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Dimensions for Mechanical Room

Monisha_Dharmaraj | Posted in Mechanicals on

Hi, I am doing a project on Retirement home. I am modeling the mechanical and electrical systems for the entire building. it is a 5 story building whereas we have the mechanical and electrical room in the basement and each floor we have a small area for the shaft. I am confused about the mechanical room dimensions. I know that it depends on the types of equipment we place since am using the direct system for water I don’t need any water storage tanks.  It would be great if anyone could suggest some dimension.

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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    This is like asking “I’m building an apartment building. We’re putting a parking garage under it. How many parking spots should we put in?”

    In many ways that’s actually an easier question since there are usually basic city requirements for parking. In your case, how many square feet? How many units? What type of heating/cooling system? No one can answer a question as general as the one you asked because there are too many variables.

    Basic codes for electrical require 3 feet of clearance in front of all electrical panels up to 250 volts. Over that (usually 277/480 volt panels in the US) you need 3.5 feet of clearance. You need space around mechanical equipment to allow for maintenance too.

    In a typical multi-story building, you need one mechanical room on each floor, not just a “shaft”. Stack the mechanical rooms directly on top of each other so that it’s easy to run cables and pipes vertically between all of them. You’d usually have at least one electrical panel on each floor in that floors mechanical room, all served from a main distribution panel in the basement. Sometimes there is a penthouse house mechanical equipment, especially if you will have a cooling tower on the roof. Some local codes require an electrical panel in each unit, in which case those panels would feed from a panel on that floor, and each floor panel would either feed from a basement panel or from a common busduct run between floors with a tap on each floor.

    Have you involved an architect? engineer? Buildings over a usually fairly small square footage will typically require a licensed architect to do the basic plans, at a minimum. You need to size all the equipment you need first, then spec the equipment out, then plan a room that can hold it all. There is no quick rule of thumb for large buildings. In my usual industry, telecommunications, I tell people about 40% of a dedicated datacenter building will be for mechanicals, which is FAR more than a typical building would need.


  2. KenleyWall | | #2

    In any construction, you will need the help of another craftsman. First of all, an architect and an engineer. You may also need the knowledge of a plumber. Each handyperson knows the intricacies of his job, so only together can you build a nursing home by all safety rules and customer preferences. Perhaps you will not be enough shaft, so you should discuss this issue with the engineer; in addition, you need to know the size of the equipment. When I was building a hospital, I asked an engineer for help every time something changed because it is very important to run all the electrical cables correctly.

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