Electrical Panels

The layout of the electrical system starts with the location of the electrical panels (Fig. 28-3). In residences, the service equipment and the building's panel board are combined in one unit. The panel board is usually located in the garage, a utility room, or the basement. It is located as close to major electrical loads as feasi- - Panelboard distributes electricity to branch circuits ble, and sometimes an additional subpanel is added near kitchen and laundry loads. In apartments, panels are...

Designing Buildings for Photovoltaic Systems

PV system arrays are complete connected sets of modules mounted and ready to deliver electricity. Building mounted arrays are stationary and usually consist of flat plates mounted at an angle. Tracking arrays follow the motion of the sun, providing more contact with the solar cells. A building with good access to the sun and a roof that faces south is ideal for installation of a PV system. Roofs that face east or west may also be acceptable. Flat roofs also work well for solar systems, because...

Protecting The Structure

The structure of a building is protected to prevent collapse of the building within the time the fire runs its course or to delay the collapse of low buildings until all occupants have escaped and firefighters have had a reasonable chance to save the building. The building may survive to be salvaged rather than being demolished after the fire. Protecting the structure maintains the value of the building. It protects the occupants, firefighters, and neighboring buildings. Tall buildings present...

Securing the Building

In order to address building security issues, the architect and interior designer must look at how people use the building. Most building security problems can be resolved with a combination of common sense and a little technology. Let's look at some common office building situations and their solutions. Ideally, the lobby for an office (Fig. 37-1) should be visible from the reception desk. When the reception area doesn't have a view into the lobby, an intruder might be able to enter the...

Central Cleaning Systems

Central cleaning systems have been used in homes and commercial buildings for years. They are essentially built-in vacuum cleaners with powerful motors. As such, they can be used to trap dirt and dust inside the power unit equipment and away from rooms where people live and work, or they can be vented outdoors, decreasing exposure for people with dust allergies. The power unit is usually installed in a utility room, basement, or garage. Tubing running under the floor or in the attic connects...

Sprinkler System Components

Sprinkler systems are designed to start to put out the fire and to send out an alarm simultaneously. When water flows through a sprinkler head, an alarm gong goes off outside the building. The gong alerts people outside the building to the fire, and allows the occupants to make additional firefighting arrangements to minimize loss and to speed the end of the fire. Turning off sprinklers as soon as possible prevents water dam- age. The alarm is often connected to a private regional supervisory...

Polarity

As an interior designer working on a residential project, you are likely to encounter older lighting fixtures that have old cords and plugs, as well as houses with older outlets. You have probably noticed that newer plug-in fixtures with two-pronged plugs will fit into a modern convenience outlet only one way. One of the prongs will be wider than the other, and the outlet is designed to accept the plug in only one orientation. These newer plugs and outlets are designed to provide shock...

Fire Safety Codes

3Q- In your practice as an interior designer, you will certainly b find many occasions when you have to check the building codes for fire safety requirements. Whether you are specifying a fabric for a commercial project or checking a floor plan for the number, size, and location of exits, you will rely on applicable state and local code requirements. Fire safety codes govern how spaces are planned and how materials are used. They dictate the location and number of fire alarms and exit signs....

Onsite Power Generation

Up through the early twentieth century, nearly all large buildings and groups of buildings supplied their own on-site or local power. On-site generators supplied electricity for elevators, ventilators, call bells, fire alarms, and lighting. The homes of the very rich frequently had private electrical plants. The Gould estate in Lakewood, New Jersey, used two gasoline engines to power its generator dynamos, which lit the house and grounds. The estate's generator also powered a refrigerating...

Thermal Conductivity

Our sense of touch tells us whether objects are hot or cold, but can be misleading as to just how hot or cold. Our senses are influenced by the rapidity with which objects conduct heat to and from our body rather than by the actual temperatures of objects (Fig. 16-4). Steel feels colder than wood at the same temperature, as heat is conducted away from our fingers more quickly by steel than by wood. This sensation is very useful to interior designers, who can specify materials that suggest...

Sprinkler System Piping

)- The most common and simplest piping system for sprinklers is a wet-pipe system. Wet-pipe systems contain water at a sufficient pressure to provide immediate, continuous discharge through the sprinkler heads that open automatically in the event of a fire. They are used in spaces with air temperatures above 4 C (40 F). The affected sprinklers are opened by sensitive elements in the heads and immediately emit water. Wet-pipe systems must be drained in order to change the location of a sprinkler...

Supply Pipes

Lead was used for plumbing pipes by the Romans 2000 years ago, and the word plumbing is derived from the Latin word for lead, plumbum. Lead pipes were used through the 1950s. As a result, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned even today that lead may leach out of lead pipes and copper pipes joined with lead solder and enter the water supply. Fortunately, lead on the inside surface of a pipe quickly reacts with sulfates, carbonates, and phosphates in the water to form a...

Conference Rooms And Multimedia

Computer video and other audiovisual (AV) presentation equipment is widespread in hotel meeting rooms, office conference spaces, and educational facilities. Internet access is becoming standard, especially in educational facilities. Frequently, the presenter is from outside the organization and may not be familiar with the equipment. We probably have all seen the befuddled efforts of a guest speaker faced with unknown and unpredictable AV equipment. Here are some guidelines on making the...

Waste Components Of Plumbing Fixtures

Originally, the pipe that carried wastewater from a plumbing fixture ran directly to the sewer. Foul-smelling gases from the anaerobic (without oxygen) digestion in the sewer could travel back up the pipe and create a health threat indoors. The trap (Fig. 10-2) was invented to block the waste pipe near the fixture so that gas couldn't pass back up into the building. The trap is a U-shaped or S-shaped section of drainpipe that holds wastewater. The trap forms a seal to prevent the passage of...

Amps Volts Watts and Ohms

This process of electricity flowing along a circuit is called electrical current, or amperage. It is measured in amperes (abbreviated amps or simply A), named after Andr Amp re, a French mathematician and physicist who lived from 1775 to 1836. Electricity flows at a constant speed, and moves virtually instantaneously. An ampere is defined as one coulomb per second flowing past a given point. To give you an idea of what this is, a coulomb is in turn defined as 6.28 X 1018 electrons a very, very...

Standpipes And Hoses

Standpipes are water pipes that extend vertically through the building to supply fire hoses (Fig. 45-6) at every floor. Wet standpipes contain water under pressure and Figure 45-6 Standpipe system hose rack. Figure 45-6 Standpipe system hose rack. are fitted with fire hoses for emergency use by building occupants. Dry standpipes do not contain water, but are used by the fire department to connect fire hoses to a fire hydrant or pumper truck. Separate water reserves, upfeed pumping, or fire...

Flat Cable Assemblies

Flat-cable assemblies use specially designed cable field-installed in rigidly mounted standard 41-mm (1f-in.) square structural channel. Flexible pigtail wires connect electrical devices or outlet boxes with receptacles to the channel. Flat cable assemblies are used for lights, small motors, and unit heaters served without hard wiring (conduit and cable). Over-the-ceiling flat cable assemblies are more flexible than underfloor systems. They are used for lighting, power, and telephone, and can...

Automated Container Delivery Systems

In an automated container delivery system, containers are locked onto a motorized carriage, which is in turn locked onto the track system. Containers can be moved at 37 meters (120 ft) per minute horizontally or somewhat slower vertically. Containers come in various sizes, and can carry up to 9 kg (20 lb). The container delivery route may be either a simple point-to-point or loop system with simple controls or a complex system with loops and branches operated by a centralized computer....

Natural Ventilation

Natural ventilation requires a source of air of an acceptable temperature, moisture content, and cleanliness, and a force usually wind or convection to move the air through the inhabited spaces of a building. Air flows through a building because it moves from higher pressure to lower pressure areas. Controls are provided for the volume, velocity, and direction of the airflow. Finally, the contaminated air must be cleaned and reused or exhausted from the building. The simplest system for getting...

Indicating the Alarm

Each required exit must have a fire alarm not more than 1.5 meters (5 ft) from the entrance to the exit to help occupants locate the exit during an emergency. Water flow switches in sprinklers can be used to set off an alarm and can show up on a sprinkler alarm panel. Audible signals have minimum sound levels for public and private spaces. Setting these levels is highly technical and requires acoustic analysis of the space, the occupancy, and the characteristics of various devices. Alarm bells...

Mineral and Glass Fibers

The breakdown of interior duct lining and fireproofing can put fibrous mineral particles into the air. Fire-resistant acoustic tiles and fabrics can add irritating fibers as well. Mineral and glass fibers are potential irritants, burning the eyes, itching the skin, and creating a long-term risk of lung damage and cancer. They should be handled only with a respirator and gloves, should be sealed and enclosed and not disturbed in place. Asbestos has been known since ancient times for its...

Centralized Versus Local Equipment

The designer of the mechanical system for a building looks at whether the building's needs are dominated by heating or by cooling concerns. Because climate is such a strong factor in small buildings and heating and cooling needs may vary room by room, localized equipment rather than a centralized system may be the better choice. A local system can respond more rapidly to individual room needs and scheduling differences. No large central equipment spaces are needed, as equipment can be...

Thermal Capacity and Resistance

Thermal capacity is the ability of a material to store heat, and is roughly proportional to a material's mass or its weight. A large quantity of dense material will hold a large quantity of heat. Light, fluffy materials and small pieces of material can hold small quantities of heat. Thermal capacity is measured as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a unit (by volume or weight) of the material one degree. Water has a higher thermal capacity than any other common material at...

Floating Floors

Floating floors (Fig. 53-6) reduce transmission of impact noise and increase the sound transmission loss (TL) rating of a structure. They are used in condominiums, apartments, and commercial buildings for the control of impact noise produced by footfalls or other impacts. In recording studios, sound rooms, television or movie studios, floating floors reduce the transmission of external noise into the studio. Floating wood floors are used for dance and exercise floors with resiliency...

Electrical System Noise

Most noisy electrical equipment produces a low-frequency 120-Hz hum that is difficult to reduce. Mounting the transformer on vibration isolators, hanging it from a wall with resilient hangers, or placing it on a massive slab can minimize electric transformer noise. When transformers are located near acoustically reflective surfaces, the sound can be amplified. Sound-absorbent material behind the unit is not useful at 120 Hz only cavity resonators will work at that low frequency. Flexible...

Unit Air Conditioners

Unit air conditioners are small, electrically powered K PTACs mounted in windows or exterior walls. The unit air conditioner is the most common piece of mechanical equipment in the United States. They are common in new and existing rooms and buildings. Unit air conditioners are easy to select, install, and service or replace. They provide the option of separate zones for individual apartments or motel rooms. If they are turned on only as needed, they may offer energy savings. Unit air...

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is the most widespread VOC, and a major contributor to SBS. Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas used in the manufacture of synthetic resins and dyes, and as a preservative and disinfectant. It is present in buildings in urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) and in pressed wood products. The U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has implicated formaldehyde emissions, primarily from furnishings, as the cause of 4 percent of BRIs investigated....

Radiantly Heated Ceilings

Ceiling installations are usually preferred over floors systems. Ceiling constructions have less thermal capacity than floors, and therefore respond faster. They can also be heated to higher temperatures. The system is concealed except for thermostats and balancing valves. The wiring for electric resistance heating can be installed in the ceiling. It is acceptable for ceilings to get hotter than walls or floors, since they are not usually touched. However, downward convection is poor and the...

Products Of Combustion

The thermal products of a fire are flame and heat, and people exposed to them are subject to burns, shock, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and the blocking of the respiratory tract by fluid. Flames and heat are responsible for about one-quarter of the deaths from building fires. Most fire deaths, however, result from the nonthermal products of combustion, including smoke and other gases, which can usually be seen or smelled. Smoke is made of droplets of flammable tars and small particles of...

Lighting Design

Interior design schools routinely offer full semester courses on lighting design. It is not the purpose of this book to try to cover all the facets of lighting design to the degree that a lighting course would. Instead, we look at how our current approach to lighting developed, and how current lighting design practices affect the relationships between architects, engineers, lighting designers, and interior designers. We also look at some of the less glamorous aspects of selecting lighting...

Principles of Thermal Comfort

Throughout history, people have coped with cold weather by putting on more clothes, finding a warm place, and heating their immediate surroundings with whatever energy sources were available. Over time, our tolerance for a range of indoor temperatures that changes with the seasons has become more limited. Until the 1920s, most people preferred indoor temperatures around 20 C (68 F) in winter, and tolerated higher temperatures during the summer. People would save the cost of expensive energy in...

Building Codes

When people gather together for activities, building functions become more complex, and there is a greater chance that someone will be injured. Governments respond to concerns for safety by developing building codes. These codes dictate both the work of the interior designer and architect, and the way in which the building's mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and other systems are designed and installed. Around 1800, many of the larger U.S. cities developed their own municipal building codes in...

Electrical Receptacles

The electrical outlet into which we plug an electrical cord is technically known as a convenience receptacle (Fig. 31-3). The number of poles (prongs) and wires, and whether they have a separate grounding wire or not, identifies the different types of receptacles. Grounded receptacles are used on standard 15-A or 20-A branch circuits. An electrical receptacle is defined by the NEC as a contact device installed at the outlet for the connection of a single attachment plug. This includes common...

Heating Systems

Heating and cooling systems have evolved over time, as equipment has become more complex. As an interior designer, you should be aware of how heating and cooling equipment works, and be aware of how the equipment will affect your design, energy efficiency, and your client's comfort. The Romans developed the first centralized heating systems in the first century AD. Charles Panati, in his Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things (New York Harper & Row Publishers, 1987, page 131), says that,...

Hot Water Distribution

Hot water is carried through the building by pipes arranged in distribution trees. When hot water flows through a single hot water distribution tree, it will cool off as it gets farther from the hot water heater. To get hot water at the end of the run, you have to waste the cooled-off water already in the pipes. With a looped hot water distribution tree, the water circulates constantly. There is still some heat loss in the pipes, but less water has to be run at the fixture before it gets hot....

Horizontal Exits

A horizontal exit does not lead to the exterior of the building. Instead, it provides a protected exit to a safe area of refuge in another part of the building or an ad joining building without a change in level. The horizontal exit uses fire-rated walls and doors to subdivide a building into separate areas, which are then treated as separate buildings. Occupants escape from a fire on one side by moving horizontally through self-closing fire doors to the other side. When you pass through the...

Masking Sound

In a busy room full of people, so much noise is generated in the frequency range of human speech that only the closest, most attentive listener can understand what you say. A spy will turn up the radio before holding a conversation in a possibly bugged room for the same reason. Background sound that is close to the frequency of speech reduces the intelligibility of speech. Noise that carries information reduces the productivity of office workers. What we hear depends on the level of attention...

Daylight Control

A light shelf (Fig. 33-4) is a construction that cuts horizontally through a window and bounces sunlight into the room without glare. Light shelves shade glazing from direct sun, and reflect daylight onto the ceiling of the room. Both the direct sunlight and diffuse light from the sky are distributed indirectly deeper into the space. The light shelf shades the glazing below it from direct sun, but leaves ground-reflected light near the window. It increases uniformity of illumination by...

Elevators

Any multistory building needs ways to get people and objects from one floor to another. Stairs are the most basic means of vertical transportation, of course, and are included even in very tall buildings as secure exits in the event of fire. But nobody wants to walk up 20 flights of stairs or carry furniture and supplies up them, which is where elevators and escalators come in. The design of the elevators has major implications for the architecture and structural engineering of the building....

Passive Solar Designs

All-passive solar systems utilize south-facing glass or transparent plastic for solar collection. The low winter sun puts out 90 percent of its energy during the period from 9 00 a.m. to 3 00 p.m. Where other buildings or tall trees block access to the sun during this critical period, solar energy systems are not practical. The area of the glazing amounts to 30 to 50 percent of the floor area in cold climates, and 15 to 25 percent in temperate climates, depending on the average outdoor winter...

Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber optic cables are used for installations with very heavy transmission loads, with video systems, and for applications needing high-security, low-noise, and broad bandwidths. Fiber optic cable has a core of glass or plastic filament encased in a protective sheath. It is used to transmit data that have been converted into light pulses, as opposed to the electrical signals carried by Category 5 and other copper cables. It has an exceptional capacity for carrying high volumes of data at very...

Design Strategies For Cooling

To make an air conditioner effective, you have to close yourself up tightly in your building to keep the cooled air from escaping. When you shut out the summertime heat, you shut yourself in. You miss the fresh air, the smells and sounds of the yard, and the pleasure of relaxing on a shaded deck or porch. The natural cooling features of the building can decrease your reliance on air conditioning during hot weather. By improving ventilation and air movement inside and by providing shade outside,...

Designing for Indoor Air Quality

Asthma and allergies have reached an all-time high, especially among children. Workers struggling with multiple health problems are forced to quit their jobs and face unemployment. Public buildings are emptied of employees and require expensive and time-consuming renovations. Each year, news reports highlight schools that are unable to open in time for classes while they are stripped of contaminants. These are some of the results of poor air quality. How does the quality of the air in buildings...

Radiantly Heated Floors

Floors can be heated by electrical resistance wires, warm air circulating through multiple ducts, and warm water circulating through coils of pipe to warm the surfaces of concrete or plaster. Heated floors warm feet by conduction, and set up convective currents to heat the room air evenly. Tables and chairs can block IR waves coming up from a floor, thereby blocking heat to the upper body. Without good insulation, heated floors can't pro- X vide all the heat needed in a cold climate unless the...

Platform Lifts And Residential Elevators

Vertical platform lifts are safe, economical, and space conserving ways to overcome architectural barriers up to 12 ft high. These lifts are an alternative to an elevator for limited rises. They are manufactured with a stationary enclosure, including gates and doors, as needed for each application, as compared to the stair-mounted lifts described below. These units do not require a hoist-way or runway. Enclosures may be made of steel panels or clear or tinted acrylic panels, which allow the...

Hot Humid Climates

Hot humid climates have very long summers with slight seasonal variations and relatively constant temperatures. The weather is consistently hot and humid, as in New Orleans. Buildings designed for hot, humid climates take advantage of shading from the sun to reduce heat gain and cooling breezes. East and west exposures are minimized to reduce solar heat gain, although some sun in winter may be desirable. Wall openings are directed away from major noise sources so that they can remain open to...

Types Of Insulation

Insulation is the primary defense against heat loss transfer through the building envelope. The walls are the most important area to insulate, as they have the largest area. You can check if an existing building's walls are insulated by removing an electrical outlet cover and looking inside, or by drilling two 6-mm (4 -in.) holes above one another about 100 mm (4 in.) apart in a closet or cabinet along an exterior wall, and shining a flashlight in one while looking in the other. An insulation...

Acoustics

Chapter 52 Sound Absorption Within a Space 408 Sound Transmission Between Spaces 415 Chapter 54 Acoustic Applications 424 Chapter 55 Electronic Sound Systems 435 The inspiration for Building Systems for Interior Designers came when I tried to teach interior design students about all the ways buildings support our activities and physical needs without an adequate textbook. I needed an approach that supported the special concerns of the interior designer, while connecting those issues to the work...

Areas Of Refuge

Refuge areas, called areas of rescue assistance by the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), are provided in high-rise buildings and for wheelchair users in multistory buildings. In large buildings, not everyone can evacuate in time, and refuge areas provide a place to wait that is protected from smoke. Ideally, refuge areas should remain free of smoke, gases, heat, and fire throughout the fire and until rescue. The structure and essential services in refuge areas...

Maintaining Thermal Equilibrium

Our perception that our surroundings are too cold or too hot is based on many factors beyond the temperature of the air. The season, the clothes we are wearing, the amount of humidity and air movement, and the presence of heat given off by objects in the space all influence our comfort. Contact with surfaces or moving air, or with heat radiating from an object, produces the sensation of heat or cold. There is a wide range of temperatures that will be perceived as comfortable for one individual...

Parts Of An Elevator

The parts of an elevator are spread through the building from top to bottom (Fig. 47-1). The landing is the part of the floor adjacent to the elevator where passengers and freight are received and discharged. The elevator's rise or travel is the vertical distance traversed by the elevator cab (also called the car) from the lowest to the highest landings. The cab rides up and down in the elevator shaft or hoistway. The hoistway is the vertical space for travel of one or more elevators. There are...

Limited Energy Resources

In the year 2000, the earth's population reached 6 billion people, with an additional billion anticipated by 2010. With only 7 percent of the world's population, North America consumes 30 percent of the world's energy, and building systems use 35 percent of that to operate. Off-site sewage treatment, water supply, and solid waste management account for an additional 6 percent. The processing, production, and transportation of materials for building construction take up another 7 percent of the...

Active Solar Designs

Active solar systems use solar collector panels plus circulation and distribution systems along with a heat exchanger and a storage facility to absorb, transfer, and store energy from solar radiation for building heating and cooling. Systems use air, water, or another liquid for the heat transfer medium, which carries collected heat energy from solar panels to the heat exchange equipment or storage utility for later use. Liquid systems use pipes for circulation and distribution. They are...

Electrical Design For Commercial Spaces

The electrical code establishes requirements for conven- ience receptacles in commercial spaces. The code seeks to ensure that there are enough outlets to prevent a spaghettilike tangle of extension cords, while respecting the total energy use in the space. An office of less than 37 square meters (400 square ft) is required to have one convenience receptacle per 3.7 square meters (40 square ft) or one per 3 meters (10 linear ft) of wall, whichever is greater. Larger offices need 10 outlets for...

Lighting for Specific Spaces

As indicated earlier, these chapters on lighting aren't intended to replace a comprehensive lighting course. The information in this chapter covers some of the basic requirements, in an effort to give the interior designer some insight into the way electrical engineers and lighting designers approach the design of the most common types of spaces. Lighting levels that are referenced by electrical engineers and lighting designers are given in the Illuminating Engineering Society of North...

Pressed Wood Products

Pressed wood products originated in Europe in the 1960s as an alternative to wood furnishings, and entered the U.S. market in the 1970s. Pressed wood products (Fig. 20-2) include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), hardwood plywood, chipboard, and hardboard such as pegboard. These materials emit VOCs including formaldehyde, a-pinene, xylenes, butanol, butyl acetate, hexanal, and acetone. Chemicals that emit VOCs are used in pressed wood products to provide strength and moisture...

Double Duct Systems

Where temperatures must be closely controlled in a large number of rooms or zones, double-duct systems (Fig. 26-4) circulate both heated and cooled air to a control box in each zone. Double-duct systems offer superior comfort control and flexibility for simultaneous heating and cooling zones. Double-duct CAV systems use two supply ducts and a separate return duct. Both warm and cool air ducts supply large mixing boxes controlled by dampers. In summer, the cooling air stream is used alone, and...

Service Elevators And Elevators For Special Uses

In office buildings, one service car is provided for every ten passenger cars. A service car has a door 122 to 137 cm (48-54 in.) wide for furniture, and should have access to a truck door or freight entry, as well as to the lobby. Service cars can serve as passenger cars at peak times. Service elevators for bulky furniture should be designed for up to 1816 kg (4000 lb), with a 122-cm (48-in.) door and a high ceiling. Because hospital elevators must accommodate gur-neys, wheelchairs, beds,...

Supply Registers Diffusers and Return Grilles

Air for heating, cooling, and ventilation is supplied through registers and diffusers (Fig. 24-13). Grilles are rectangular openings with fixed vertical or horizontal vanes or louvers through which air passes. A register is a grille with a damper directly behind the louvered face to regulate the volume of airflow. The selection and placement of supply and return openings requires architectural and engineering coordination, and has a distinct effect on the interior design of the space....

Recycled Water

Potable water has usually been treated to be safe for drinking. Rainwater offers a sporadic supply of pure water that can be used for bathing, laundry, toilet flushing, irrigation, or evaporative cooling with little or no treatment. Graywater is wastewater that is not from toilets or urinals. It comes from sinks, baths, and showers. Blackwater is water with toilet or urinal waste. Graywater may contain soap, hair, or human waste from dirty diapers and other...

Americans with Disabilities

The term accessible in building codes refers to handicapped accessibility as required by codes, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other accessibility standards. The Departments of Justice and Transportation developed the provisions of the ADA, which was passed by Congress in 1990 and became enforceable in 1992 and 1993. In addition, some states also have their own accessibility standards. The ADA is a comprehensive civil rights law with four sections. Title I protects individuals...

Mean Radiant Temperature and Operative Temperature

The air temperature alone doesn't adequately measure comfort in a space. Especially in spaces that use passive solar heating or passive cooling techniques, radiant temperature or air motion may be more important in creating comfort. If you are losing a lot of body heat to a cold surface nearby, you will feel chilly, even if the air temperature is acceptably high. To try to take such conditions into account, engineers sometimes use a calculation called the mean radiant temperature (MRT) that...

Fire Suppression

In high-rise buildings and buildings with large areas, there are places that can't be reached by firefighters' ladders and hoses. While most fire deaths occur in smaller, often residential buildings, larger commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings create a potential for many deaths and injuries from a single fire. High-rise buildings require an inordinate length of time to evacuate. Stack effects can be created in high-rise buildings over 23 meters (75 ft) tall. Such buildings must...

Irritating Particles

Irritating particles in the air tend to be imperceptible at first, but your distress increases over time. Your symptoms may include itching or burning eyes, sneezing, coughing, dry nose and throat, a sore throat, or tightness in your chest. Sources of irritants can be the building itself, its equipment, or its occupants. Several common air pollutants are the products of combustion. Outdoors, coal-burning factories, vehicle exhaust, and heating exhaust from oil, wood, or coal contribute to air...

Designing Fire Suppression Systems

The plumbing engineer or a sprinkler system specialist usually details the requirements for spacing sprinklers and references the appropriate codes. The design of the system considers the degree of hazard to the occupants. The maximum floor areas per head are set by hazard level. The areas covered by various types of sprinkler heads determine their approximate locations. Heads are located to detect fire readily and to discharge water over the greatest area. The sprinkler system designer...

Indirect Gain Designs

Indirect gain heating places a thermal storage mass between the sun and the occupied space. A sheet of glass covers an opaque wall 20 to 30 cm (8-12 in.) thick. The sun strikes the mass, where its energy is stored and slowly transferred to the interior space. The absorbed solar energy moves through the wall by conduction and then to the space by radiation and convection. The interior side of the wall must be kept free of hangings and large furniture so that radiant heat can transfer into the...

Acoustic Privacy In Public Toilet Rooms

You should not be able to hear the noises from toilet rooms in adjacent spaces. When designing toilet rooms within service cores, surround them with corridors and mechanical spaces. Avoid seating people adjacent to a wall with plumbing, where they will hear the rush of water through the pipes. Ventilating openings and access ways carry sound to other spaces. Interior designers should discuss this with the mechanical engineer or contractor. Within the toilet room, a lack of acoustic privacy...

Single Duct Systems

Single-duct systems may serve one or many zones. In small buildings, a single-zone air-distribution system with a master thermostat regulates the temperature for the whole building. Such a system has a very low first cost. A multizone single-duct system is a collection of up to eight single-zone systems served by one supply fan. Separate ducts from the central air-handling unit serve each zone with its own centrally conditioned air stream. Multizone systems have very large distribution trees....

Branch Circuits

Branch circuits carry the electrical power throughout the building to the places where it will be used. After passing through the main service disconnect, each hot conductor (wire) connects to one of two hot bus bars in the distribution center. The bus bars are metal bars that accept the amount of current permitted by the main fuses or circuit breaker, and allow the circuit to be divided into smaller units for branch circuits. Each branch circuit attaches to one or both hot bus bars by means of...

Open Offices

Open offices create a multitude of problems for achieving speech privacy. Open office spaces are more densely populated with office workers, with fewer buffering spaces like storerooms between people. The trend to Diffracted sound path over top of partition Reflected sound path from ceiling over partition Figure 54-1 Sound paths in an open office. Diffracted sound path over top of partition Reflected sound path from ceiling over partition Figure 54-1 Sound paths in an open office. ward more...

Distribution Systems

In small, low buildings with moderate water use, the pressure from water mains or pumped wells is adequate to get the water to its highest point. This is called up-feed distribution. The resulting pressure is usually more than is required at the fixtures. If it causes splashing at a lavatory, a flow restrictor can be used in the faucet outlet. In medium-sized buildings where the pressure from the street main is inadequate, pumps provide extra pressure. This is referred to as pumped upfeed...

Distribution Trees

Centralized HVAC systems (Fig. 26-2) distribute heating and cooling through systems called distribution trees. Distribution trees take up a lot of space, both horizontally and vertically. They need to be coordinated with the lighting, ceiling design, and other interior design elements. Like trees in nature, distribution trees have roots the machines heating or cooling the air or water. The trunk of the tree is the main duct or pipe from the mechanical equipment to the zone served. The tree's...

Receptacles and Switches

Power Data Floor Boxes

Now that we have explored how electricity is distributed throughout a building, let's look at how it is controlled and accessed at the end point. Whether you are turning on a wall switch, plugging an appliance into a receptacle, or using a dimmer to dim the lights, you are using a wiring device installed in an outlet box. Even the attachment plugs (caps) and wall plates are considered to be wiring devices. Outlet boxes are also used where light fixtures are connected to the electrical system....

Circuit Protection

Because the amperage available from the utility grid is almost unlimited, a 120V household system is powerful and dangerous. The electrical current could easily melt all the wiring in your home. Special devices that limit current are located in the main service panel. If you open up the door of your electrical panel, you will find either fuses or circuit breakers (and sometimes both), each rated to withstand a certain amount of current, usually 15 A. If the current exceeds the listed amount,...

Controlling Building System Noise

A lot of the noise in a building comes from mechanical systems. Machines cause noise by vibration. Enclosing the noise at the source with materials that reduce noise by absorption and block airborne sound limits the problem. The equipment supplier can often provide prefabricated partial and full enclosures. Curtains and panels may also help isolate the machinery. Laundry machines, mixers, bins, chutes, polishing drums, and other machinery with sheet metal enclosures that vibrate can create a...

Allergies And Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Interior designers are more and more often being called 3 on to help people with allergies or other physical sensitivities in the design of healthy, nonpolluting homes. Businesses too are becoming more aware of the costs of sick employees, and more concerned about the health of the indoor environment. Some interior designers have made environmentally sensitive and healthy design a specialty. As our homes and workspaces are exposed to increasing levels of more exotic chemicals, it becomes ever...

Hot Water And Steam Heating Systems

Originally, mechanical systems in buildings were designed to provide additional heat in cold weather. Cooling was taken care of by the way the building was sited, shaded, and ventilated. Our first look at mechanical systems will consider these heating-only systems. In practice today, most heating equipment is used in conjunction with cooling and ventilating equipment, which we look at later. Hot water systems were the residential standard until about 1935. Hot water (hydronic) systems heat a...

Vent Piping

The invention of the trap helped to keep sewer gases out of buildings. However, traps were not foolproof. When water moving farther downstream in the system pushes along water in front of it at higher pressures, negative pressures are left behind. The higher pressures could force sewer water through the water in some traps, and lower pressures could siphon (suck) water from other traps, allowing sewer gases to get through (Fig. 10-3). Fixture vent admits air, maintain air pressure, releases...

Shading

Vine Shading Diagrams

In 1960, 12 percent of all American homes had air conditioners, a figure that rose to 64 percent by the late 1980s. By 1989, air conditioners were installed in 77 per cent of new single-family homes. The cost of the equipment, labor and energy involved in air-conditioning is climbing rapidly. The environmental cost of chlorofluo-rocarbon (CFC) refrigerants is now being felt by the refrigeration industry and by consumers. To fight these rising costs, designers and builders can look to the time...

Electric Meters

A watt-hour meter measures and records the quantity of K electric power consumed over time. Meters are supplied by the utility, and are always placed ahead of the main disconnect switch so that they can't be disconnected. Meters are located outside at the service point or inside the building, where they must be kept readily accessible to utility personnel. Manual reading of kilowatt-hour meters of individual consumers is labor intensive. Meters are often inaccessible, and meter readers may face...

Airwater Distribution Systems

Air-water systems provide superior comfort control. The water distribution tree does most of the heating or cooling. A small centrally conditioned airstream filters, controls humidity, and adds fresh air. The total distribution tree space is less than for all-air systems. Where the water distribution is either heat only or cool only, a two-pipe system is used. A four-pipe system is used where both heating and cooling are desired. Air is not recirculated in air-water systems, making this a good...

Electronic Equipment Protection

The sudden power increases, called surges, that momentarily disrupt a building's steady power flow can destroy many of our electrical appliances and other de- vices. Electrical power can jump from its normal 120V up to 400V or 500V. These electrical surges are invisible and give no warning, zipping right through the main electrical panel so fast that the circuit breakers and fuses don't notice them. Fortunately, most such surges are small and don't cause much damage. Except for the massive...

Cables

F As an interior designer, you may find yourself involved in discussions about the type of electrical cables that can be run in a project. The type of cable that is permitted has a very significant effect on the cost of the electrical work. Contractors will frequently use these terms when discussing conditions on a site with you. There are actually many types of electrical cables, some of which are used only in specialized applications. Here are a few of the ones you are most likely to...

Finish Classes And Test Ratings

Fire-resistance classes become stricter as you move closer to the exit, with the strictest ratings at the exit itself. The Life Safety Code and the Standard Building Code (SBC) use A, B, and C class ratings for wall and ceiling finishes. The National Building Code (NBC), and the Uniform Building Code (UBC) use I, II, and III designations. Classes A, B, and C are wall and ceiling finish classifications based on flame spread and smoke development. Flame spread is the speed at which fire may...

Bypassing the Equipment Ground

In an older house with two-prong outlets, we often are faced with the decision of how to plug in a three-prong plug for a microwave or other electrical device. Breaking off the third, round grounding prong or filing down the wide neutral blade of a polarized plug sabotages the equipment's safety features and increases the potential for dangerous shocks. Replacing the old two-slot outlets with the newer, three-slot, grounded types that will accept all types of household plugs and will...

Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting (Fig. 34-3) provides power for critical lighting systems in the event of a general power failure, the failure of the building electrical system, an in- Figure 34-3 Emergency lighting units. Figure 34-3 Emergency lighting units. terruption of current flow to the lighting unit, or even from the accidental operation of a switch control or circuit disconnect. It is customary for the battery-powered units to be hard-wired into the building's electrical system, so that the battery...

Sustainable Design Strategies

Sustainable architecture looks at human civilization as an integral part of the natural world, and seeks to preserve nature through encouraging conservation in daily life. Energy conservation in buildings is a complex issue involving sensitivity to the building site, choice of appropriate construction methods, use and control of daylight, selection of finishes and colors, and the design of artificial lighting. The selection of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) and other...

Toilets Urinals And Bidets

In 1596, Queen Elizabeth had a toilet installed by Sir John Harrington, who came from Bath, giving us two euphemisms still in use today. A high water tower was located on top of the main unit, with a hand-operated tap for water flow to the tank, and a valve that released sewage to a nearby cesspool. Harrington's toilet was connected directly to the cesspool, with only a loose trapdoor in between. The queen complained about cesspool fumes in this toilet without a trap. The new toilet fell into...

Biological Contaminants

Most of us don't even want to think about bacteria, fungi, viruses, algae, insect parts, dead mice, and dust in the air we breathe. Yet these contaminants are all less common than human skin scales. We shed skin cells constantly from our skin and in our breath, and our environment is littered with our dead cells. It is estimated that a person sheds 40,000 biological particles containing bacteria per minute while sitting at a desk, and as many as 45 million per minute when exercising. The number...

How Buildings Support Thermal Comfort

We use both the heating and cooling systems of buildings to control how much heat our bodies give off. Heating systems do not usually actually raise body temperature directly, but adjust the thermal characteristics of the indoor space to reduce the rate at which our bodies lose heat. Cooling and air-conditioning systems help the body to cool more rapidly when the weather is hot. Engineers refer to heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems and equipment with the acronym HVAC. Men and...

Greenhouse Ecosystems

Greenhouse ecosystems (Fig. 11-2) are secondary sewage treatment systems that are constructed wetlands moved indoors. Marine biologist John Todd developed Living Machines at Ocean Arks International. They consist of a series of tanks, each with its own particular ecosystem. The first is a stream, and the second is an indoor marsh that provides a high degree of tertiary wastewater treatment. The system costs less to construct and about the same to maintain as a conventional sewage treatment...

Upholstered Furniture

Some cities and states have their own regulation standards for upholstered furniture. Among the strictest states are California, Massachusetts, and New York. New York City and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are two other jurisdictions with strict regulations. A cigarette ignition test analyzes the smoldering resistance of an upholstered finish. This nonflame test uses a lit cigarette to see how a product will smolder before either flaming or extinguishing. It is used to test...

Ozone Depletion

The human health and environmental concerns about ozone layer depletion are different from the risks we face from global warming, but the two phenomena are related in certain ways. Some pollutants contribute to both problems and both alter the global atmosphere. Ozone layer depletion allows more harmful UV radiation to reach our planet's surface. Increased UV radiation can lead to skin cancers, cataracts, and a suppressed immune system in humans, as well as reduced yields for crops. Ozone is an...

Supply Lines And Valves

From a branch supply line, a line runs out to each fixture (Fig. 8-2). Roughing-in is the process of getting all the pipes installed, capped, and pressure tested before actual fixtures are installed. The rough-in dimensions for each plumbing fixture should be verified with the fixture manufacturer so that fixture supports can be built in accurately during the proper phase of construction. It is a good idea to have a shutoff valve to control the flow of water at each vertical pipe (known as a...

Window Treatments

The type of window coverings you specify can affect the heating and air-conditioning load in a space. The location of drapery may interfere with supply air diffUsers or other heating units near a window. As the interior designer, you should have the mechanical engineer or architect check the proposed type, size, and mounting of window treatments to verify that they will not create a problem with the HVAC system. Thermal shades (Fig. 22-4) can be made in many different ways. The curtain needs to...

Electric Resistance Heat

When your feet get cold but you don't want to turn up the heat throughout the building, you might want to use an electric resistance space heater. These common, low-cost, and easy-to-install small heaters offer individual thermostatic control and don't waste heat in unoccupied rooms. However, they use expensive electricity as their fuel, so their use should be limited to spot-heating a small area for a limited time in an otherwise cool building. The first electric room heater was patented in...

Photovoltaic Cells

Photovoltaic (PV) technology converts sunlight directly into electricity. It works any time the sun is shining, but the more intense the light and the more direct the angle of the light, the more electricity will be produced. Unlike solar systems for heating water, PV technology does not use the sun's heat to make electricity. Instead, it produces electricity directly from electrons freed by the interaction of sunlight with certain semiconductor materials in the PV array. Photovoltaic cells...

Flanking Paths

Sound will find parallel or flanking paths, sort of like an acoustic short circuit. It is important to avoid locating doors and windows where they will allow short cuts for sound. The most common flanking path is a plenum with ductwork, registers, and grilles. A plenum will make an excellent intercom unless it is completely lined with sound absorbent material. Even then, low-frequency sound will still get through. Air turbulence in HVAC ductwork creates noise, which increases with increasing...

Acoustical Ceiling Panels

Acoustical ceiling panels (Fig. 52-3) or boards of treated wood fibers bonded with an inorganic cement binder are available in a range of sizes, from 31 by 61 cm (12 by 24 in.) to 122 by 305 cm (48 by 120 in.). Available thicknesses range from 25 to 76 mm (1-3 in.), and they come with a smooth or shredded finish. Acoustic ceiling panels are installed in ceiling suspension systems or nailed or glued to walls and structural ceilings. They receive NRC ratings from 0.40 to 0.70. 3Q- Acoustical...

Heat Recovery And Energy Conservation

The simplest form of energy conservation is insulating heating pipes with foam or fiberglass. Pipe insulation costs about 0.30 to 0.80 per foot, and saves around 0.50 per foot each year. Fiberglass pipe insulation should be at least 19 mm (f in.) thick, and foam insulation 13 mm (2 in.) thick. Foam insulation should not be used on steam pipes, as it may melt. Steam pipes were usually asbestos-wrapped in the past, and existing ones can be left alone if they are well sealed, not flaky and not in...