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Plant, utilities and systems

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Abstract

The bricks and mortar (or steel and concrete) are the cheaper part of any new building, and may account for much less than half the total cost. It is inside where budgets can run out of control if not carefully managed. Large costs are associated with installations (mechanical and electrical), including heating, cooling, ventilation and plumbing. This chapter discusses regulations; plant rooms; energy efficiency and technology changes; energy sources; water; space heating; ventilation, air movements and cooling; medical gases and gas scavenging; and security and alarm systems.

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Figures

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2.1 View of a mechanical installation.
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2.2 A wall-mounted gas boiler in a small plant room. A large plant room, showing the pipework for underfloor heating.
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2.3 Red power sockets indicate the connection to generator power.
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2.4 Photovoltaic panels can be used to generate some electricity.
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2.5 Evacuated tube solar panels used for water heating.
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2.7 A type AA water gap system for a ground floor. Mains water enters the lagged tank (left) through a ball valve, providing the air gap. The pump then feeds water to the building at a similar pressure as would be expected from the main.
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2.10 Theatre ceiling lighting: four fluorescent strip lights set in an open rectangle with a surgical light (LED 100,000 lux) mounted in the centre.
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2.11 In this reception area low-energy downlighters over the seating areas are combined with directable halogen spotlights to create a warm feel, with focused lighting on the pictures and stock displays.
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2.12 A small external storage unit housing oxygen cylinders.
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2.13 Single-user oxygen concentrators can be linked to an anaesthetic machine for surgery, or moved to wherever needed for oxygen therapy.
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2.14 Ceiling outlets for piped oxygen (white) and nitrous oxide (blue). An active gas scavenging point is also present.
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2.16 Surface-mounted piped gases are accessible but can represent a hygiene challenge. Piping within smooth plastic trunking offers a good compromise between accessibility and cleanability.
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2.17 A passive scavenging system can be constructed using standard plastic sink wastepipe.
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2.18 Active scavenging. ( This central fan unit scavenges from several different locations. It is vital to keep pipework and tubing clean and free from condensation, and to check the functioning of the unit regularly. An air break receiver (ABR; sometimes referred to as a Barnsley unit) which is situated between the positive scavenging system and the anaesthetic machine.
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2.19 Low-wattage sodium lights mounted high on the building flood the pathways and access points without causing dazzle. CCTV cameras cover entrances and the parking areas.
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2.20 An example of a daily security checklist for staff to complete before leaving for the day. Days are across the top and items to confirm secure or completed are on the left-hand side. The list includes: locking wall and ceiling windows; locking doors; switching phones to emergency lines; setting alarms; and confirming completion of daily tasks. Such a checklist is also useful during handover to any duty staff, and could form part of the lone worker protocol.
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2.21 Security locks on a timber door that has also been fitted with an anti-tamper plate following an attempt to prise it open using a steel bar. The central lock is the Euro style.
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2.22 The most secure fire doors have a smooth finish with no external door furniture for anyone to try to force open. This one has double doors for easy access for large equipment.
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2.23 Bars at windows can look off-putting but folding shutters such as these can be drawn to one side during the day and locked in place at night.
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2.24 Where CCTV cameras are installed, clear signage with contact details should be placed to inform people of their use.
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2.25 A passive infra-red (PIR) sensor mounted in a corner to pick up movement across a wide area.
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2.26 This fire door on a trolleying route is held open with an electromagnetic catch which releases if the fire alarm sounds. In this area, vision panels are only fitted to upper parts of doors, to avoid risk to glass when a trolley is pushed through.
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2.28 UK fire extinguisher classification and colour coding.
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2.29 A carbon dioxide extinguisher suitable for electrical fires.

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