations WS serviced by PDA service post 10. A cover plate 50 over opening 51 is preferably located on each utility face 20, 22, 24 and 26 and above a carpet 52, which, in turn, covers a concrete slab 54. The bottom portion of service post 10 covering the carpet 52 and concrete slab 54 may be opened for access into the interior of service post 10. Alternately, an isolator plate (not shown) may be provided to close the bottom of service post 10. In this instance, an appropriate opening may be provided in the isolator plate for running wiring up into the service post 10.

Still referring to FIG. 1, carpet 52 and concrete slab 54 constitute a floor for the cubicles or workstations WS formed by the partition panels 28, 30, 32 and 34. Below concrete slab 54 are an in-floor outlet 56 and a through-floor outlet 58. Typically, in-floor outlets are provided within the floor slab while through-floor outlets penetrate the slab and bring electrical services from the ceiling space below the slab and terminate within the service post. One skilled in the art can appreciate that in-floor outlet 56 and through-floor outlet 58 would not occur on the same floor but are shown in FIG. 1 to illustrate both cases. In-floor outlet 56 is typical for a cellular floor system where an electrical outlet box provides access into adjacent steel cells that carry both power and data wiring. Both power and data wiring can then be delivered to the surface of the floor through a cover plate on the top of an “activated” outlet box.

Through-floor outlet 58 illustrates a “poke-thru” electrical outlet that may be installed in a core drilled hole through any building floor slab. The term “poke-thru” is a common term for “through-floor” outlet. A through-floor outlet is the most common type of electrical activation for workstations since there is no initial investment in electrical raceway equipment.

After the concrete slab is core drilled, a “poke-thru” outlet is dropped through the hole which penetrates the entire depth of the slab and not as that shown in FIG. 1. A steel conduit delivers the power wiring to the underside of the poke-thru 64. The data cables are then pulled through the poke-thru 64 to complete the electrical supply. Steel conduits are required by code for power wiring in all ceilings.

Still referring to FIG. 1, in-floor outlet 56 is in fluid communication with the interior of service post 10 via an opening 60 in the concrete slab 54. Alternately, a through-floor outlet 58 may be located in a steel deck 62 which also is part of the floor for the workstations WS.

FIG. 4 shows an alternate configuration for a PDA service post 70. As shown, the PDA service post 70 is hexagonal and includes vertical mounting faces 72, 74 and 76 which alternate with vertical utility faces 78, 80 and 82. Mounting faces 72, 74 and 76 have channels 84, 86 and 88, respectively for mounting partition panels 90, 92 and 94, respectively (broken away for clarity purposes) along their vertical lengths. Partition panels 90, 92, and 94 form three workstations WS. Utility faces 78, 80 and 82 contain a bank of power outlets 96, 98 and 100 respectively, and a metal isolator plate 102 fitted within the PDA service post 70 for separating the high and low voltage compartments within post 70 according to the standard building and electrical codes. The high voltage compartment accommodates the power wiring and the lower voltage compartment accommodates the data wiring. Isolator plate 102 includes a conduit or opening 102a for allowing a cable or wiring to extend there through. Service post 70 may also have a bank of data outlets and other features similar to that disclosed relative to the PDA service post 10 of FIGS. 1 and 3.

FIG. 5 illustrates the PDA service post 10 of FIG. 1 in an environment which provides an optional arrangement for delivering air, cables and wiring to the service post 10. In this arrangement electrical services may be delivered into the workstations WS from the space 108 and/or up from an under floor zone 128. In the space 108 between the suspended ceiling 104 and a structural floor slab 110, there are a work box 112, a power conduit 114 and data cables 116 having data cables 118 that branch off and extend into an electric service pole 120 and power wiring 106 extending from the work box 112. Service pole 120 extends down from the ceiling space 108 to the top of removable cap 41. The under floor zone 128 includes access floor panels 122 and 124 and a structural floor slab 126. In the space between the floor panels 122 and 124 and the structural floor slab 126, there are floor panel supports 130, an electrical cable 132, and a fan 134.

As shown by the arrows in FIG. 5, an air flow may be directed up through the opening 60 at the base of service post 10 and delivered through an air damper or louver 136 located in each of the utility faces 20, 22, 24 and 26 of post 10 for the delivery of air into each workstation WS. Optionally, an isolator plate 138 may be provided between the air damper 136 and the data outlets 46. As shown by the arrows, environmental air may be forced into the base of service post 10 by a centrally located fan (not shown) or by fan 134 located at or near the base of PDA service post 10. Alternately, fan 134 may be provided within service post 10. Fan 134 and isolator plate 138 are arranged such that they create sufficient pressure to force the air from cavity 128 into each workstation WS. This air pressure or air flow may be controlled by the occupant of the workstation WS via operation of the air damper 136. It is to be appreciated that fan 134 may be mounted in service post 10 and then enclosed via an isolator plate (not shown) which may have an appropriate opening for running the wiring up from the floor and into the service post 10.

As stated herein above, in-floor outlets typically are provided within the floor slab while through floor outlets penetrate the slab and bring electrical services from the ceiling space below the slab and terminate within the service post. Under floor outlets 130a as shown in FIG. 5 are those power outlets which bring services 132a from an access floor space or from an under floor zone such as the under floor zone 128 shown in FIG. 5.

It can be appreciated that the PDA service post 10 of FIG. 5 delivers air from the under floor zone 128 into each workstation WS and electrical services are delivered from the ceiling space 108 and/or alternately from the under floor 128 via cable 132.

PDA post 10 and PDA post 70 may be made from a flat metal sheet, preferably a steel sheet, which is formed and connected together via appropriate fastening means, for example, by a butt weld process or by similar joint welding processes. An example of a connection is indicated at reference numeral 66 in FIG. 1. These welded connections may be hidden from view by channels 36, 38, 40 and 42 and/or by the partition panels, thereby creating an aesthetic appearance for the PDA service post 10.

FIG. 6 is a further embodiment of the invention and is an alternative to the PDA service post 10 of FIG. 1. In FIG. 6, a PDA service post 140 is made from several metal sheets, preferably steel sheets, which are connected together via appropriate fastening means. The construction of the PDA service post 140 of FIG. 6 is better shown in FIG. 7. Post 140 includes four corner frames 142 and four removable cover plates 144 to form an octagonal configuration. Cover plates 144 are connected to the corner frames 142 via screws 143 shown in FIG. 6, or other types of fasteners may be used. As shown in FIG. 6, at least two removable cover plates 144 are provided along each of the four vertical sides of service post 140 for forming a utility face. Each of the utility faces contains a bank of power outlets 146, a bank of data outlets 148, and an air damper 150.

As shown in FIG. 6, service post 140 further includes a removable top cap 152 for easy access into the interior of service post 140, an isolator plate 154 separating the banks of high voltage power outlets 146 from the banks of low voltage data outlets 148, that is, to separate the high and low voltage compartments as required by Electrical and Building Codes, and an air baffle 155 extending within the interior of the service post 140. A service pole 156, which is broken away for clarity, extends from the ceiling space to the top of removable cap 152 and carries the data and/or power cables or wiring from the ceiling system into service post 140. Service pole 156 may be similar to a service pole commonly available in the industry. As is apparent, the four corner frames 142 each have a mounting face with a mounting channel or a slotted hanger for mounting and supporting a partition panel for forming four workstations.

The PDA service post 140 is mounted over and attached to a mounting base 158 as shown best in FIG. 8. As shown in FIG. 6, mounting base 158 is placed on the floor comprised of a concrete slab or composite slab 160 and surrounds an opening 162 through which electrical services via wiring and/or cables and air services are delivered to PDA service post 140. The mounting base 158 of FIG. 8 has four corner legs 164 that alternate with four side legs 166 that are greater in length than the four corner legs 164. As is apparent, the configuration of mounting base 158 of FIG. 8 corresponds to the configuration of the PDA mounting post 140 of FIG. 7. This configuration of mounting base 158 of FIG. 8 has legs 164 and 166 that are positioned inwardly relative to the interior of the service post 140. Mounting base 158 may optionally cover an opening 158a in the floor for an activated floor box or an outlet box and/or a poke-through outlet (not shown) for running the electrical services and air services into post 140. Mounting base 158 is fastened to the concrete slab 160 via appropriate fasteners 168 in legs 164 and 166.

As shown in FIG. 9, fastening legs 164 and 166 of mounting base 158 may also extend outwardly. FIG. 10 shows mounting base 158 and fastening legs 166 relative to cover plates 144 of service post 140 and the attachment of fastening legs 166 to concrete slab 160. In mounting the PDA service post 140 to concrete slab 160, carpet 170 (FIG. 6) is removed and mounting base 158 is fastened to concrete slab 160 via fasteners 168.

A mounting base similar to base 158 is provided for each of the PDA service posts 10 and 70 in a configuration that corresponds to the cross-sectional configuration of the PDA service post. That is, a mounting base for PDA service post 10 is provided and has a similar configuration illustrated in FIG. 3 for PDA service post 10 and a mounting base for PDA service post 70 is provided and has a similar configuration illustrated in FIG. 4 for PDA service post 70.

FIG. 11 shows a cross-sectional view of a PDA service post 172 having three corner frames 174 and three removable side frames 176 forming a hexagonal configuration. Corner frames 174 and removable side frames 176 are fastened together via a plurality of fasteners 178. Here again, a vertical side of service post 172 may include two adjacent side frames 176 similar to that shown in FIG. 6 and these three vertical sides define vertical service faces having a bank of power outlets, a bank of data outlets and an air damper or louver similar to that shown for the PDA service post 140 of FIG. 6. As is apparent, a mounting base is also provided for PDA service post 172 and this mounting base has a cross-sectional configuration that corresponds to that illustrated in FIG. 11. The mounting base provided for the PDA service post 172 will be similar to that shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 but with a hexagonal cross-sectional configuration instead of an octagonal cross-sectional configuration.

FIGS. 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 illustrate a further embodiment for a PDA service post 180 of the present invention. As illustrated in FIGS. 13, 14, 15 and 16, service post 180 has a cross-sectional configuration in the shape of a square. Service post 180 has four vertical faces 182, 184, 186 and 188 which act as both service faces and panel mounting faces. That is, each vertical face 182, 184, 186 and 188 may have a channel extending along its vertical length and offset to one side of the centerline of the face for receiving and mounting partition panels 190, 192, 194 and 196 for forming four cubicles or workstations WS. Additionally, each vertical face 182, 184, 186 and 188 includes a task light 206 (shown only FIG. 12), a bank of power outlets 208 as shown in FIG. 14), a bank of data outlets 210 (one shown in FIG. 12), and a cover plate 212 for covering an opening 214 (FIG. 12), all of which are offset to the other side of the centerline of each vertical face 182, 184, 186 and 188, and which are provided within each of the four workstations WS. As shown in FIG. 12, the bank of power outlets 208 and the bank of data outlets 210 are located above a desk top 216, but may alternatively be located below the desktop level 216. As discussed hereinabove, each vertical face 182, 184, 186 and 188 may also include an air damper or louver for delivering air to its respective workstation similar to that illustrated in FIG. 6 and discussed herein above.

PDA post 180 of FIG. 12 also includes a removable cap 218 and optionally, a service pole 220 for directing and delivering several electrical and/or air feeds from the ceiling space to post 180. As shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, a poke through-outlet 222 penetrates the concrete slab 224 below PDA post 180 (FIG. 12) and extends upwardly into the interior of PDA post 180 (FIG. 13) to deliver electrical cables/wiring from below floor 226 and into PDA post 180 for their connection to the banks of data outlets 210 and/or the banks of power outlets 208 and/or task lights 206. PDA post 180 may also incorporate or have mounted therein a fan similar to fan 134 of FIG. 5 and a plate 138 for air delivery through openings 214 of FIG. 12 when fitted with louvers 136 as shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 15 illustrates a typical office or workstations WS serviced by PDA service post 180. In this instance, the partition panels 190, 192, 194 and 196 are shown mounted along the vertical length of vertical faces 182, 184, 186 and 188 on an opposite side thereof compared to that illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14 with the banks of power outlets 208 above or alternatively below the desktop level 216 in workstation WS1. Partition panels 190 and 192 cooperate to form workstation WS1; partition panels 192 and 194 cooperate to form workstation WS2; partition panels 194 and 196 cooperate to form workstation WS3; and partition panels 196 and 190 cooperate to form workstation WS4. These workstations are further enclosed by attaching partition panels PP to each panel 190, 192, 194 and 196. Each of these workstations has access to the power outlets 208 of PDA service post 180.

FIG. 16 shows that partition panels 190, 192, 194 and 196 may be mounted within a recessed portion or pocket 228 along the vertical length of each vertical face 182, 184, 186 and 188 of PDA service post 180 and affixed therein via appropriate means, e.g. screws 228a.

The square cross-sectional configuration of PDA service post 180 of FIGS. 12-16 generally will provide the largest base area compared to the other embodiments of the PDA service posts 10, 70 and 140 discussed herein above. The square cross-sectional configuration of service post 180 therefore provides the greatest rotational flexibility of any service post in covering large floor outlets and partition alignments.

From the above, it can be appreciated that the PDA service posts 10, 70, 140 and 180 of the present invention are an improvement for delivering electrical and air services to one or more workstations. The PDA service posts of the invention eliminate the electrical raceways within partition panels required in current day systems. When installed over an access floor opening that is already distributing environmental air, the PDA service posts of the invention can deliver air into three or four workstations. The vertical air diffusers or louvers of the PDA posts of the invention may be used to replace the floor air diffusers which normally are required at the surface of the access floor panels, and which floor air diffusers are subjected to scrub water entry and/or accidental spills, e.g. coffee spills. The vertically mounted air diffusers or louvers in the service posts 10, 70, 140 and 180 of the invention eliminate this danger and reduce foot traffic hazards. When both air and electrical services are fed from the access floor and through the PDA service post of the invention, the savings are significant compared to conventional equipment.

The PDA service posts 10, 70, 140 and 180 of the present invention may be used in new offices or may be used for retrofit purposes. These service posts deliver the required electrical and/or air service from ceiling based electrical systems, from in-floor systems such as cellular floor or under floor ducts, from under floor systems such as access floors, and from through-floor systems such as poke-through outlets. Even though PDA service post 10, 70, 140 and 180 are disclosed herein as including mountings for attachment of partition panels, in some instances, this may be optional in that the PDA service post may be free standing within a large room and still providing one or more outlets for delivering one or more utility services.

While the present invention has been described in connection with the embodiments of the various figures, it is to be understood that other similar embodiments may be used or modifications and additions may be made to the described embodiments for performing the same function of the present invention without deviating there from. Therefore, the present invention should not be limited to any single embodiment, but rather construed in breadth and scope in accordance with the recitation of the appended claims.