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Function and Components of Building Services

Discuss About The Investigating Commercial Building Services.

The selected building to be investigated in this report is the four-storey commercial building in Manukau City, Auckland, New Zealand. The building, which was formerly Van den Brink Chicken Farm, houses a retail complex and office block (McAlpine Hussmann, 2010). The retail complex includes an underground park and Countdown supermarket. For the purposes of this repot, the focus is on Countdown supermarket. The main occupants of this building include supermarket attendants and shoppers. For smooth and efficient operation of the building, it requires several building services, including electrical system, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, and mechanical transport system. These services are mandatory during operation hours of the supermarket. The building services are important because they make the building functional, safe, comfortable and efficient.


The function, components, operation, effect on the building and safety features of the building services are provided in the table below

System

Function

Components

Operation

Effect on Building

Safety features

Electrical

Some of the proprietary brands used include

Midland Metropolis

Supply power

Provide backup and emergency power

To distribute energy

The service makes the building functional, comfortable, efficient and safe

Step-down transformer, main switchboard (meter), switchgear, cables/wires (feeder or bus), distribution panel boards, fuse, service breaker, circuit wiring, circuit breaker, sockets, switches and electrical devices

It moves electricity or power from the source to the desired outlet in the building (Joshi, 2008)

It requires involvement of electrical engineers, consultants and subcontractors from a very early stage of the project

It requires simulation of electrical systems to determine their performance and improve efficiency

Circuit breakers and earthing.  

Mechanical transport (mainly lift/escalator)

Some of the proprietary brands used include

McAlpine Hussmann

Transport people from one floor of the building to another (Al-Kodmany, 2015)

Enable vertical transportation of equipment and goods (Mattie, Borisoff, Leland, & Miller, 2015)

The service makes the building functional, comfortable and safe

Car – the component that holds goods or people for transportation.

Shaft – the space in which the car moves.

Sheave – pulley with groves that lowers or lifts the elevator.

Motor – creates energy for moving the sheave in the desired direction.

Machine room – room containing lift drive equipment and unit.

Control unit – receives signal from the controls on each floor and translates it into movements for the motor

Counterweight buffer – reduces strain applied on the motor.

Tension pulley – it lowers and raises the car.

Car guide rail – prevents the counterweight and car from swaying.

Doors – openings for boarding or alighting.

Metal or steel cables/strands connect the car to a pulley system. The pulley is driven by an electric motor, pulling the car down or up. The car is balanced by a counterweight, which is as heavy as the car when it is half full.

It requires involvement of mechanical transport specialists from early stage of the project

It requires comprehensive analysis of mechanical transport system performance and efficiency during design stage

It increases design and construction time and cost.

Buffer, safety brake, speed governor and ratchet system.

HVAC

Some of the proprietary brands used include

McAlpine Hussmann and Fantech (JetVent fans)

To maintain good indoor air quality (Myrefelt, 2008)

To control internal humidity

To maintain the required internal temperatures

It makes the building comfortable and functional

It also increases energy consumption hence it has to be energy efficient (Imal, 2015).

Variable refrigerant volume heat recovery air conditioning system – for ventilating the office block and retail block.

Car park ventilation system – for ventilating the car park.

Thermostat – regulates temperature to the desired level.

Furnace – heats air before t is distributed to various parts of the building.

Heat exchanger – heats cool air inside the furnace.

Air conditioner – dehumidifies and extracts air from the building.

Evaporator coil – cools air before distribution.

Condensing unit – supplies evaporator coil with liquefied refrigerant.

Condenser – extracts heat from the system.

Refrigerant lines –  enables transfer of refrigerant substance between the condensing unit and evaporator coil.

Chiller – extracts heat from a liquid via absorption or vapor-compression refrigeration cycle.

Air handler – conditioning and circulating air in the building.

Ductwork – transports cooled or warmed air to different parts of the building.

Vents – transfer cooled or heated air from the ductwork to particular rooms in the building (Firszt, 2014).

The refrigerant gets compressed by the compressor thus increasing its temperature and pressure.

The condenser blow hot air from the outside over the refrigerant to liquefy it.

The refrigerant gets cooled and changed into a low-pressure liquid by the expansion valve.

The evaporator transfers heat for the cool liquid to be transformed into a warmer gas.

The warmer gas gets distributed throughout the building.

It requires HVAC specialists to be involved in the project from an early stage so that they can give their opinion on the most suitable design and construction methods for the service.

It increases design and construction time and cost.

Sensors, control system/devices, alarm, pull station, low pressure trip, high pressure trip, low oil pressure trip, oil separator (Sanguri, 2010).

Below shows electrical system for lighting in Countdown supermarket. The lighting is by light-emitting diodes (LED), while Figure 3 shows HVAC system installed outside the building. This building was designed with sustainability in mind and therefore it has numerous green features that make it energy efficient. The features include: maximum use of natural light, energy efficient refrigeration cabinets, environmentally friendly refrigerant gases and energy efficient building management systems, among others (Fantech, 2010). The company’s main goal was to reduce carbon footprint of the building by 40% within five years of operation.

The importance of good design and coordination of services for successful completion of a building project cannot be overemphasized. Good design helps the project team to identify and correct errors in the design (if any), ensure that the building will achieve all its functional requirements so as to avoid changes during construction stage, and determine how to improve the performance and efficiency of the building (Jense, 2014). Good design also helps to plan on how the construction process will be completed by choosing competent contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and other personnel, and assigning tasks appropriately. This helps in ensuring that the project is completed within stipulated time and budget. Most importantly is that good design ensures that once the construction process starts, it will not stop until completion because every stakeholder will be fully informed about the steps of completing the project (Braganca, Vieira, & Andrade, 2014). Generally, good design of building services ensures that the building is constructed as planned i.e. it meets the quality, functional, safety and sustainability requirements, and that it is completed within planned time and budget (Knotten, Svalestuen, Hansen, & Laedre, 2015). This helps in seamless integration of the services as they contribute to the functioning/operation, efficiency, comfort and safety of the building. Before the final design is prepared, the project team members have to create mockups or prototypes and allow each member to give opinions. This further demonstrates the need for the members to coordinate and work as one team with a common goal.    

Importance of Good Design and Coordination of Services

For the building to function as expected, all is services must be adequately designed and properly installed. This requires involvement of qualified designers, engineers, consultants, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. The relevant professionals should identify the most suitable types, sizes, materials and position of the systems so that they can be integrated flawlessly and operate as a single unit. For instance, they should ensure that the position, installation and operation of electrical system, HVAC system and mechanical transport system does not interfere with each other. This can only be attained if there is effective communication among all stakeholders involved in the project. These stakeholders should cooperate and coordinate effectively by sharing knowledge and experience they have for successful delivery of the project. The coordination also helps in ensuring that every stakeholder has the right and complete information on time. Therefore proper design and coordination of stakeholders facilitates impeccable installation of building services and their functioning after construction.

Some of the building services are legally required for the proposed visitors’ centre, some are not legally required but recommended, while others are not required. The legally required, recommended and not required building services for the proposed building are as shown in the table below. The services have been identified as legally required, recommended or not required by considering New Zealand building standards and codes – New Zealand Building Code (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, 2014), type, size and use of the building and local weather (Meteoblue, 2018).

Building service

Legally required

Recommended

Not required

Reasons

Cold water

?

This is legally required by New Zealand Building Code because water is a basic need that must be supplied for use by building occupants. The water supplied should be fit for the intended use.

Hot water

?

It is recommended because it can be used by the company’s workers for bathing, washing, cooking, etc.

Sanitary waste

?

New Zealand Building Code requires provision of sanitary fixtures and sanitary waste collection systems to facilitate and promote personal hygiene

Sanitary drainage

?

New Zealand Building Code requires provision of proper sanitary drainage to remove sanitary waste from the building to the right drainage systems so as to facilitate sanitation in buildings

Stormwater

?

New Zealand Building Code requires buildings to have systems that can manage stormwater so as to enhance safety and health of persons using the building.

Gas

?

This is recommended because the company can use it for its operations when there is power outage or as a way of reducing reliance on electricity generated from non-renewable sources. New Zealand Building Code encourages developers to install gas systems as a way of promoting sustainability.

Electricity

?

This is recommended because the company’s operations requires electricity. However, electrical installation must be in compliance with New Zealand Building Code requirements

Telecommunications

?

This is not required because the company can use alternative means of communication to pass information, such as mobile phones, social media, etc.

HVAC

?

New Zealand Building Code requires buildings to have appropriate HVAC systems so as to enhance ventilation and indoor air quality and thermal comfort

Lift

?

New Zealand Building Code requires any storey building to have a staircase and an accessible route for persons with disabilities. The lift is recommended because it can be used by persons with disabilities and will also make it easier and faster for the company’s employees and customers to move from one floor to another.

Security and access

?

According to New Zealand Building Code, it I mandatory for every building to have security systems and access features so as to ensure occupants’ security and to enable people access all parts of building easily. There should also be access route for repairs and (evacuators or firefighters in case of an emergency).

Rubbish and recycling

?

New Zealand Building Code requires buildings to have a facilities and spaces for the collection of solid waste (including rubbish) arising from the building’s intended use.

Building maintenance

?

New Zealand Building Code requires buildings to be maintained properly so as to ensure that they are able to function as intended, without putting the health, safety and wellbeing of occupant at risk. Therefore the company must have a building maintenance plan.

Building management system

?

This is recommended because it will help the company use modern technology to improve energy efficiency (Kamali, Khakzar, & HajiAbadi, 2014), reduce water wastage (Tariq, et al., 2012), ensure proper maintenance of the building (Paulo, Branco, & de Brito, 2014), and improve sustainability of the building (Pukite & Geipele, 2017).

 

All building services have different effects on the design, construction and operation of the building. Knowing these effects is important in ensuring that the services are designed, installed, operated and maintained properly so as to attain the goals and objectives of the project. The various effects of the services are as shown in the table below

System

Placement

Construction

Operation

Cooperation

Electrical

The system can be in the cafeteria, exhibition space, store, conference or meeting room, offices, foyer, lift and toilets.

The system can be placed through the walls, floor slabs and above the ceiling.

The system must meet the minimum quality requirements of New Zealand Building Code

The system must have safeguards against fire outbreak and personal injury

The system must be safe to allow their intended use

It must protect occupants against excessive temperature caused by currents or electrical equipment’s normal operation

It must operate safely within its planned environment

Electrical system features, such as switches and socket outlets should be accessible and usable by persons with disabilities

It must be made of good quality materials and installed by qualified electricians

It must be able to supply adequate power for the intended use throughout the expected period

The commissioning requirements are checking the following before the electrical system is approved: the system has all the requisite components in proper working condition, control system has been properly calibrated, the system is tested and balanced, its performance is also tested, there is proper documentation of the system (including specifications, suppliers, installers, maintenance schedule, etc.) and building manager has been trained on how to operate the system and identify any hazards

Partial system failures should also be initiated so that the system can be stressed and the backup system. performance verified.

Once the system has been installed and is in operation, it has to be maintained through regular checks. The maintenance must be done by a trained and certified electrician, at least half yearly. This requires the company to have a maintenance schedule for the electrical system.

This service can be accessed where it is installed/placed

The consultants that need to engage during the design, documentation and construction of electrical system are the client, building designer, civil engineer, electrical engineer, structural engineer, quantity surveyor, main contractor, electrical subcontractors and suppliers.

Plumbing

The system can be in the cafeteria and toilets.

The system is placed through the walls, floor slabs and above the ceiling.

The system must be able to supply adequate water for the intended use

It must be made of good quality and durable materials

It should be placed in places where it does not compromise occupants’ hygiene

The commissioning requirements of the plumbing system include the following:

Verify the specifications, installation and working conditions of individual components, subsystems and the integrated plumbing system.

Verify if the plumbing system performs in accordance with its design and operational requirements of the owner.

Verify is the operation, performance and efficiency of the system meets the requirements of New Zealand Building code and owner of the building.

Ensure that there is proper documentation for the plumbing system.

To ensure that the plumbing system operates as intended and in safe and efficient manner, the company must have a maintenance plan. The system should be maintained quarterly by a trained and certified plumbing specialist.

This service can be accessed where it is installed/placed

The consultants that need to engage during the design, documentation and construction of plumbing system are the client, building designer, civil engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, structural engineer, quantity surveyor, main contractor, plumbing subcontractors and suppliers.

Lift

The system will be in the lift space.

It is placed inside the building in th designated lift area.

The system should be of the right size depending on the number of occupants in the building

It must be constructed using materials that meet the minimum quality requirements of New Zealand Building Code

Installation must be done and supervised by competent personnel

Before the lift is approved, it has to be commissioned. The commissioning process entails: verifying if the lift has all components with the required specifications, checking whether the individual components have been installed properly, checking and testing each subsystem of the lift and testing the performance, efficiency and safety of the integrated lift system.

The required commissioning also includes verifying the documentation of the lift, testing the control system of the lift and initiating partial system failure to determine if it will function as intended in case of failure.

After installing the lift, it has to be maintained through regular checks. The maintenance must be done by a trained and certified lift expert, at least quarterly. Therefore the company should have a maintenance schedule for the lift.

This service can be accessed where it is installed/placed.

The consultants that need to engage during the design, documentation and construction of lift system are the client, building designer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, structural engineer, civil engineer, quantity surveyor, main contractor, MEP subcontractors and suppliers.

HVAC

The system can be in the cafeteria, exhibition space, conference or meeting room and offices.

The air handling unit and ductwork can be placed inside the building while the condensing unit can be placed outside the building.

The system must be constructed to minimize energy use without compromising its functionality or efficiency

Its installation should minimize likelihood of injury

It must provide adequate ventilation to the building’ intended use

It should maintain indoor temperature within desired levels

It must be able to prevent multiplication of harmful bacteria, allergens and pathogens within it

It must be able to remove any harmful gases, fumes or substances from the building

It should be made using materials that meet the minimum quality standards specified in New Zealand Building Code

The commissioning of this system entail the following processes: testing individual equipment of the HVAC system, testing discrete HVAC systems, testing the integrated system, checking documentation of the system, and verifying performance and efficiency of the system.

The HVAC system should have a maintenance plan. The maintenance should be done half yearly by a trained and certified HVAC specialist.

This service can be accessed where it is installed/placed.

The consultants that need to engage during the design, documentation and construction of HVAC system are the client, building designer, civil engineer, mechanical engineer, structural engineer, electrical engineer, quantity surveyor, main contractor, MEP subcontractors and suppliers.

 

References

Al-Kodmany, K. (2015). Tall Buildings and Elevators: A Review of Recent Technological Advances. Buildings, 1070-1104.

Braganca, L., Vieira, S., & Andrade, J. (2014). Early Stage Design Decisions: The Way to Achieve Sustainable Buildings at Lower Costs. The Scientific World Journal, 1-8.

Fantech. (2010, December 1). NZ Supermarket Goes Green. Retrieved from Fantech: https://www.fantech.com.au/Project.aspx?ProjectID=34

Firszt, L. (2014, November 23). Know Your HVAC System and How They Work. Retrieved from Networx: https://www.networx.com/article/know-your-hvac-system-components-and-how

Imal, M. (2015). Design and Implementation of Energy Efficiency in HVAC Systems Based on Robust PID Control for Industrial Applications. Journal of Sensors, 1-15.

Jense, M. (2014, January 7). 5 Reasons Why Building Design Is More Important Than Ever. Retrieved from Sefaira: https://sefaira.com/resources/5-reasons-why-building-design-is-more-important-than-ever/

Joshi, H. (2008). Residential, Commercial and Industrial Electrical Systems: Network and Installation, Volume 2. New Delhi: McGraw Hill Education.

Kamali, S., Khakzar, G., & HajiAbadi, S. (2014). Effect of Building Management System on Energy Saving. Advanced Maerials Research, 333-337.

Knotten, V., Svalestuen, F., Hansen, G., & Laedre, O. (2015). Desgn Management in the Building Process - a Review of Current Literature . Procedi Economics and Finance, 120-127.

Mattie, J., Borisoff, J., Leland, D., & Miller, W. (2015). Development of an Integrated Staircase Lift for Home Access. Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering, 1-12.

McAlpine Hussmann. (2010). McAlpine Hussmann. Auckland: McAlpine Hussmann.

Meteoblue. (2018). Climate Manukau. Retrieved from Meteoblue: https://www.meteoblue.com/en/weather/forecast/modelclimate/manukau_new-zealand_2187404

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. (2014). New Zealand Building Code Handbook. Wellington: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Myrefelt, S. (2008). Functional Availability of HVAC Systems. International Journal of Ventilation, 89-98.

Paulo, P., Branco, F., & de Brito, J. (2014). Building LIfe: a Building Management System. Structural and Infrastructure Engineering, 388-397.

Pukite, I., & Geipele, I. (2017). Different Approaches to Building Management and Maintenance Meaning Explanation. Procedia Engineering, 905-912.

Sanguri, M. (2010, April 2). Safety Devices in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Plants . Retrieved from Bright Hub Engineering: https://www.brighthubengineering.com/hvac/68052-safety-devices-in-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration-plants/

Tariq, W., Mustafa, A., Rasool, Z., Haseeb, S., Ali, S., Mustafat, A., . . . Warsi, S. (2012). Building Management System for IQRA University. Asian Journal of Engineering, Sciences & Technology, 106-1109.

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