Will my smoke control system work properly during a fire? That is the question all building owners/operators should ask themselves. Smoke control systems are unique in that they often sit dormant (sometimes for years) and problems that can affect their operation may not be identified until it is too late. To ensure the right answer when you need it, catch up on device monitoring, commissioning, and why the self-test concept has received a bad rap.
This month, a consultant and NFPA committee chairman looks at the major items involved in a hospital’s life safety design. Like the fire risks themselves, the assorted relevant codes are evolving with regard to specifics like smoke dampers. HVAC wall penetrations, alarm zoning, and response plans are just three other aspects to consider in this demanding design environment.
On the mechanical side, a life safety key is providing proper dampers and detection devices for ductwork passing through fire- or smoke-barrier partitions. But that’s just one element in good renovation design.
Greenheck’s industrial dampers are heavy-duty, flanged-style frame dampers with various blade styles and pressure classes designed to control airflow and provide shut-off in HVAC and industrial process control systems.
Greenheck’s ICD series of Insulated Control Dampers have earned AMCA’s new certified rating of Energy Efficiency. This new test method, which is found in ANSI/AMCA standard 500D-12, assigns a damper a Thermal Efficiency Ratio (E) by comparing its thermal performance with the thermal performance of a standard reference damper.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.