Trotter is manager, senior lfe safety specialist with Smith Seckman Reid Inc, a Nashville-based, employee-owned engineering design and facility consulting firm with 500 employees in 12 offices across the United States.
Incorporating a plenum can have its design advantages, but corridors serving adjoining areas of health care occupancies are prohibited from being used for a portion of an air supply, air return, or exhaust air plenum. This article and its illustrations can strengthen your grasp of the related NFPA code details and exceptions so you can design and ventilate properly for this special population.
It’s impossible to put a price on life. However, the fact that sometimes it must be done should be a further motivator to owners and engineers to get fire/smoke protection right. Revisit the past and then skip to the present, where one firm’s proactive ap-proach meets standards, simplifies design and maintenance, and even reduces labor costs.
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.