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Building Condition Assessment and Documentation Part IV – Mech, Elec & Plumbing. Randy Warbington, PE Facilities Program Manager Southern Region USDA Forest Service. 3 Day Course Prepared for Presentation at ESRU, March 10-12, 2008

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building condition assessment and documentation part iv mech elec plumbing

Building Condition Assessment and DocumentationPart IV – Mech, Elec & Plumbing

Randy Warbington, PE

Facilities Program Manager

Southern Region

USDA Forest Service

3 Day Course Prepared for Presentation at ESRU, March 10-12, 2008

Edited for Presentation at National Facilities Meeting, April 30-May 2, 2008

Mark McDonough, PE

Assistant Station Engineer

Southern Research Station

USDA Forest Service

inspecting plumbing

Inspecting Plumbing

Backflow Prevention Valves – typically require annual testing

what to look for when inspecting plumbing
What to Look for When Inspecting Plumbing
  • Toilets and Urinals
  • Sinks and Lavatories
  • Tubs and Showers
  • Drinking Fountains
  • Eye Wash Units
  • Water Heaters
  • Piping – Water, Waste, Vent, Gas
wi 10001 toilet urinal replacement
Removal and replacement of toilets and/or urinals, including flush valves

Life expectancy for the fixture is 35 years, for the flush valves, perhaps 10 years (note: replacement of flush valves only is O&M)

Many old ones are not accessible; they may be leaking

May need replacement with water saving toilets – dual flush or 1.5 gpf water closets and waterless or 1/8 gpf urinals

WI 10001 – Toilet/Urinal Replacement

“Waterless” Urinals

wi 10001 toilet replacement cont
WI 10001 – Toilet Replacement (cont.)

Bowl should be elongated vs. round, and open seat cover as above should be provided for public uses.

Has grab bar (not right size) and seat is too low.

wi 10002 sink or lavatory replacement
Removal and replacement of fixture, including faucets and drains

Unit of measure is “each”, or per sink

May be needed for accessibility purposes

Typical life expectancy is 35 years

WI 10002 – Sink or Lavatory Replacement
wi 10002 sink or lavatory replacement7
WI 10002 – Sink or Lavatory Replacement

Replacement of a sink of this magnitude would be a custom work item not covered by the standard item. Notice the duplex receptacles (GFCI?) and the AC unit located just above the sink.

work item 10003 tub shower replacement
This representative work item covers removal and replacement of tub, shower or combo unit, whether porcelain, tile, fiberglass, etc., including faucets and drains

May be needed for accessibility reasons

Expected life – 25 years

Work Item 10003 – Tub/Shower Replacement
wi 10004 drinking fountain
Removal and replacement of complete unit (don’t save old one)

May be needed for accessibility purposes, or due to compressor failure; unit of measure is “each”

Typical life expectancy is 10 years

WI 10004 – Drinking Fountain

Note: unit requires the “notch” under the fountain for accessibility

work item 10005 eyewash unit
Remove/replace worn out unit

Unit of measure is “each”

Test units during inspection to assure that they continue to be functional

Assure that they are easily accessible

Life expectancy – 25 years

Work Item 10005 – Eyewash Unit
wi 10006 water heaters
This item includes complete removal and replacement of water heaters, gas or electric, including valves, venting, etc. as required with the Forest Service standard (commercial, not residential)

Also covers small boilers up to about 150,000 Btuh

Look at the nameplate to determine its date of manufacture

Unit of measure is “each”

Life expectancy – 15 years

WI 10006 – Water Heaters
water heaters safety items
Water Heaters (safety items)
  • Check to assure pop-off valves are present, are turned down toward the floor and plumbed to a floor drain or to the outside
  • Check to assure seismic restraints are in place as appropriate
  • Check to assure gas units are located a minimum of 18” above the floor
  • Check to assure anti-scald devices are functional
work item 10007 lp gas or fuel oil piping
Work Item 10007 – LP Gas or Fuel Oil Piping
  • This work item is for the complete replacement of a typical LP service from the tank to the building, including piping and fittings; the tank and regulators are a separate item, often buried, unlike the one shown here; unit of measure is linear feet
  • Existing gas piping may be hard or soft copper, black iron, polyethylene
  • May be rusted or corroded, or leaks may be suspected
  • Could also be used to cover fuel oil system
  • Typical service life – 30 Years

Using soapy water to check for leaks at the regulator

piping water and dwv
Piping – Water and DWV
  • Water pipe may be galvanized, copper, PVC, CPVC, polyethylene, polybutylene
  • Drain, waste and vent pipe may be cast iron, PVC or ABS
  • Usually lasts the life of the building unless it has frozen, or in the case of galvanized piping, corroded
  • Fixing leaks is normally immediately obvious and handled as O&M
  • Required plumbing work of this nature would be a custom work item
what to look for when inspecting hvac systems
What to Look for When Inspecting HVAC Systems
  • Furnaces and Heat Pump Air Handling Units
  • Condensing Units
  • Condensate Piping – Terminations
  • Refrigerant Piping
  • Filters
  • Circulation Pumps
  • Boilers
  • Chillers
  • Cooling Towers
  • Package Terminal Units
  • Unit Heaters
  • Ductwork – Cleaning
  • Duct Replacement
  • Registers
  • Controls
wi 11001 circulation pumps
Fractional horsepower up to about 3 hp, could also cover vacuum pumps, including controls

Note (water system pumps in pump houses are W&S, not Buildings)

Unit of measure is “each”

Often need better support, vibration mounts, isolation valves, flexible connections, disconnects nearby

Typical Life Expectancy – 20 Years

WI 11001 – Circulation Pumps
wi 11002 boiler replacement
May be cast iron, steel, copper fin, or condensing type from 200,000 up to about 2 million Btuh, oil or gas-fired

Unit of measure is “each”

Often need replacement to improve system efficiency

Typical life is 30 years

WI 11002 – Boiler Replacement
small boilers 150 mbtuh or less
Replacement of boilers up to about 150,000 Btuh are better represented by WI 10006 – Water heaters

Typical Life – 15 Years

Often need replacement to improve system efficiency – older boilers are @ 60%, condensing are 90+%

Unit of measure is “each”

Small Boilers (150 MBtuh or less)
wi 11003 cooling towers
This work item covers the complete removal and replacement of a worn out cooling tower and appurtenances

Unit of measure is “each”

Typically used in conjunction with a water-cooled chiller

Life expectancy – 15 years

WI 11003 – Cooling Towers
wi 11004 water cooled chiller
This item is for removal and replacement

Typically used in conjunction with a cooling tower, normally located indoors in a mechanical room

May be centrifugal, screw or piston and cylinder

Units with 60-100 tons of cooling capacity are common in our labs

Expected life is about 40 years

WI 11004 – Water-Cooled Chiller
wi 11005 air cooled chiller
This work item is similar to the one above, it is for removal and replacement of a worn out chiller

Unit of measure is “each”

Package units located outside on a pad or on the roof

Typical size for our labs is 70 - 100 tons of cooling capacity

Life expectancy – 15 years

WI 11005 – Air-Cooled Chiller
wi 11006 replace condensing unit
WI 11006 – Replace Condensing Unit
  • Residential and Light Commercial Units to 5 tons Cooling Capacity
  • May be required for energy efficiency and ozone-saving refrigerants
  • Typical Life Expectancy – 15 Years
  • Other common situations – inadequate clearance, not level, bent fins or guards, refrigerant pipe insulation damaged – if exposed to sun recommend white UV-coating.
larger condensing units
Larger Units like this up to perhaps 60 tons each are common at labs

Note the number to be replaced and the tonnage

Base on life expectancy of 15 years, similar to previous item

This is a custom work item

Larger Condensing Units
wi 11007 furnaces heat pump ahus
Includes electric, LP, fuel oil and natural gas furnaces, as well as water source and air-air heat pump blower coil units

Unit of measure is “each”

May need replacement to increase system efficiency

Typical life expectancy is about 15 years for heat pumps and 20 years for furnaces

WI 11007 – Furnaces, Heat Pump AHUs
wished they all looked like this
Wished they all looked like this!
  • Check condensate lines and

terminations to assure they are

clear; also check condensate

pumps. If gas check to assure

that ventilation has not been

blocked, where required, and

check to see if carbon

monoxide detectors are in

place. If not, note the need for

these detectors.

  • For water source units check

for visible leaks in piping. For

all units assure that filters are

accessible and are in place.

Mechanical Room in Bessey RD Office

wood heaters and wood stoves
Removal and replacement of wood heaters and wood stoves can be represented by WI #11007 as well

Free-standing, central system, wood, coal or pellets

Includes the unit as well as venting

Need to check to assure adequate clearance from combustibles

Wood Heaters and Wood Stoves
wi 11008 package terminal hvac unit
Item is for removal and replacement of worn out or inoperative units

Through-the-wall, gas-pak, hotel unit, rooftop, mounted in windows, or suspended from ceiling tiles

Vary a lot in efficiency

Unit of measure is “each”

Typical life expectancy is 10 years

WI 11008 – Package Terminal HVAC Unit

PTAC

PTAC

Ductless Split System Could Also Fit into this Category

wi 11009 unit heater
This item covers removal and replacement of unit heaters, may be electric or gas; could also include gas tube heaters as well

Unit of measure is “each”

Typical life expectancy – 15 years

WI 11009 – Unit Heater

Note: CO monitors should be in place if units are gas or oil fueled.

wi 12001 air compressors
This items is for removal and replacement of worn out air compressors permanently mounted to a building, not portable units

Unit of measure is “each”

Typical life expectancy – 25 years

WI 12001 – Air Compressors

Note: portable air compressors are personal property, not real. Also note, OSHA requires monthly checks on compressors.

wi 12002 elevators
WI 12002 – Elevators
  • This work item is for removal and

replacement of inoperative elevators

or lifts up to about 3 stories high, or for

installation of elevators in multi-floor

buildings where required

for accessibility.

  • Unit of measure is “each”.
  • Typical life expectancy –

50 years.

elevators
Elevators
  • Elevators require annual inspection by the state. Check to assure that tags are in place indicating that this is happening.
  • Might check to assure oil reservoirs and piping is not leaking.
  • Check to assure any phone lines are functional.
custom elevators
Custom Elevators
  • The elevator descending down a 216 deep shaft into Blanchard Springs Caverns on the Ozark NF would be a custom item
wi 12003 lab fume hoods
Item is for removal and replacement of worn out fume or inoperative fume hoods

Sashes may be worn out, inoperative, or could be needed to improve energy efficiency

Unit of measure – “each”

Typical life expectancy – 30 years

WI 12003 – Lab Fume Hoods

Note: OSHA requires annual inspection of face velocity and overall function – should be tagged indicate.

exhaust fans
Includes bathroom exhaust fans as well as exhaust fans in shop buildings, residential kitchen hoods, and fans in attics, warehouses, and garages

Use custom work item for these

Life expectancy – 10 years

Exhaust Fans

Typically guards are needed over fans such as this for safety sake. Sometimes they have been removed and never replaced again.

ductwork
Sheet metal ducts – galvanized or aluminum - usually last the life of the building

Insulation, duct cement and/or taping is often compromised, however

Flex-ducts may sag over the years if not well supported

Duct cleaning may be needed, especially in dirty and/or dusty environments

Ductwork

Flex-duct may collapse if not properly supported.

what to look for when inspecting electrical systems
What to Look for When Inspecting Electrical Systems
  • Transformers and Metering Equipment
  • Service Masts (pulling away from building)
  • Switchboards
  • Power and Lighting Panels
  • Disconnects
  • Conduit & Wiring
  • Light Fixtures
  • Emergency Light Fixtures, Exit Signs
  • Gensets
wi 13001 main service switchgear
This work item covers removal and replacement of obsolete or worn out metering and service equipment up to 1200 amps and 600 volts

Unit of measure is “each”

Typical situations are corroded or undersized equipment or fuses and breakers no longer available

Typical life expectancy, 20 years.

WI 13001 – Main Service Switchgear

Note: transformer not included.

wi 13002 disconnects
May be fused or non-fused, or enclosed circuit breakers (single CB in a cabinet)

Intended to serve a single piece of equipment

Should be within sight of the equipment they serve

Unit of measure is “each”

Normal service life – 25 years

WI 13002 – Disconnects
wi 13003 electrical panels
Removal and replacement of load centers or lighting and equipment panels, single or 3 phase up to 42 spaces, 400 ampere rating

May need replacement due to rust and corrosion, growth of load being served or obsolescence

Unit of measure – “each”

Typical life expectancy 30 years

WI 13003 – Electrical Panels
electrical panels
Check to assure knockouts are fitted with appropriate covers, not open

Check to assure circuits are properly labeled

After about 20 years electrical connections should be checked and re-tightened to the appropriate torque by a licensed electrician

If a thermography unit is available test to assure there are no hot spots in the unit

Electrical Panels
wi 13004 light fixtures
Removal and replacement of broken light fixtures, incandescent, fluorescent, HID, interior or exterior

Change-out may be needed to increase system efficiency, going from magnetic to electronic ballasts, for example

Unit of measure is “each”

Typical life expectancy is 20 years

WI 13004 – Light Fixtures
light fixtures
Look to assure the prismatic lenses are in place, not yellowed, wiring channel covers are in place, unlike this fixture

Many times missing guards need replacing for safety sake (O&M item)

Re-lamping is also an O&M item

Light Fixtures
wi 13005 emergency light fixtures
Includes removing and replacing obsolete or inoperative emergency light fixtures and exit signs

Fluorescent, LED or photo-luminescent

May need to replace to improve efficiency

Unit of measure is “each”

Typical life expectancy of 20 years

WI 13005 – Emergency Light Fixtures
wi 13006 fire security alarm system
Removal and replacement of obsolete or inoperative systems

You might discover that changes in occupancies like this that require fire alarms, smoke detectors, etc.

These systems should be tested during inspection

Unit of measure – “each system”

Typical system life – 20 years

WI 13006 – Fire/Security Alarm System
fire alarm system cont
Fire Alarm System (cont.)
  • The item covers the complete system, including control panels, fire alarms, smoke detectors, etc.
  • Combination fire alarm/burglar alarm systems are typical
wi 13007 lightning protection systems
Removal and replacement of complete system - lightning rods, down conductors, bonding clamps, grounding electrodes

Particularly important in rural/remote areas

Need NFPA 780 master label

Unit of measure – each system

Typical system life expectancy 25 years

WI 13007 – Lightning Protection Systems
lightning protection systems
Lightning Protection Systems
  • For protection of the structure, not the electronic equipment in it
  • Systems to protect electronic equipment from lightning surges is separate, and very expensive
  • NFPA 780 has a flow chart used to guide the decision whether or not this system is needed
  • Alternative systems (non-NFPA labeled) intended to prevent lightning strikes, etc.) are highly advertised, but are not proven to be effective, therefore are not recommended
wi 14001 fire sprinkler systems
Removal and replacement of inoperative systems, as well as installation of new systems where required

Fire sprinkler systems should strongly be considered to protect sleeping quarters, historic structures, etc.

Variety of NFPA standards apply – NFPA 13, 13D, 13R, 101, 914

Unit of measure is “per square feet” of floor space protected

Life expectancy is 40 years

WI 14001 – Fire Sprinkler Systems

Note: Existing systems should be checked to make sure they have been tested on a regular basis.

seedling coolers
Seedling coolers are composed of insulated housing and a packaged refrigeration unit

Most common need is for replacement of the refrigeration unit at about 15 years

Seedling Coolers

Note: out of the building, seedling coolers might be considered as personal, not real property.

fire towers
Fire towers have historically been used for spotting fires

Towers are often converted for recreation use or as historic displays

Typical maintenance issues relate to the structural components or to lightning protection and grounding

Fire Towers
greenhouses
Greenhouses
  • Greenhouse support systems typically last about 20 years
  • Glazing typically needs to be replaced after about 10 years
  • Record by square feet of glazing
  • Eventually we can build a cost history on items such as this
log structures
Log Structures
  • Look for rotten sills, sagging ridge beams, etc.
  • Usually involves extensive restoration work, which might be as much as the CRV
  • Life of log structures varies from 20 to 50 years depending upon climate

before

after

other required items to consider
Other Required Items to Consider
  • Item 15001 - ADA/ABA Mitigation
  • (Note: the interior accessibility portion is explained previously in the section on interiors; ramps are covered under Work Item 05002.)
  • Item 16001 - Lead-Based Paint and Asbestos Mitigation
  • Item 16002 - Environmental Mitigation
  • Custom work items are needed to cover this work, as there are no standard work items that can reasonably be used to represent them
other operations maintenance issues
Other Operations & Maintenance Issues
  • Termites
  • Rats, Mice, Vermin
  • Mold Damage
  • Fire Wise Maintenance
  • Hurricane Damage
  • Earthquake/Seismic Activity
  • Winter Damage
  • Building Demolition
protection from termites
Protection from Termites

Mud tube indicates infestation has occurred.

hanta virus
Need to be aware of this risk when entering buildings that have been shut up for winter, or which might be rodent infested

Bigger threat in the West

Visit medical.smis.doi.gov/ihtopics.smis.doi.gov.html and http://fsweb.mtdc.wo.fs.fed.us/toolbox/haz/hanta.htmfor additional info

Hanta Virus
mold prevention
Mold requires moisture and nutrition, such as cellulose in order to flourish

Best prevented by maintaining low humidity (less than 50%), repairing leaks in roofs & plumbing in a timely fashion

For more info visit http://www.unh.edu/ehs/pdf/OSHA-Mold-Recommendations.pdf or http://fsweb.wo.fs.fed.us/eng/programs/facilities/sus_green/mold.htm.

Mold Prevention
fire wise maintenance
Practices to prevent buildings from catching on fire

Example: Preventing combustibles from getting up against buildings

For more info visit: http://www.firewise.org/

Fire Wise Maintenance
winter issues
Ice & snow dam buildup on the roof – over entrances

Snow build up behind flues

Visit http://fsweb.mtdc.wo.fs.fed.us/snow_load/

for site-specific snow load information

Winter Issues
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