Mechanical Laws Governing Physical Plant Implementation

Physical plant or mechanical plant (and where context is given, often just plant) refers to the necessary infrastructure used in support and maintenance of a given facility. The operation of these facilities, or the department of an organization which does so, is called "plant operations" or facility management. It should not be confused with manufacturing plant. Plant usually includes air conditioning (both heating and cooling systems and ventilation) and other mechanical systems. It often also includes the maintenance of other systems, such as plumbing and lighting. The facility itself may be an office building, a school campus, military base, apartment complex, or the like.

REFRIGERATION REFRIGERATION SYSTEM CLASSIFICATION Occupancy Classification Locations of refrigerating systems are described by occupancy classifications that consider the ability of people to respond to potential exposure to refrigerants. Where equipment or appliances, other than piping, are located outside a building and within 20 feet (6096mm) of any building opening, such equipment or appliances shall be governed by the occupancy classification of the building. Occupancy classifications shall be defined as follows: 1. Institutional occupancy is that portion of premises from which, because they are disabled, debilitated or confined, occupants cannot readily leave without the assistance of others. 2. Public assembly occupancy is that portion of premises where large numbers of people congregate and from which occupants cannot quickly vacate the space. 3. Residential occupancy is that portion of premises that provides the occupants with complete independent living facilities, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation. 4. Commercial occupancy is that portion of premises where people transact business, receive personal service or purchase food and other goods. 5. Large mercantile occupancy is that portion of premises where more than 100 persons congregate on levels above or below street level to purchase personal merchandise. 6. Industrial occupancy is that portion of premises that is not open to the public, where access by authorized persons is controlled, and that is used to manufacture, processor store goods such as chemicals, food, ice, meat or petroleum. 7. Mixed occupancy occurs when two or more occupancies are located within the same building. When each occupancy is isolated from the rest of the building by tight walls, floors and ceilings and by self-closing doors, the requirements for each occupancy shall apply to its portion of the building. When the various occupancies are not so isolated, the occupancy having the most stringent requirements shall be the governing occupancy. System classification Refrigeration systems shall be classified according to the degree of probability that refrigerant leaked from a failed connection, seal or component could enter an occupied area. The distinction is based on the basic design or location of the components. 1. Low-probability systems. Double-indirect open-spray systems, indirect closed systems and indirect vented closed systems shall be classified as low-probability systems, provided that all refrigerant-containing piping and fittings are isolated when the quantities in Table 1103.1 are exceeded.

2. High-probability systems. Direct systems and indirect open-spray systems shall be classified as high probability systems. Exception: An indirect open-spray system shall not be required to be classified as a high-probability system if the pressure of the secondary coolant is at all times (operating and standby) greater than the pressure of the refrigerant. Example data from table 1103.1
CHEMICAL REFRIGERANT CHEMICAL REFRIGERANT DEGREES OF Pounds per FORMULA NAME OF BLEND CLASSIFICATION HAZARDa cubic feet 1,000 ppm glm3 OELe

R-717

NH3

ammonia

B2

3-3-0c

0.014

320 0.22 25

Volume calculations Volume calculations for: 1. Non-communicating spaces Where the refrigerant-containing parts of a system are located in one or more spaces that do not communicate through permanent openings or HVAC ducts, the volume of the smallest, enclosed occupied space shall be used to determine the permissible quantity of refrigerant in the system. 2. Communicating spaces Where an evaporator or condenser is located in an air duct system, the volume of the smallest, enclosed occupied space served by the duct system shall be used to determine the maximum allowable quantity of refrigerant in the system. Exception: If airflow to any enclosed space cannot be reduced below one-quarter of its maximum, the entire space served by the air duct system shall be used to determine the maximum allowable quantity of refrigerant in the system. 3. Plenums Where the space above a suspended ceiling is continuous and part of the supply or return air plenum system, this space shall be included in calculating the volume of the enclosed space. BOILERS Working clearance Clearances shall be maintained around boilers, generators, heaters, tanks and related equipment and appliances so as to permit inspection, servicing, repair, replacement and visibility of all gauges. When boilers are installed or replaced, clearance shall be provided to allow access for inspection, maintenance and repair. Passageways around all sides of boilers shall have an unobstructed width of not less than 18 inches (457 mm), unless otherwise approved. Top clearance High-pressure steam boilers having a steam-generating capacity in excess of 5,000 pounds per hour (2268 kg/h) or having a heating surface in excess of 1,000 square feet (93 m2) or input in excess of 5,000,000Btu/h (1465 kW) shall have a minimum clearance of 7 feet(2134 mm) from the top of the boiler to the ceiling. Steam-heating boilers and hot-water-heating boilers that exceed one of the following limits: 5,000,000 Btu/h input(1465 kW); 5,000 pounds of steam per hour (2268 kg/h)capacity or a 1,000-square-foot (93 m2) heating surface; and high-pressure steam boilers that do not exceed one of the following limits: 5,000,000 Btu/h input (1465 kW); 5,000pounds of steam per hour (2268 kg/h) capacity or a1,000-square-foot (93 m2) heating surface; and all boilers with manholes on top of the boiler, shall have a minimum clearance of 3 feet (914 mm) from the top

of the boiler to the ceiling. Package boilers, steam-heating boilers and hot-water-heating boilers without manholes on top of the shell and not exceeding one of the limits of this section shall have a minimum clearance of 2 feet (610 mm) from the ceiling.

VENTILATION NATURAL VENTILATION Natural ventilation Natural ventilation of an occupied space shall be through windows, doors, louvers or other openings to the outdoors. The operating mechanism for such openings shall be provided with ready access so that the openings are readily controllable by the building occupants. Ventilation area required The minimum openable area to the outdoors shall be 4 percent of the floor area being ventilated. Adjoining spaces Where rooms and spaces without openings to the outdoors are ventilated through an adjoining room, the opening to the adjoining rooms shall be unobstructed and shall have an area not less than 8 percent of the floor area of the interior room or space, but not less than 25 square feet (2.3 m2). Exception: Exterior openings required for ventilation shall be permitted to open into a thermally isolated sunroom addition or patio cover, provided that the openable area between the sunroom addition or patio cover and the interior room has an area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area of the interior room or space, but not less than 20 square feet (1.86 m2). Openings below grade Where openings below grade provide required natural ventilation, the outside horizontal clear space measured perpendicular to the opening shall be one and one-half times the depth of the opening. The depth of the opening shall be measured from the average adjoining ground level to the bottom of the opening. MECHANICAL VENTILATION Ventilation system Mechanical ventilation shall be provided by a method of supply air and return or exhaust air. The amount of supply air shall be approximately equal to the amount of return and exhaust air. The system shall not be prohibited from producing negative or positive pressure. Outdoor air required Ventilation supply systems shall be designed to deliver the required rate of outdoor airflow to the breathing zone within each occupiable space. Exception: Where the registered design professional demonstrates that an engineered ventilation system design will prevent the maximum concentration of contaminants from exceeding that obtainable by the rate of outdoor air ventilation, the minimum required rate of outdoor air shall be reduced in accordance with such engineered system design. Recirculation of air The outdoor air required shall not be recirculated. Air in excess of that required shall not be prohibited from being recirculated as a component of supply air to building spaces, except that:

1. Ventilation air shall not be recirculated from one dwelling to another or to dissimilar occupancies. 2. Supply air to a swimming pool and associated deck areas shall not be recirculated unless such air is dehumidified to maintain the relative humidity of the area at 60 percent or less. Air from this area shall not be recirculated to other spaces where more than 10 percent of the resulting supply airstream consists of air recirculated from these spaces. Outdoor airflow rate Ventilation systems shall be designed to have the capacity to supply the minimum outdoor airflow rate determined in accordance with this section. The occupant load utilized for design of the ventilation system shall not be less than the number determined from the estimated maximum occupant load rate. Where smoking is anticipated in a space other than a smoking lounge, the ventilation system serving the space shall be designed to provide ventilation over and above that required in accordance with accepted engineering practice. Zone outdoor airflow The minimum outdoor airflow required to be supplied to each zone shall be determined as a function of occupancy classification and space air distribution effectiveness in accordance with: 1. Breathing zone outdoor airflow 2. Zone air distribution effectiveness 3. Zone outdoor airflow

Mechanical Systems covered by the International Mechanical Code
Ventilation - includes means for protecting building occupant health by controlling the quality of indoor air and protecting property from the effects of inadequate ventilation. In some cases, ventilation is required to prevent or reduce a health hazard by removing contaminants at their source. Exhaust Systems - provides guidelines for reasonable protection of life, property and health from the hazards associated with exhaust systems, air contaminants and smoke development in the event of a fire. Duct Systems - regulates the materials and methods used for constructing and installing ducts, plenums, system controls, exhaust systems, fire protection systems and related components that affect the overall performance of a building's air distribution system and the reasonable protection of life and property from the hazards associated with air-moving equipment and systems. Combustion Air - Complete combustion of solid and liquid fuel is essential for the proper operation of appliances, for control of harmful emissions and for achieving maximum fuel efficiency. Chimneys and Vents - is intended to regulate the design, construction, installation, maintenance, repair and approval of chimneys, vents and their connections to solid and liquid fuel-burning appliances.

Specific Appliances, Fireplaces and Solid Fuel-burning Appliances - sets minimum construction and performance criteria for fireplaces, appliances and equipment and provides for the safe installation of these items. Boilers, Water Heaters and Pressure Vessels - presents regulations for the proper installation of boilers, water heaters and pressure vessels to protect life and property from the hazards associated with those appliances and vessels. Refrigeration - contains regulations pertaining to the life safety of building occupants. Hydronic Piping - contains the provisions that govern the construction, installation, alteration and repair of all hydronic piping systems that affect reliability, serviceability, energy efficiency and safety. Fuel Oil Piping and Storage - regulates the design and installation of fuel oil storage and piping systems. Solar Systems - establishes provisions for the safe installation, operation and repair of solar energy systems used for space heating or cooling, domestic hot water heating or processing.

Saint Louis University School of Engineering and Architecture Department of Mechatronics Engineering

Mechanical Laws Governing Physical Plant Implementation

Date Submitted: August 23, 2011

Submitted by: de Guzman, Randell John T Submitted to: Joseph Reuben D Cruz BME, ECE, MEng-ECE

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