Building Plumbing Design
The most important thing to go into your new or retrofitted building isn’t the façade or the interior decorating – it is the infrastructure. We know to worry about the foundation and the roof. But the infrastructure you use on a day to day basis is even more important. You cannot afford to overlook the quality and performance of your plumbing system. Here are four things you should consider when planning your building’s plumbing design.
The Overall Environment
When designing a plumbing system, you need to take climate conditions into account. Hire qualified Chicago engineers for projects in that area since they’ll know how to design water and wastewater systems to survive the climate and other environmental variables. If someone chooses the wrong materials, you’ll pay for it increased maintenance and repairs.
The Needs of Intended Occupants
Your design will fall short of expectations if you don’t take the needs of the intended occupants into account. If you’re designing residences for seniors or a medical office building, your bathrooms will see far more users with physical limitations.
Bathrooms with more amenities for the disabled will be seen as appropriate or necessary. A restaurant or upscale living facility should have more elegant facilities that work flawlessly every time. A restaurant would need better hot water recovery and excellent wastewater systems, as well. A senior living facility should have a centralized water heating system so that residents don’t have to maintain hot water heaters with scalding water, while healthy apartment dwellers would like to control their own water temperature, so a water heater per unit would be the ideal.
The Building Code for That Location
There are common design standards that every building will be expected to meet, but local building codes may be much stricter. This varies city to city. Environmental standards such as LEED may be stricter yet.
Know the building code that any project in the jurisdiction must meet and how that relates to customer requirements. This affects matters like the number of grease interceptors allowed to the domestic water pressure coming in. Make a mistake regarding the latter and you’ll have to add a domestic booster pump. Conversely, understanding the flow rate available at that location and required by the jurisdiction avoids costly retrofits and re-routing that delay completion and looks unsightly.
The Infrastructure for That Location
A number of city building codes require that all plumbing fixtures have an adequate flow rate. How your plumbing system will meet this standard is partially determined by the size of the incoming water line for that particular site. Another factor will be the location and size of the main sanitary lateral and its inversion. You cannot risk constructing a building that has more output than the sewer line at the site. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the building; it will get a bad reputation if it suffers regular sewer backups. Nor do you want to have to pay more and fit in a sewage pump to prevent this from happening when having the information in advance would allow you to design things so that it doesn’t occur at all.
A properly designed plumbing system will save money up front as well as long-term maintenance and repair costs. It will also avoid disasters that destroy your reputation and affect the health of residents.
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