Space planning for services
The active engineering systems will comprise a myriad of items of plant, central equipment, distribution elements and terminal components. Although the terminal components will be located within, or immediately adjacent to, the spaces being treated, the major items of plant and distribution elements need to be provided with dedicated spaces within the building. The nature of the mechanical and electrical equipment components used in active engineering systems in buildings requires that the spaces allocated are markedly different from spaces used for occupancy. Such equipment can be potentially hazardous, due to the energy systems used; and, due to the need to restrict access to competent operational personnel, will, in nearly all cases, require being located in discrete and dedicated enclosures or spaces. The division of spaces within the building can, therefore, in the simplest sense be considered to comprise primary spaces for the occupational needs of the building; spaces for access and circulation to the primary spaces; and secondary spaces for active engineering plant and equipment. The plant spaces can be subdivided into spaces for the building owner’s M&E equipment; and spaces for the energy or services provider’s equipment, for which the determining criteria will be their own standard space requirements and access regulations. Where the building is split into landlord and tenant areas, there might also be a requirement for subdividing plant spaces.