Retrofitting more than a half-million square feet of heavily used space for better life safety coverage is never simple. Peculiarities of building design and existing materials only made the task tougher for this project team as they sought to integrate NFPA and GSA requirements into a successful and safe solution.
This month, our life safety coverage arrives from the commissioning side. From design phase to tips on navigating a seemingly untenable number of observations, and on to post-testing tasks, here’s one consultant’s solid reference to keep you and your client from getting unnecessarily alarmed.
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.
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.