Kohler Ronan Consulting Engineers - KR Vision Newsletter - Issue 9, Spring 2019

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Current Trends in Museum Systems Modern museum design requires thoughtful integration of MEP/FP systems to create a safe environment to display art and provide an enjoyable experience for visitors. As flexibility becomes increasingly important to museums, and as industry technology continually evolves, trends in systems design also evolve. Kohler Ronan has compiled a list of some of the key developments in design which we have incorporated into MEP/FP and Technology systems on many of our recent design projects.

design is configured to never threaten destruction of art due to water leaks, system failures, and the like. In existing buildings, one option for managing mechanical system artwork threats is to stack systems in a “wet column.” In this way, all mechanical systems are stacked on all floors including reheat distribution. This approach allows for waterproofing at each mechanical equipment room floor level, thus providing drainage that extends down to the floor below and keeping wet system utilities away from art installations.

1. Seasonal Adjustments to Temperature and Humidity Setpoints More and more, our engineers are designing HVAC systems to gradually relax temperature and humidity setpoints on a seasonal basis; modifications can happen over a 1 or 2-week period. Working with conservators to match collection needs with environmental design, this approach can save energy, reduce short-term humidity fluctuations, and reduce instances of condensation on glazed surfaces.

4. Use of LED Lighting LED technology has significantly improved; it can now provide museum-quality lighting as well as significant energy savings. LED lighting systems should be used especially where traditional lighting is not required by the art program such as in galleries, office support spaces, and conservation studios.

2. Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) to Pre-treat Outdoor Air Dedicated Outside Air Systems (DOAS) are used to process fresh air before it reaches air-handling units. This approach is particularly beneficial as internal space loads have reduced over time due to improved glazing and lighting systems. DOAS systems allow for precise outside air delivery while maintaining tight humidity control. 3. Minimization of HVAC Risk to Artwork In new buildings, avoiding any threat to artwork due to MEP systems—therefore creating appropriate mechanical spaces well below art levels, and providing appropriate air paths for delivery of processed air—is critical. Appropriate

5. Designing for Flexibility Designing mechanical, electrical, and fire protection systems with flexibility to allow for changing collections is a growing expectation among museum owners. This can be accommodated with flexible fire protection and HVAC terminations, as well as carefully designed electrical and technology floor outlets. Revolving and flexible programs are important to most of today’s modern art facilities. 6. Use of Pre-Action Fire Suppression Systems To reduce significant risk in collection areas, we are designing pre-action fire protection systems, which are basically dry pipe sprinkler systems supplemented by additional detection systems when activated. Many of our museum clients have evaluated both gaseous and water vapor systems, but it seems that space ALL TEXT ©2019 KOHLER RONAN, LLC

requirements, threat assessment, and cost models almost uniformly point to a preaction system or standard wet system. 7. Incorporating Redundancy Designing HVAC systems to incorporate redundancy is an increasing trend as well. This can be achieved by providing airhandling units with individual redundancy, such as fan walls, and valve bypasses so that they can operate under a component failure. Another option might be to manifold several air-handling units together via ductwork so that, in the event of a single unit failure, the remaining manifold units can continue to maintain the desired environmental conditions. This approach also ensures that future equipment replacement is seamless and does not require the removal of installed artwork for gallery shutdowns. 8. Selection of Specific Air Filtration Based on Needs Specific filtration matched to the outside air quality, collection needs, and specific off gassing of the works of art is a key consideration today. Museum collections can vary greatly in filtration needs and appropriate filtration can significantly improve indoor air quality to support collections. Understanding proper filter media sizing, selection, and compatibility is often the first line of defense against destructive pollutants that are either introduced or pre-existing within a gallery space. continued on page 4

IN THIS ISSUE Grounding & Bonding


On-site Generators Revit® Corner


Project Highlight 4

Grounding & Bonding Grounding and Bonding System: What It Is and Why It Is Important Most every building, whether it is residential, commercial, or industrial use, contains an electrical grounding system. A grounding and bonding system is essential to the safe operation of a building’s electrical infrastructure, protecting both assets and human life. It acts as a network of dedicated return paths for ground fault current to earth, diverting these dangerous currents away from equipment and personnel. For architects and construction team members alike, having a basic knowledge of the components of a grounding system is important for developing a complete understanding of scope implications when modifying a space and when programming or installing electrically energized equipment. It is prudent to consult an engineer for an in-depth analysis and design of a project’s specific grounding system requirements and scope. Identifying System Components At a basic level, electrical equipment and devices are connected to a combination of different colored conductors. The equipment grounding conductor, informally the “ground wire,” will typically be colored green, or green with yellow striping. It will typically terminate at both the device being energized and its metal enclosure. It is also common to see metal raceway, such as conduit, pull boxes, and junction boxes bonded to the grounding system with green conductors. The equipment grounding conductors extend back to the local panelboard, where they are derived at the panelboard’s ground bus.

Each panelboard typically receives an equipment grounding conductor, which runs to the panelboard in raceway with the phase and neutral feeder conductors from the upstream distribution switchboard or panelboard. The feeder equipment grounding conductor is typically larger than the branch circuit grounding conductor to devices. Continuing upstream through the system, equipment grounding conductors continue to grow in size and ultimately originate from the electrical service equipment grounding bus. Note that in feeders, the ground conductor will typically be smaller in size than the phase and neutral conductors. For the electric service equipment, the grounding system itself is derived via a “grounding electrode system.” Simply put, the grounding electrode system is a network of wires, rods, pipes, and other approved means which physically connects the grounding bus of the main service switch to the earth. This connection is commonly accomplished by wiring to metal rods driven into the earth outside a building, or via an electrical connection made to domestic and fire water service piping, upstream of the water meter. Lugged electrical terminations at exposed structural steel are also common. These are just a few examples of ways grounding systems are connected to the earth. Often times, a rectangular bus bar will be installed, exposed within electrical rooms, for tying in pieces of equipment such as transformers and generators to the grounding electrode system. It is common for grounding electrode system conductors to be run in their own dedicated conduits.

How Your Project Is Affected Modifications of building steel may impact the grounding electrode system and may require additional testing for grounding continuity. Reuse of existing equipment and branch circuitry may not be possible or cost effective if they are not properly grounded prior to their modification. If a lightning protection system is incorporated in the project, code requires that it be bonded to the grounding electrode system. IT equipment rooms may require an additional grounding bus bar connected to the grounding electrode system to reduce risk of damage to the equipment. Regarding audio/visual equipment applications for performing arts centers, redundant isolated grounding is often required to maintain signal integrity. For healthcare applications, local grounding loops and isolation are utilized to minimize hazards to patients and eliminate noise on sensitive medical equipment. As every project is unique, it is important to engage an engineer early in the design process to clarify the grounding system scope. This is the best way to most accurately set the budget for the project, facilitate the coordination process, and ensure overall project success.

AIA Registered Provider Kohler Ronan is a registered provider of AIA Continuing Education Credits. Our professionals have prepared several presentations on relevant and timely industry topics. In the coming months, we will be available to visit your offices and share these presentations. To learn more, or to schedule a visit, please contact Joe Lembo at 203.778.1017 or via email at krce@kohlerronan.com.

NYSERDA Approved Provider Kohler Ronan is an approved Technical Consultant for the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Commercial New Construction Program. Under this program, we will provide technical support in assessing and determining appropriate energy efficiency opportunities for New Construction and Substantial Renovation Projects. For details, please email Madhav Munshi at mmunshi@kohlerronan.com.


Architectural Impact of On-site Generators Generators are an essential part of life safety systems. They provide backup sources of power to support electrical distribution systems in emergencies, such as loss of power to critical systems. Various factors necessitate on-site generators, including, but not limited to, the following: Group A occupancies (if a smoke control system is installed), high-rise buildings, underground buildings, and group I-3 occupancies. More requirements can be found in NYC Building Code 2702.2. Regardless of what prompts the inclusion of on-site generators, it is critical to know the architectural impacts of their inclusion. AC Feed Inlet Air Opening

To Load


DC Feed Flexible Conduits

Battery Charger

Emergency Feed

Wall Thimble Flexible Flexible Duct Coupling Outlet Air Opening Day Tank Return Line

Automatic Engine Transfer Generator Switch Control Batteries Normal Suction Utility Feed Vibration Line GeneratorAC Jacket Isolators Mounted Water Heater Circuit Breaker

Main Fuel Gauge Main Fuel Tank

If it is determined that a generator is needed, a dedicated engine room, or a dedicated exterior enclosure, must be provided. Keep in mind that two-hour rated walls are required as separation from other rooms, regardless of the sprinkler coverage provided. The fuel system chosen would also affect design. If a diesel type genset is chosen, for example, the site would have complete independence from utilities, but there would be additional maintenance requirements as well as fuel and storage costs. If the main tank for the diesel floor is either more than 50 feet away from the genset on the same level, or more than 12 feet below the genset, a day tank within close proximity of the genset would be required. A natural gas type genset could be chosen to avoid these additional costs, but it would be dependant on utilities. It should be noted that only natural gas gensets are allowed for R2 occupancies within New York City. When designing an engine room, whether or not the generator will be sharing the room with other pieces of equipment is a key consideration. Other considerations include the following: the number of generators within the room,

airflow requirements, serviceability, and necessary clearances for the generator(s). For NYC projects, be advised that any equipment located within the same room as a generator must also be associated with emergency and standby power systems per NYC Building Code 2702. Space for accessory equipment to the generator, such as load banks, must be accommodated as well. However, sometimes there are multiple location options for accessory equipment. Load banks, for example, may be radiator mounted or freestanding.

addition, the environment, height, ambient temperatures, and weather could have a direct impact on the operation of an outdoor generator enclosure. Thankfully, a properly selected enclosure goes a long way to mitigate the negative impact of ambient conditions and the environment.

Indoor Versus Outdoor Generators If a generator is placed indoors, ventilation would be needed to remove radiant and convection heat from the dedicated generator room. This would keep the generator at an operable temperature and ensure safe conditions in the room. Hot temperatures in these rooms would negatively impact genset and switchgear performance and create a hazardous environment for personnel performing maintenance. Also, proper ventilation and cooling would prevent loss of energy. During the operation of a genset, approximately 60-75% of energy is lost through internal heat, exhaust energy, and radiation. This heat needs to be properly distributed to avoid overheating of the genset. Oil coolers, jacket water, and aftercoolers are just some methods used to dissipate heat.

When working in Revit®, it is important to know that Sheets are used for printing, while Views are actual workspaces that can be placed onto Sheets for printing. A View can only be placed on one Sheet, and cannot be used in multiple Sheets at one time. In order to have a similar View placed in multiple Sheets, select Duplicate View, Duplicate as a Dependent, and then place the new View onto the Sheet.



Duplicate This Duplicate View option, duplicates a View and all objects that are considered part of the “model.” Detail items, such as detail lines, hatches, text annotations, and detail groups will now show up in the new Duplicated View. Any new changes made to this View will not affect other Views and vice versa.

• Duplicate with Detailing Duplicate with Detail duplicates a View with all model items and detail items. Any new changes made to either the old or new View will not affect the other.

View Templates

• Duplicate as a Dependent This final option duplicates a View exactly as seen. Any changes made in one View will affect all other Views.

Visibility/ Filters Thin Show Remove Cut Render Render Render Lines Hidden Lines Hidden Lines Profile in Cloud Gallery Graphics



3D View



Open Open Sheet Floor Plan

Close Find Referring Views...

Floor Plan: L01 FIRST FLOOR Graphics View Scale Scale Value 1: Display Model Detail Level Parts Visibility Visibility/Graphics Overrides Graphic Display Options Orientation Wall Join Display Discipline Show Hidden Lines Color Scheme Location

If a generator is placed outdoors, an enclosure must be provided. Outdoor enclosures must be weatherproof and meet certain sound requirements. These enclosures may be designed to include a load bank and enclosure accessories, pump control switches for remote fuel pumps, an extension for switchgear, and a separate two-hour rated room for automatic transfer switch panels (ATS). In

Properties help

Make Workset Editable Apply Template Properties...

Create View Template from View... Duplicate View


Convert to Independent View

Duplicate with Detailing

Apply Dependent Views...

Duplicate as a Dependent

Save to Project as Image... Delete Copy to Clipboard Rename... Select All Instances Properties

Project Browser - NYPL_SASB_MEP Save to New File... ??? Search... Coordination ???


Expand All Floor Plans Collapse All L01 FIRST T FFLOOR LOOR Ceiling Plans 3D Views




“Current Trends...” continued from page 1

9. Designing for Retail and Restaurants to Attract Visitors Designing retail and restaurant programs before ticketing areas is a significant trend requiring a special MEP/FP systems approach to ensure that the space can function independently, outside the hours of the museum. Increasingly, these spaces are becoming their own attractions and destinations. 10. Integrating Technology Design Today’s museums must have a robust technology infrastructure. Museum technology needs have been significantly elevated in recent years due to displays, audio/visual tours, ticketing, and integration into art displays. Planning for this need during design can enhance the museum’s current and future capabilities.

11. Incorporating Natural Daylight Museum visitors are anticipating more natural light even within gallery spaces. Fortunately, many conservators are now open to enhancing natural light due to UV protection available on modern glass. Careful integration of shading controls and artificial lighting controls are required to maintain the desired ambiance. 12. Condensation Prevention Our engineers are designing building systems incorporating Skylight / Lay light conditioning in order to avoid condensation. Usually, providing desiccant dehumidification within museums can avoid the need to “overheat” attics which, while avoiding condensation, does waste energy.

13. Space Building Pressurization Control The openness of a museum enhances the occupant and visitor experience alike, but can create a difficult pressure relationship between the many connected spaces. Careful HVAC sequences, pressure monitoring, and fresh air delivery must be inherent in HVAC systems design to avoid bringing unfiltered air into the building, thus allowing space conditions to lose setpoint. 14. Enhancing the Building Envelope Treating museum envelope design as you would a high-performance building can certainly improve thermal, humidity, and energy performance.

Project Highlight — Williams College CDE Residence Hall

Williams College students are now enjoying the recently opened Center for Development Economics (CDE)

Residence Hall. The two-story, 30-bedroom facility offers private living space and inviting common areas for the students,

away from the heavily trafficked, main CDE building, Saint Anthony Hall. In collaboration with Platt, Byard, Dovell, White Architects, Kohler Ronan provided comprehensive MEP/FP designs which incorporated ground source heat pumps, 4-pipe valance units, a centralized dedicated outside air unit, LED lighting, and electric water heaters. The 17,000 square-foot residence hall was designed to meet the Net-Zero Energy Petal of the Living Building Challenge and was insulated and sealed to Passive House standards. Our engineers closely coordinated all services and designs with the project’s sustainability consultant.

About the Firm From our offices in Danbury, Connecticut and New York, New York, our team of over 60 professionals collaborates with prominent architectural firms on a wide array of regional and nationally recognized project assignments. Commissions include those for world-renowned museums, fine and performing arts centers, prestigious universities, state-of-the-art educational and healthcare facilities, luxury residences, and premier recreation establishments. Additionally, we have the privilege of designing specialty systems for landmark sites and historically significant buildings across the country. For more information, please visit our website at kohlerronan.com or connect with us on social media.


New York 171 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 T 212.695.2422 Danbury 93 Lake Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810 T 203.778.1017 Connect kohlerronan.com marketing@kohlerronan.com