Bulletin 26: The Mechanical and Electrical Systems

The Mechanical and Electrical Systems comprise the following aspects:

  • Domestic hot and cold water supply
  • Soil and waste water management
  • Heating services
  • Ventilation services
  • Electrical power
  • Lighting
  • Integrated Audio/Visual (AV) and Information Technology (IT) services including telephone access
  • Fire Alarm and Security system

Each of these aspects will be described and discussed more fully in subsequent Bulletins but for now I will confine this Bulletin 26 to some general comments about the design philosophy behind the design of the M&E systems. The watch-word for the house systems is resilience. That is to say that as far as possible the house should not be stopped from being able to provide the essential services and levels of comfort because of a single equipment failure in any of the house systems. It has to be accepted that at some time equipment on which we rely will fail at some point either from some inherent failure mechanism or through simple wear and tear. For example if the house heating system were to rely on a single boiler the house would be deprived of any heating or hot water in the event that the boiler failed. In the depth of winter with high demand for boiler repair services my experience has been that this could extend for several days until the boiler could be repaired.  In the case that the boiler needs total replacement this could be even longer.  Imagine how disastrous this scenario could be  at the Christmas festive season with a house full of guests! Therefore if we are not going to be inconvenienced by equipment failures some form back-up system needs to be considered. In the case of the Ridge End replacement house design most of the systems have been duplicated in a “dual-redundant ” configuration in some instances with an automatic “fail-over” to the standby equipment to ensure resilient operation of the  house systems. This philosophy of resilient design has been employed through out the house, extending for example to the kitchen where multiple ovens and duplicate hobs have been included for both increased capacity and resilience in the event of an equipment failure.

The drawing pack for the M&E services are included as a set of pdf files in separate pages of the blog. The M&E services have been divided into a page for water, heating, ventilation and drainage services and a separate page for the electrical power, lighting, IT and A/V services. For those interested in following the descriptions of the various M&E services it might helpful to cross refer to these drawings from time to time.


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