However, these studies have not been conducted under well-controlled conditions, such that it is difficult to conclude the situations in data centers which have well controlled environmental conditions and specific flooring (such as the effect of using a conductive floor relative to a nonconductive floor style).
A better founded method to determine the effect of changes in the environmental conditions, or to determine the gain of having a conductive floor, is to assume that the operator actions and IT equipment robustness are constant in all the data centers; this is the same when two hypothetical data centers are compared.
In a second step, data sets of similar property combinations (such as conductive floor but dissipative shoe) are combined leading to five groups of floor/ footwear combinations (see Table 1) under the two environmental data settings mentioned above.
A data center with a conductive floor and operators wearing conductive shoes is not considered, as the voltage would be very low, but it would require strict enforcement of footwear.
For example, considering the data center with no static control, a data center with dissipative floor and all footwear and a data center with conductive floor and all footwear with the ESD robustness level of 4kV, we observe probabilities of 0.
Flooring has to be installed anyway so the cost associated with a conductive floor verses an insulative floor is minor compared to continuing operational costs to sustain moisture levels.
A conductive floor will help to mitigate electrostatic charging even from the worst possible pair of shoes.
The installation of a conductive floor in any environment where electrostatic charge control is desired is a sound investment.