• The Critical Nature of Controls

    ...and the crucial role designers play in ensuring comfort, health, and safety.

    The complex interaction of controls and equipment in modern buildings requires coordination at the design level. The initial design, commissioning, and technical review of sequences of operation must reflect the designer’s intent. It is the designer who must verify that controls are right, from overall design down to control sequences. The stakes are high and, it seems, getting higher.

    In commercial and institutional buildings, such as schools, frequently high population densities create atmospheres rife with potentially harmful communicable diseases, allergens, and irritants. In hospitals, laboratories, and research facilities, the potential for transmission of airborne contaminants is much greater, contaminants can be much more potent, and occupants, including research animals, can be much more sensitive.

    Regardless of the environment or location, temperature and humidity controls are needed. These not only affect worker productivity and tenant satisfaction, but keep structures and furnishings from getting wet and growing mold.

    In addition to environmental control, life-safety requirements exist in every building. Smoke from a building fire must be removed from occupied areas. Further, dangers posed by extraordinary hazardous events must be recognized and plans to mitigate death and injury put into effect.

    The trend among designers to leave controls details to controls contractors is not in the best interest of public health. Download Complete Article.


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