Utility Service Spaces

Energy Efficiency and Utility Service Spaces

There are many utilities, ducts, and electrical services that must be distributed throughout the laboratory facility. Providing orderly pathways and routing for these will reduce energy use and space requirements and make future maintenance easier. [Blazewicz, 2000] ref268 [McMahon, 1998]

To provide efficient horizontal and vertical pathways for the ducts and pipes required for HVAC, plumbing, communications, and electric power requires a great deal of coordination among the researchers, designers, and engineers. The location of these pathways is normally determined by the facility's function, systems access, and first cost and does not consider the energy waste incurred by inefficient routing of these services.

All designs require access space during the original installation and for maintenance and remodeling during the life of the facility. Energy engineers should be involved in the design of access spaces as early as possible. There are many ways of servicing or providing pathways for services in laboratory buildings, but only a few basic approaches ensure an energy-efficient design. The energy engineer should keep in mind that the laboratory planning module and the structural system could be in conflict with energy-efficient utility design, which would impair the efficient routing of utility services during original installation, as well as during future renovations. [Ruys, 1990]


Suspended ceiling layout

Utility corridor

Interstitial space


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