Water pressure is the most common plumbing problem. One of the primary goals in designing a building water system is to ensure adequate water pressure all the way down the line, including at the farthest fixture.
FREMONT, CA: The success of any building, campus, or facility design is dependent on the plumbing. People who live, work, or play in a structure will require water to maintain and clean the structure, drink, and prepare food.
Because plumbing systems are generally hidden behind walls and are simply required to work as they do at home, it is easy to treat plumbing as an afterthought. Isn't it true that what's out of sight is out of mind? In fact, the inclination to pay insufficient attention to the design of plumbing systems most often leads to errors that can wreak havoc on building operations and, in the end, necessitating costly retrofits.
A few key areas of focus will help ensure that a building operates as it should from the start.
Water pressure is the most common plumbing problem. One of the primary goals in designing a building water system is to ensure adequate water pressure all the way down the line, including at the farthest fixture. The greater the building's size, the more difficult it is to give sufficient and consistent pressure throughout the structure. Water needs to travel at least 300 feet vertically while retaining water pressure all the way to the end of a 25-story office building. That is no easy task.
It is critical that mechanical engineers properly size one's pumping and control systems to provide adequate GPM and head pressure for this wide range of requirements. The most common error in field installations with problems is a lack of proper equipment and controls that can react to the wide range of usage. Undersized pumps, insufficient controls, and ineffective pipe sizes can all result in costly rehabilitations for building owners and operators.
If pressure and delivery are the most discussed plumbing systems, water quality is close behind in terms of its impact on a building and the people who live in it. Taste, hardness, and bacteria resistance are all important factors to consider when designing a plumbing system.
Most jurisdictions offer safe potable drinking water to the public, but it does not have to be tasty. In some areas, such as Florida, owners must deal with difficult circumstances in which solids and odors from their water can cause significant tenant complaints. Many companies, with the assistance of mechanical engineering teams, choose to install building-wide water treatment systems that remove contaminants from the water source and re-add minerals to give a better experience.
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