Access for Inspection and Maintenance

Many components need to be detailed to allow for maintenance access throughout the life of the building.

1. Metal and glass curtain wall systems are available in both "internally glazed" and "externally glazed" systems, referring to whether the glass can be replaced by workers standing inside the building, or only by workers on outside scaffolding. In buildings that are more than a story or two in height, there is an obvious maintenance advantage in adopting an internally glazed system.

2. The glass on buildings that are more than three stories tall cannot be washed by workers on ladders. Special provisions must be made for window washer access. This can be in the form of openablc windows that bring all exterior glass surfaces within an arm's reach, but they are not always practical in very tall buildings because of high wind velocities at upper levels. A design tor a tall building should include provisions for movable window washing scaffolding and safety attachments.

3. Building components that may require adjustment or replacement during the life of the building should be attached with screws or bolts so that they can be removed and replaced, rather than being welded, glued, or nailed permanently in place. This is whv we use screws rather than nails to attach hardware to doors, lighting fixtures to walls and ceilings, and draper)' hardware to windows.

4. Concealed mechanical and electrical components that require inspection and maintenance should be placed behind snap-off covers, hinged access panels, manholes, handholes, or access pons of appropriate sizes and shapes. Never seal off permanently any component of a building that moves, that connects electrical wires, that may need cleaning, or that may deteriorate or go out of adjustment prematurely. Examples include pipe valves, ductwork dampers, electric motors, pumps,

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