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Appendix material, shown in shaded boxes at the bottom of the page, is advisory only.
Table 2.5-1
Hot Water Use—Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities
  Resident Care Areas Food Service Facilities Laundry Facilities
Liters per hour per bed1 11.9 7.2 7.6
Gallons per hour per bed1 3 2 2
Temperature (° C) 21 - <432 603 604
Temperature (° F) 70 - <1202 140 (min.)3 140 (min.)4
1Quantities indicated for design demand of hot water are for general reference minimums and shall not substitute for accepted engineering design procedures using actual number and types of fixtures to be installed. Design will also be affected by temperatures of cold water used for mixing, length of run and insulation relative to heat loss, etc. As an example, total quantity of hot water needed will be less when temperature available at the outlet is very nearly that of the source tank and the cold water used for tempering is relatively warm.
2The range represents the minimum and maximum allowable temperatures. Where sinks are used primarily for hand-washing and are served by a single pipe supplying tempered water, the tempered water shall not exceed 80° F (21° C).
3Provisions shall be made to provide 180° F (82° C) rinse water at warewasher (may be by separate booster) unless a chemical rinse is provided.
4Provisions shall be made to provide 160° F (71° C) hot water at the laundry equipment when needed. (This may be by steam jet or separate booster heater.) However, it is emphasized that this does not imply that all water used would be at this temperature. Water temperatures required for acceptable laundry results will vary according to type of cycle, time of operation, and formula of soap and bleach as well as type and degree of soil. Lower temperatures may be adequate for most procedures in many facilities but higher temperatures should be available when needed for special conditions. Minimum laundry temperatures are for central laundries only.
This chapter contains elements that are common to most types of residential health, care, and support facilities.
The elements are required only when referenced in the facility chapters in Part 3 (Residential Health Facilities), Part 4 (Residential Care and Support Facilities), and Part 5 (Non-Residential Support Facilities).
Additional specific requirements are located in the facility chapters in Parts 3, 4, and 5.
Facilities shall have building systems that are designed and installed in a manner that provides for the safety, comfort, and well-being of residents, participants, or outpatients.
The primary goal in building system design shall be to support resident, participant, and outpatient needs and/or operational functions. Energy consumption and efficiency shall be a secondary goal.
Table 2.5-2
Maximum Design Criteria for Noise in Interior Spaces Caused by Building Systems1
Room Type NC / RC(N) / RNC2,3,4 dBA
Resident room/dwelling unit 40 45
Medication room 35 40
Multiple occupant resident care area 45 50
Corridor, community space 45 50
Office, examination room 40 45
Conference room 35 40
Quiet room5 30 35
Community meeting room, auditorium 30 35
Communal dining room6 35 40
Natatorium 45 50
Medical or pharmacy waiting area7 40 45
1Additional spaces shall be added based on the building program.
2See the white paper "Sound & Vibration Design Guidelines for Health Care Facilities" at www.fgiguidelines.org/resources for a discussion of room noise rating criteria.
3One rating system shall be chosen to evaluate room noise levels, and noise from building mechanical systems shall be evaluated using that single rating system.
4Spaces shall be designed to fall below the maximum values shown in this table with no rattles or tonal characteristics.
5Also applies to private speech and hearing services rooms and private music therapy rooms.
6Kitchen ventilation noise shall be included in the overall sound level where the kitchen is open to the dining room.
7Refer to Section 1.2-4.5.5 (Privacy and Confidentiality) for HIPAA speech privacy information.
In the absence of local and state plumbing codes, all plumbing systems shall be designed and installed in accordance with the International Plumbing Code.
All piping, except control-line tubing, shall be identified.
  1. Systems shall be designed to supply water at pressures sufficient to operate all fixtures and equipment during maximum demand.
  2. Supply capacity for hot- and cold-water piping shall be determined on the basis of fixture units, using recognized engineering standards.
Each water service main, branch main, riser, and branch to a group of fixtures shall have valves.
  1. Stop valves shall be provided for each fixture.
  2. Access panels shall be provided at all valves where required.
  3. Valves shall be tagged, and a valve schedule shall be provided to the facility owner for permanent record and reference.
  1. Systems shall be protected against cross-connection in accordance with American Water Works Association (AWWA) Recommended Practice for Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control.
  2. Vacuum breakers or backflow prevention devices shall be installed on hose bibs and supply nozzles used to connect hoses or tubing to housekeeping sinks and, where used, to bedpan-flushing attachments.
Appendix Table A2.5-a
Maximum Length of Hot Water System Pipe or Tube
Nominal Pipe Size (in.) Liquid Ounces per Foot of Length Maximum Pipe or Tube Length (ft.)
System without Circulation Loop or Heat Traced Line System with Circulation Loop or Heat Traced Line Public Hand-Washing Station Faucets (metering and non-metering)
1/4 0.33 25 16 6
5/16 0.5 25 16 4
3/8 0.75 25 16 3
1/2 1.5 25 16 2
5/8 2 25 12 1
3/4 3 21 8 0.5
7/8 4 16 6 0.5
1 5 13 5 0.5
11/4 8 8 3 0.5
A2.5-2.2.3 Heated potable water distribution systems
  1. Legionella response. ASHRAE 188: Prevention of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems should be used when designing hot water systems.
  2. Design for efficient heated potable water distribution. Hot water distribution systems should be designed to deliver hot or tempered water in a reasonable time. Low-flow faucets, longer pipe runouts between a recirculated main and the fixture, and larger diameter pipes increase the time it takes to achieve desired temperatures. Given the water conservation benefits of low-flow faucets, designers should consider reducing the length of uncirculated runouts, reducing the pipe size, providing heat tracing for the runout, or using point-of-use water heaters. Following is a guide that may be used in designing a system based on delivery time.
    • —Design method. Hot and tempered water distribution systems should be designed using either the maximum pipe length or maximum pipe volume limits provided in this appendix section and in appendix table A2.5-a (Maximum Length of Hot Water System Pipe or Tube). For purposes of this discussion, references to pipe should also apply to tubing and the source of hot or tempered water is considered to be a water heater, boiler, circulation loop piping, or electrically heat-traced piping.
      • • Maximum allowable pipe length method. The maximum allowable pipe length from the source of hot or tempered water to the termination of the fixture supply pipe should be in accordance with the maximum pipe length columns in appendix table A2.5-a. Where the length contains piping of more than one size, the largest pipe size should be used to determine the maximum allowable pipe length in the table.
      • • Maximum allowable pipe volume method. The maximum volume of hot or tempered water in hot water distribution piping should be calculated in accordance with the guidance in the paragraph on water volume determination below. The maximum volume in piping to public hand-washing sinks, metering or non-metering, should be 2 ounces (0.06 L). For fixtures other than those at public hand-washing sinks, the maximum volume should be 64 ounces (1.89 L) for hot or tempered water from a water heater or boiler and 24 ounces (0.7 L) for hot or tempered water from a circulation loop pipe or an electrically heat-traced pipe.
    • —Water volume determination. The volume should be the sum of the internal volumes of pipe, fittings, valves, meters, and manifolds between the source of the hot water and the termination of the fixture supply pipe. The volume should be determined from the liquid ounces per foot column of appendix table A2.5-a. The volume contained in fixture shutoff valves, flexible water supply connectors to a fixture fitting, or a fixture fitting should not be included in the water volume determination. Where hot or tempered water is supplied by a circulation loop pipe or an electrically heat-traced pipe, the volume should include the portion of the fitting on the source pipe that supplies water to the fixture.
    • —Maximum flow rate. The maximum flow rate of fixtures should be limited to 0.5 gpm when connected to 1/4-inch piping, 1 gpm when connected to 5/16-inch piping, and 1.5 gpm when connected to 3/8-inch piping.
Provisions shall be included in the heated potable water distribution system to limit the amount of Legionella bacteria and other opportunistic waterborne pathogens.
Heated potable water distribution systems serving resident areas shall be under constant recirculation to provide continuous hot water at each hot water outlet or to provide alternative means for maintaining hot water.
  1. Non-recirculated fixture branch piping shall not exceed 25 feet (7.62 meters) in length.
  2. Alternative means shall be permitted to include the installation of instantaneous systems or another type of water heating system at point of use.
  1. Installation of dead-end piping (risers with no flow, branches with no fixture) shall not be permitted.
  2. In renovation projects, dead-end piping shall be removed.
  3. Installation of empty risers, mains, and branches installed for future use shall be permitted.
The water-heating system shall have supply capacity at the temperatures and amounts indicated in Table 2.5-1 (Hot Water Use—Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities). Storage of water at higher temperatures shall be permitted.
A2.5-2.2.3.4 Water temperature is measured at the point of use or inlet to the equipment.
For hand-washing sinks, water shall be permitted to be supplied at a constant temperature between 70° F and 80° F using a single-pipe supply.
A2.5-2.2.3.5 One way to limit the potential growth of Legionella in a heated potable water system is to distribute water at a temperature lower than 80°F (26.6°C) for hand-washing use. Water at this temperature may be warm enough to encourage good hand-washing practice but cooler than the ideal growth conditions for Legionella.
  1. Installation of exposed drainage piping or piping in the ceiling shall be avoided in food preparation centers, food service facilities, food storage areas, central services, electronic data processing areas, electric closets, and other sensitive areas.
  2. Where overhead drainage piping in these areas is unavoidable, provisions shall be made to protect the space below from leakage, condensation, and dust particles.
Where grease traps are used, they shall be located so they are easily accessible for cleaning.
A2.5-2.2.4.2 Kitchen grease traps. An exterior location with vehicular access is preferred for maintenance.
Building sewers shall discharge into community sewerage. Where such a system is not available, the facility shall treat its sewage in accordance with local and state regulations.
The material used for plumbing fixtures shall be non-absorptive and acid-resistant.
See Section 2.4-2.2.8 (Hand-Washing Stations) for requirements for incorporating a sink into a hand-washing station.
  1. Sinks used for hand-washing shall be designed with basins that reduce splashing.
  2. The nominal open area of the basin shall not be smaller than 144 square inches (929.03 square centimeters), with a minimum centerline dimension of 9 inches (58.06 centimeters) in width or length.
  3. Hand-washing sink basins shall be made of vitreous china, porcelain, stainless steel, or solid-surface materials.
Sink basins shall be installed so they fit tightly against the wall or countertop and are sealed to prevent leaks.
(1)  The water discharge point of a hand-washing sink faucet shall be at least 8.5 inches (21.59 centimeters) above the bottom of the basin for resident rooms/bathrooms and 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) above the bottom of the basin for all other locations.
(2)  Hand-washing sinks used by care and nursing staff and food service staff shall have fittings—including single-lever or wrist blade devices—that allow for hands-free operation.
(a)  Blade handles used for this purpose shall be at least 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) in length.
(b)  The location and arrangement of fittings shall provide the clearance required for operation of blade-type handles.
(3)  Sensor-regulated (electronic) faucets
(a)  Sensor-regulated faucets shall meet user need for temperature and for length of time water flows.
(b)  Electronic faucets shall be capable of functioning during loss of normal power.
(c)  Sensor-regulated faucets with manual temperature control shall be permitted.
*(4)  Anchorage. For hand-washing sinks, allowable stresses shall not be exceeded at any point on the sink where a vertical or horizontal force of 250 pounds (1112N) is applied. See Section 2.4-2.2.8.3 (Anchorage) for hand-washing station requirements.
A2.5-2.3.2.3 Faucets for residents with dementia. A single-lever faucet with mixer is recommended for residents with dementia to simplify the interface and avoid burns. This type of faucet should be provided in hand-washing sinks in resident rooms and dwelling units occupied by residents with dementia and in public toilet rooms accessible to these residents. Sensor-regulated faucets are not recommended for those with dementia because they find them confusing.
A2.5-2.3.2.3 (4) Anchorage. See ICC A117.1: Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities for more information.
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for requirements in addition to those in this section.
In resident bathrooms, bathrooms in dwelling units, and central bathing rooms or areas with accessible showers, the following requirements shall be met:
*(1)  A transition between flooring and the shower floor shall meet accessibility standards.
*(2)  The floor shall slope to the drain.
(3)  Fittings and faucets for showers shall be located within user reach to allow independent bathing as applicable to the level of assistance required by the resident, participant, or outpatient population.
A2.5-2.3.3.2 (1) Although accessibility standards allow varying floor heights, this has been found to be potentially detrimental to independent and safe use. Adjacent materials should be evaluated so that transitions are level and even.
A2.5-2.3.3.2 (2) Different types of drains have been found effective for this purpose, including trough drains. In addition, provision of rubber gaskets at the edge of prefabricated shower units have been found to successfully create a "dam" between the shower and the surrounding floor area.
Clinical sinks shall have an integral trap wherein the upper portion of the water trap provides a visible seal.
A dedicated sink or drain shall be provided for draining portable hydrotherapy whirlpools, or the hydrotherapy fixture shall be drained into a soiled utility fixture (e.g., a hopper or flushing-rim sink).
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for requirements.
*Table 2.5-3
Categorization of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound with Design Criteria for Sound Isolation of Exterior Shell in New Construction
Exterior Site Noise Exposure Category
   A B C D
General description Minimal Moderate Significant Extreme
For residential health and care facilities:
Outdoor day-night average sound level during (Ldn) (dBA)1
< 65 65-69 70-74 ≥ 75
For residential support facilities:
Outdoor average sound level during occupancy hours (Leq) (dBA)
< 65 65-69 70-74 ≥ 75
Outdoor average hourly nominal maximum sound level (L01)2(dBA) < 75 75-79 80-84 ≥ 85
Design Criteria for Sound Isolation of Exterior Shell in New Construction3
Minimum exterior shell composite sound transmission rating4,5,6 OITCc: 25
or
STCc: 35
OITCc: 30
or
STCc: 40
OITCc: 35
or
STCc: 45
OITCc: 40
or
STCc: 50
*Also see appendix table A2.5-b (Approximate Distance of Noise Sources for Use in Categorization of Health Care Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound).
1By definition, the day-night average sound level (Ldn) includes the A-weighting and nighttime penalty.
2L01 is the sound level exceeded 1 percent of the time.
3In the absence of a local code, emission of equipment sound to adjacent residential properties shall be considered. Exterior resident or patient seating areas are generally acceptable for Category A sites, marginally acceptable for Category B sites, generally not acceptable without special acoustic consideration for Category C sites, and generally not acceptable at all for Category D sites.
4The exterior shell composite ratings are for closed windows. Opening windows effectively reduces shell composite OITC or STC ratings to 10 to 15, depending on the amount windows are opened. Consideration shall be given to whether windows would be opened and for how long and under what circumstances, and the potential impact of open windows shall be identified in the design documentation.
5The exterior shell composite sound transmission ratings for interior spaces that are not acoustically sensitive (e.g., corridors, atriums, stairways) can be reduced by as much as 10 dB, but should be no less than OITCc 25 or STCc 35. Special consideration shall be given to interior spaces that are more sensitive to noise than a typical resident room (e.g., a teleconferencing space or an auditorium) that may require special consideration to determine an appropriate OITCc or STCc rating of the exterior facade.
6For rooms with a roof-ceiling assembly as part of the composite shell, the complete shell (including the roof) shall at least meet the requirements of the table in all cases. If there are significant sound sources above the roof level (such as aircraft or mechanical equipment on roofs) or if the roof is not flat so it is exposed to sounds from below, either the minimum composite OITC or STC of the complete shell (including the roof) shall be 5 points greater than shown in the table or the minimum composite OITC or STC of the roof-ceiling assembly itself shall be at least 10 points greater than shown in the table with the façade composite rating (walls and windows) meeting the minimum requirements in the table.
Appendix Table A2.5-b
Approximate Distance of Noise Sources for Use in Categorization of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound
Exterior Site Noise Exposure Category A B C D
General description Minimal Moderate Significant Extreme
Distance from nearest highway (ft.) > 1000 250-1000 60-249 < 60
Slant distance from nearest aircraft flight track (ft.) > 7000 3500-7000 1800-3499 < 1800
Distance from nearest rail line (ft.) > 1500 500-1500 100-499 < 100
Note: This table can be used to approximate noise impact on a residential health, care, or support facility based on very conceptual conditions. Actual sound levels at a site can vary dramatically based on traffic volume and frequency of use of the transportation system as well as topological conditions and other features out of the control of the design team or the facility. A more accurate assessment of a site's exterior noise exposure should be made either by performing a sound level survey for a period sufficient to properly characterize noise impacts or by using any number of transportation noise estimation tools, such as software models recognized by the federal government or the noise assessment guidelines in The Noise Guidebook published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Basic HVAC system requirements for residential health, care, and support facilities are defined in this section. See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for additional requirements.
A2.5-3.1.2 Humidity control. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55: Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy recommends 30-60 percent relative humidity for comfort. In cold or arid climates, achieving a relative humidity as high as 30 percent may not be practical.
The relationships between humidity and resident comfort and between humidity and resident outcomes (e.g., the influence of humidity on resident dehydration, dry skin, skin tears, skin breakdown, respiratory conditions) should be evaluated during the mechanical system design process.
For more information about humidification in elder care facilities, see Chapter 25, "Eldercare," by Lew Harriman, Geoff Brundrett, and Reinhold Kittler, in the ASHRAE Humidity Control Design Guide for Commercial and Institutional Buildings.
All occupied rooms and areas in the facility shall be designed to provide continuous ventilation.
Although natural ventilation (via operable windows) shall be permitted, mechanical ventilation shall be provided for all occupiable rooms and areas in the facility.
The mechanical system shall be subject to general review for operational efficiency and life cycle cost.
Recognized engineering procedures shall be followed for the most economical and effective results.
A2.5-3.2.1.1 A well-designed system can generally achieve energy efficiency with minimal additional cost and simultaneously provide resident comfort.
In no case shall resident comfort or safety be sacrificed for energy conservation.
A2.5-3.2.1.2 See ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2010: Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy for thermal comfort information.
Facility design consideration shall include site, building mass, orientation, fenestration, and other features relative to passive and active energy systems. See the following sections for additional information:
  1. Section 1.2-5.5 (Planning for Sustainability)
  2. Section 1.4-2.2 (Sustainable Design)
  3. Section 2.2-2 (Sustainable Design Criteria)
A2.5-3.2.1.3 Centralized air-handling systems should be designed with an economizer cycle in areas where it is appropriate to use outside air. See ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1: Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings or ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 90.2: Energy-Efficient Design of Low-Rise Residential Buildings for additional information. Resident needs and/or operational function should be evaluated as primary concerns and energy consumption and efficiency as secondary concerns.
It may be practical in some areas that include operable windows to reduce mechanical ventilation and use open windows for ventilation during appropriate climatic conditions as long as resident comfort needs can be met.
See Table 2.5-2 (Maximum Design Criteria for Noise in Interior Spaces Caused by Building Systems) for noise considerations.
Supply and return mains and risers for cooling, heating, and steam systems shall be equipped with valves to isolate the various sections of each system. Each piece of equipment shall have valves at the supply and return ends.
A2.5-3.2.4 Acoustic considerations for outdoor mechanical equipment. Outdoor mechanical equipment includes cooling towers, rooftop air handlers, exhaust fans, fans located inside buildings with openings on the outside of the building, and other equipment. Special acoustic considerations for the building envelope in residential health, care, or support facility areas near such equipment may be required to mitigate noise. The effects of mechanical equipment noise on adjacent properties should also be considered, with attention to adjacent land uses and jurisdictional noise limits.
For requirements for outdoor mechanical equipment and noise and vibration mitigation, see Section 2.5-8.2 (Site Exterior Noise) and Section 2.5-8.7 (Design Criteria for Building Vibration).
Outdoor mechanical equipment shall not produce sound that exceeds daytime and nighttime noise limits at neighboring properties as required by local ordinance.
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for any requirements in addition to those in this section for resident, participant, and outpatient areas and their support areas.
Rooms with fuel-fired equipment shall be provided with outdoor air to maintain equipment combustion rates and limit space temperatures.
Areas of refuge shall be heated or cooled as determined by the geographic location of the facility or setting.
If a facility requires a food preparation area, the following requirements shall apply:
Food preparation areas serving 30 or fewer residents shall be permitted to comply with requirements for kitchens adjacent to open corridors in NFPA 101: Life Safety Code.
Commercial food service kitchens shall have ventilation systems with air supply mechanisms interfaced with exhaust hood controls or relief vents so that exfiltration or infiltration to or from exit corridors does not compromise the following:
  1. Exit corridor restrictions of NFPA 90A: Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems
  2. Pressure requirements of NFPA 96: Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations
  3. Requirements for food preparation areas open to corridors in NFPA 101
  4. Ventilation requirements, including total air changes per hour to provide makeup air to kitchen exhaust systems, as specified in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 154: Ventilation for Commercial Cooking Operations
Exhaust hoods handling grease-laden vapors in commercial food service kitchens shall comply with the following:
  1. NFPA 96
  2. NFPA 101
See the following documents for requirements in addition to the requirements in this section.
NFPA 255: Standard Method of Test of Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials
NFPA 101: Life Safety Code
  1. Insulation shall be provided in the building to conserve energy, protect personnel, and prevent vapor condensation.
  2. Existing accessible insulation in identified areas of work shall be inspected, repaired, and/or replaced in compliance with current code requirements.
  1. Insulation on cold surfaces (e.g., equipment, pipes, ductwork) shall include an exterior vapor barrier.
  2. A separate vapor barrier shall not be required for material that will not absorb or transmit moisture.
See Section 2.5-8 (Acoustic Design Systems) for requirements.
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for requirements in addition to those in this section.
A2.5-3.5.2 HVAC ductwork. HVAC zones should be coordinated with smoke compartments insofar as practical to minimize the need to penetrate fire and smoke barriers.
If humidification is provided, the following requirements shall be met:
  1. Where duct humidifiers are located upstream of the final filters, the humidifiers shall be placed at least twice the rated distance for full moisture absorption upstream of the final filters.
  2. Ductwork with duct-mounted humidifiers shall have a means of water removal.
  3. Humidifiers shall be connected to airflow proving switches that prevent humidification unless the required volume of airflow is present or high-limit humidistats are provided.
  4. All duct takeoffs shall be sufficiently downstream of the humidifier to ensure complete moisture absorption.
  5. Steam humidifiers shall be used. Use of reservoir-type water spray or evaporative pan humidifiers shall not be permitted.
A2.5-3.5.2.1 Duct humidifiers. One way to achieve basic humidification may be by a steam-jacketed manifold-type humidifier with a condensate separator that delivers high-quality steam. Additional booster humidification (if required) should be provided by steam-jacketed humidifiers for each individually controlled area. Steam to be used for humidification may be generated in a separate steam generator. The steam generator feedwater may be supplied either from soft or reverse osmosis water. Provisions should be made for periodic cleaning.
To enhance the efficiency of recovery devices required for energy conservation, combined exhaust systems shall be permitted.
Fans serving exhaust systems shall be located at the discharge end and shall be readily serviceable.
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for requirements.
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for requirements in addition to those in this section.
A2.5-3.7.2 Individual temperature controls should be provided for resident sleeping rooms.
These rooms, such as laundries or computer rooms, shall be mechanically or naturally ventilated.
*Table 2.5-4
Minimum Design Room Sound Absorption Coefficients (ᾱ)
Space1,2 Design Coefficient3
Corridor (public corridor in resident care areas) 0.20
Medication rooms 0.20
Multiple occupant resident care and activity areas 0.20
Quiet room4 0.20
Office 0.15
Examination room 0.15
Natatorium 0.10
Dining room with more than 50 occupants -5
1Additional spaces shall be added based on requirements in the functional program.
2If an acoustic finish is attached using mechanical means, that surface is considered permanent.
3Use the noise reduction coefficient (NRC) rating for estimating the design room-average sound absorption coefficient when using this table.
4Also applies to private speech and hearing services rooms and private music therapy rooms.
5Design for a minimum of 17 square feet (1.58 square meters) of floor area per person at full occupancy and an equivalent 17 square feet of (1.58 square meters) acoustic finishes with an NRC of 0.80 or higher per person at full occupancy.
Appendix to Table 2.5-4
Minimum design room sound absorption coefficients for a single or multi-bed/multi-occupancy resident room should be 0.20 for a room when furnished and 0.10 for a room when not furnished.
All electrical material and equipment, including conductors, controls, and signaling devices, shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 70: National Electrical Code.
All electrical installations and systems shall be tested to verify that equipment has been installed and operates as designed.
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for requirements.
Convenience duplex outlets shall be provided as follows:
A2.5-4.3.1 Height and location for receptacles should be evaluated based on the population being served. Receptacles available for residents to charge resident-operated mobility devices should be placed at a height above the finished floor easy for residents to access.
Duplex-grounded receptacles for general use shall be installed a maximum of 50 feet (15.24 meters) apart in all corridors and within 25 feet (7.62 meters) of corridor ends.
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 and 4 for requirements.
Where an essential electrical system is provided, electrical receptacle cover plates or electrical receptacles supplied from the essential electrical system shall be distinctively colored or marked for identification.
If color is used for identification purposes, the same color shall be used throughout the facility.
Ground-fault interrupters shall comply with NFPA 70: National Electrical Code.
Where ventilators are used in a residential health, care, or support facility or setting, battery backup and/or other essential electrical system backup shall be provided.
Where ventilators are used in a facility or setting that has essential electrical power, the following requirements shall be met:
This paragraph shall apply to both new and existing facilities serving ventilator-dependent residents.
  1. A minimum of one dedicated essential electrical system circuit per bed for ventilator-dependent residents shall be provided in addition to the normal system receptacles at each bed location required by NFPA 70. This circuit shall be provided with a minimum of two duplex receptacles identified for emergency use.
  2. Additional essential electrical system circuits and receptacles shall be provided where the electrical life support needs of the resident exceed the minimum requirements stated in this paragraph.
  1. Heating equipment provided for ventilator-dependent resident rooms shall be connected to the essential electrical system.
  2. Task lighting connected to the essential electrical system shall be provided for each ventilator-dependent resident room.
Table 2.5-5
Design Criteria for Minimum Sound Isolation Performance Between Enclosed Rooms1
Adjacency Combination STCc2,3
Resident room/dwelling unit Resident room/dwelling unit 454
Resident room/dwelling unit Corridor (with entrance) 355
Resident room/dwelling unit Community space 50
Resident room/dwelling unit Service area 606
Examination room Corridor (with entrance) 355
Examination room Multiple-occupant resident care and activity areas or public corridor 507
Toilet room Multiple-occupant resident care and activity areas or public corridor 45
Care consultation room Multiple-occupant resident care and activity areas or public corridor 507
Care consultation room Resident room/dwelling unit 50
Care consultation room Corridor (with entrance) 355
1Additional spaces shall be added based on the building program.
2The STC values stated assume the need for normal speech privacy (except at corridor walls with doors), assuming a background sound level of at least 30 dBA. When selecting assemblies based on their tested or published STC ratings, it should be noted that STC test reports can, in general, be considered accurate to +/- 2 STC points. Consequently, an assembly with a tested or published STC rating as low as 2 points below the stated minimum may be considered acceptable.
3A test of the in-situ construction for the building at hand to determine the apparent sound transmission class (ASTC) or field sound transmission class (FSTC) can be up to 5 points lower than the STC rating. ASTC and FSTC ratings shall not be substituted for STC ratings during the design stage.
4In cases where greater speech privacy is required between resident rooms when both resident room doors to the connecting corridor are closed, the wall performance requirement shall be STC 50.
5This is the performance required for the partition excluding the door. Note that sound isolation in these instances will be limited by the door's performance (e.g., STC 20 for a close-fitted 5 psf door). Doors are not required to be sound sealed to maintain the STC rating, although a facility may choose to do so for specialty resident environments such as bereavement rooms, consultation rooms, etc.
6Relaxation of STC 60 ratings shall be permitted if compliance with room noise requirements is achieved with lower performance constructions. See Table 2.5-2 (Maximum Design Criteria for Noise in Interior Spaces Caused by Building Systems).
7Also applies to private speech and hearing services rooms and private music therapy rooms.
  1. Where resident monitoring via camera is provided, family members should be able to turn off power for personal privacy.
  2. Provision of an in-room computer or integration of the audiovisual system with a television screen should be considered to allow remote resident/family interaction.
Requirements for call systems, information systems, and telecommunication systems shall be based on the care population and provided in accordance with requirements in the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5.
A central location and/or decentralized location(s) for communications systems equipment shall be provided based on the care model.
Communications system equipment locations shall be permitted to house both communications system equipment and electronic safety and security equipment. See Section 2.5-6.2.2 (Locations for Safety and Security Equipment).
Locations for terminating telecommunication and information system devices shall be provided unless wireless systems are used.
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for requirements.
  1. The technology equipment room shall house the main networking equipment, servers, and data storage devices that serve the building.
  2. Telephone equipment shall be permitted to be included in the main technology equipment room.
A2.5-5.3.1.1 Technology equipment room. This room is the core of the information and technology system and of the communications system for a residential health, care, or support facility. The room should be environmentally controlled, have a power-conditioned electrical supply, and be fire-protected. It must be a locked space with limited access.
Each residential health, care, or support facility shall have at least one main technology equipment room and additional teledata rooms or closets as necessary to accommodate the systems used in the facility or setting.
A2.5-5.3.2 Technology equipment room size. The actual size requirements for a technology equipment and teledata room should be clearly defined. A growth factor appropriate to the needs of the facility as recommended by industry organizations such as Building Industry Consulting Services International or the Telecommunications Industry Association should be factored into the size of the room.
The technology equipment room shall be sized to accommodate the number of racks needed for anticipated servers, networking, and storage.
The technology equipment room shall be sized to provide clearances to meet service requirements for the equipment that will be housed there.
A2.5-5.3.3 Technology equipment room location and access
  1. The technology equipment room should be located or designed to avoid vibration from mechanical equipment or other sources.
  2. Technology equipment room location and access should allow for expansion in at least one direction. Locations that are restricted by building components that limit future expansion (e.g., elevators, building structural elements, kitchens, central energy plants, outside walls, other fixed building walls) should be avoided.
  3. Accessibility should be provided for the delivery of supplies and equipment to the space.
The technology equipment room shall be located above any floodplains and, in multi-story buildings, below the top level of the facility to deter water damage to the equipment from outside sources (e.g., leaks from the roof or flood damage).
In areas prone to hurricanes or tornados, the technology equipment room shall be located away from exterior curtain walls to prevent wind and water damage.
The technology equipment room shall be located a minimum of 12 feet (3.66 meters) from any transformer, motors, induction heaters, radio and radar systems, and other sources of electromagnetic interference.
Mechanical and electrical equipment or fixtures that are not directly related to the support of the technology equipment room shall not be installed in, pass through, or enter the room.
All computer and networking equipment shall be served by uninterruptible power supply.
All circuits serving the equipment in the technology equipment room shall be dedicated to serving the technology equipment room only.
Cooling and heating shall be provided for technology equipment and data room(s).
  1. Cooling systems serving the technology equipment room shall be supplied by the essential electrical system.
  2. Temperature control systems in technology equipment room(s) shall be designed to maintain environmental conditions recommended in ASHRAE's Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments or the requirements for the specific equipment installed.
Grounding, bonding, and electrical protection shall meet the requirements of NFPA 70 and TIA 607: Commercial Building Grounding (Earthing) and Bonding Requirements for Telecommunications.
The telecommunications grounding bus (TGB) bar shall be drilled with holes according to National Electrical Manufacturing Association standards to accommodate bolted compression fittings.
All racks, cabinets, sections of cable tray, and metal components of the technology system that do not carry electrical current shall be grounded to this bus bar.
TGB bars shall be connected by a backbone of insulated, #6 (minimum) to 3/0 AWG stranded copper cable between all technology rooms.
Pathways and raceways distributing cabling between teledata rooms shall be enclosed in conduit for protection from damage.
Table 2.5-6
Design Criteria for Speech Privacy for Enclosed Rooms and Open-Plan Spaces1,2
Level Metrics
Speech Privacy—Closed Plan PI AI SII SPC
Secure N/A N/A N/A ≥70
Confidential ≥95% ≤0.05 ≤0.10 60-69
Normal 80-94% 0.06-0.20 0.11-0.25 52-59
Defining Standard ASTM E1130 ASTM E1130 ANSI S3.5 ASTM E2638
Speech Privacy—Open Plan PI AI Sll SPC
Confidential2 Special consideration required.3
Normal 80-94% 0.06-0.20 0.11-0.25 52-59
Marginal 60-79% 0.21-0.40 0.26-0.45 45-51
Defining Standard: ASTM E1130 ASTM E1130 ANSI S3.5 ASTM E2638
Note: See appendix section A2.5-8.6 (Speech privacy) for explanation of AI, SII, SPC, and PI.
1The indicated AI and SII values shall be considered the maximum accepted values. The indicated PI and SPC values shall be considered the minimum accepted values.
2Equivalence among these metrics, as indicated, has been demonstrated. However, some of these metrics may not be suitable for a particular space. The referenced standards indicate that PI and AI are appropriate for use in open plan spaces, and that SPC is appropriate for closed plan spaces. The referenced standard for SII indicates that SII may be used for either type.
3Confidential speech privacy is not readily achievable in open-plan spaces due to the lack of barriers, low ambient sound levels, and typical voice effort.
Evaluation of the type of safety and security systems shall be completed and implemented based on the care population being served and the demographics of the project location.
Access control technology shall be used to help provide a safe environment for residents, visitors, and staff. See Section 1.2-3.7 (Security Risk Assessment) for information on using the safety risk assessment to identify locations where access control is needed.
A2.5-6.2.1 Safety and security system equipment. Consider use of security cameras, remote lock access, intercoms, adequate lighting, security alarms, and other types of security equipment to provide a safe environment. In particular, use of camera monitoring equipment in centralized medication preparation areas and in corridors to/from the outside should be considered based on the care population.
  1. A central location for safety and security equipment shall be provided.
  2. Safety and security equipment shall be permitted to be located with teledata communications equipment. See Section 2.5-5.1.2 (Communications System Equipment Requirements) for additional requirements.
Locations for terminating safety and security system devices shall be provided.
Fire alarm and detection systems shall be provided in compliance with NFPA 101: Life Safety Code and NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
Parking lots, approaches to buildings, and all occupied spaces in buildings shall be wired and provided with lighting equipment.
A2.5-7.1.2 Lighting design
  1. Additional lighting quality issues to consider include the following:
    • —Color rendering properties should be addressed in lamp selection.
    • —Finish selection should address light reflectance values in conjunction with lamp selection.
  2. Other lighting design practices developed by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and described in ANSI/IES RP-28: Lighting and the Visual Environment for Seniors and the Low Vision Population should be considered.
Lighting shall be designed to meet the needs of occupants in specific spaces. See Section 1.2-5.1 (Lighting Planning) for requirements.
Unless alternative lighting levels are justified by the functional program, minimum maintained illuminance recommendations in ANSI/IES RP-28: Lighting and the Visual Environment for Seniors and the Low Vision Population shall be used as the minimum required ambient and task lighting levels in all rooms, spaces, and exterior walkways.
Means shall be provided for controlling light levels to suit space use and availability of daylight.
Glare from all light sources shall be minimized.
(1)  Daylight shall be controlled and diffused to minimize glare.
*(2)  Artificial lighting sources shall be indirect, concealed, or diffused to minimize glare.
A2.5-7.1.2.4 (2) Avoiding glare from artificial lighting. Lighting that creates glare because the bright light source is visible should be avoided since glare is detrimental to visual acuity. Indirect lighting is most effective in residential care and support facilities since the light source is entirely hidden from view. See appendix section A2.5-7.3.2 (Lighting in transition spaces) for additional information.
The combination of connected lighting equipment shall not produce flickering from ballast/drivers/dimmers and light sources.
A2.5-7.2 Daylighting. Because residents benefit from the higher light levels and color associated with daylight, daylighting should be provided in resident living areas. The following are recommended:
  1. Windows and skylights should be used to minimize the need for artificial light and to allow residents, participants, and outpatients to experience the natural daylight cycle. High levels of light are required to entrain circadian rhythms and boost serotonin levels, reducing depression, the need for pain medication, and morbidity. While natural light is the best source for balancing circadian rhythms, artificial light can be used to stimulate the circadian system when natural light cannot be provided.
  2. In spaces where windows cannot provide higher light levels and/or where skylights are not practical, consider providing faux skylights with artificial light sources.
Dining, recreation/lounge, and activity areas for daytime use shall have glazing for daylight and views to the outdoors.
A2.5-7.2.1 Light shelves, diffused skylights, and other daylighting techniques may be used to balance the daylight in a space.
Translucent shades, sheers, blinds, or other window treatments shall be provided to control brightness and reduce glare.
A2.5-7.2.2 Glare or brightness from windows can reduce visual acuity or even disorient elders. Where windows are placed at the ends of corridors, the brightness of daylight and glare should be mitigated through building orientation or adjustable window coverings. Windows and shades that can be controlled by occupants and daylight-enhancing features such as atriums improve satisfaction, mood, and task performance.
Light fixtures in wet areas (e.g., kitchens, showers) shall be vapor resistant and have cleanable, shatter-resistant lenses and no exposed lamps.
A2.5-7.3.1 Light fixtures. Care should be taken to avoid injury from light fixtures. Light sources that may burn residents, participants, or outpatients or ignite window coverings, clothing, or other flammable items by direct contact should be covered or protected.
See chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for requirements.
A2.5-7.3.2 Lighting in transition spaces
  1. Substantial differences in lighting levels between exterior and interior spaces at transition points (e.g., from exterior parking lots and building entrances to lobbies and corridors) should be avoided.
  2. The pupil of the eye becomes smaller and less elastic as the eye ages, slowing visual adaptation from brighter to darker spaces. In daytime, indoor light levels at entry points need to be high, while at night higher exterior light levels are needed to minimize differences between indoor and outdoor light levels.
  3. Upon entering a space with a considerably lower light level, older adults may need to stop or move to one side of the walkway until their eyes adapt to the change in light level. Therefore, seating areas should be placed in lobbies or corridors where residents may wait for their eyes to adjust.
See Section 1.2-5.2 (Acoustic Planning) for planning requirements.
A2.5-8.2 Site exterior noise. The requirements in this section provide a means for screening sites to determine which exterior wall/window assemblies are suitable to address site noise. They are not intended to be used as a means to qualify the suitability of a site with respect to environmental noise exposure.
Examples of noise sources that should be controlled include the facility's power plant, HVAC equipment, and emergency generators. Examples of noise sources a facility cannot control include highways, rail lines, airports, and general urban, industrial, and public service equipment and activities.
Planning and design of new facilities and retrofitting of existing facilities shall include due consideration of all existing exterior noise sources that may be transmitted from outside a building to its interior through the exterior shell (exterior walls, windows, doors, roofs, ventilation openings, other shell penetrations).
A2.5-8.2.1 Future exterior noise sources. Residential health, care, and support facility design should consider potential future noise source development in the vicinity of the project, such as the construction of highways, airports, or rail lines.
Planning and design shall include consideration of sound emissions from facility noise sources that reach nearby residences and other sensitive receptors.
A2.5-8.2.2 Facility noise source emissions. Sound from exterior facility equipment can be controlled to achieve acceptable sound levels inside facility spaces and at neighboring receptors by siting noise sources and receptors to take advantage of distance, orientation, and shielding. Sound from exterior facility equipment can also be controlled by selecting quiet equipment and making use of noise control equipment such as silencers and barriers.
A2.5-8.2.3 Exterior noise classifications. The facility site should be classified into one of the noise exposure categories in Table 2.5-3 (Categorization of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facility Site by Exterior Ambient Sound with Design Criteria for Sound Isolation of Exterior Shell in New Construction) by means of exterior site observations or a sound-level monitoring survey and knowledge of confirmed new noise sources to be included in the design of the facility. Further information for classifying sites according to exterior noise can be found in appendix table A2.5-b (Approximate Distance of Noise Sources for Use in Categorization of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound).
  1. The sound levels for noise exposure categories A through D provided in Table 2.5-3 and appendix table A2.5-b should be used to evaluate required building envelope sound isolation and may differ from other such categorizations of community noise made elsewhere in this document.
    Category A—Minimal environmental sound. As typified by a rural or quiet suburban neighborhood with ambient sound suitable for single-family residences, sound produced by transportation (e.g., highways, aircraft, trains) or industrial activity may occasionally be audible but is only a minor feature of the acoustic environment.
    Category B—Moderate environmental sound. As typified by a busy suburban neighborhood with ambient sound suitable for multifamily residences, sound produced by transportation or industrial activity is clearly audible and may at times dominate the environment but is not loud enough to interfere with normal conversation outdoors.
    Category C—Significant environmental sound. As typified by a commercial urban location, possibly with some large apartment buildings, sound produced by transportation or industrial activity dominates the environment and often interferes with normal conversation outdoors.
    Category D—Extreme environmental sound. As typified by a commercial urban location immediately adjacent to transportation or industrial activities, sound nearly always interferes with normal conversation outdoors.
  2. Environmental noise on Category B, C, and D sites generally may be evaluated using the methods given for documenting site ambient sound levels using continuous sound monitoring over a minimum one-week period in ANSI/ASA S12.9: Quantities and Procedures for Description and Measurement of Environmental Sound, Part 2:"Measurement of Long-Term, Wide-Area Sound."This information should be used to determine detailed environmental noise control requirements for building design. Sites where ambient sound is influenced by airport operations may require additional monitoring as suggested in the ANSI standard to account for weather-related variations in aircraft sound exposure on site. In lieu of performing such additional monitoring, aircraft sound level contours available from the airport, if available, should be used to determine the day-night average sound level on site produced by nearby aircraft operations. Sound-level monitoring on-site still will be needed to determine sound levels produced by other sources.
  3. Table 2.5-3 (Categorization of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facility Site by Exterior Ambient Sound with Design Criteria for Sound Isolation of Exterior Shell in New Construction) and appendix table A2.5-b (Approximate Distance of Noise Sources for Use in Categorization of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound) present general descriptions for exterior sound exposure categories A through D, including distance from major transportation noise sources, ambient sound levels produced by other sound sources, and corresponding design goals for the sound isolation performance of the exterior building shell.
    The outdoor sound levels, expressed as A-weighted day-night average sound levels, are provided in the context of exterior building shell design. Outdoor resident areas may require lower sound levels, typically not exceeding a day-night average level of 50 dB. To achieve this may require accommodations such as exterior noise barriers or location of outdoor areas where the building structures provide shielding from noise sources.
  4. The requirements in Table 2.5-3 will result, in most cases, in interior sound levels due to exterior sound of day-night average sound level (Ldn) 45 dBA. Actual results will vary depending on how well the sound-blocking ability of the shell at various frequencies matches the sound spectrum of the outdoor sound and other factors such as area of the exposed façade and absorption in the room.
    Some rooms require lower sound levels, such as assembly spaces, resident bedrooms, clinical spaces, quiet rooms, and similar noise-sensitive rooms. These room types should be evaluated carefully to reduce the contribution of outdoor noises transmitted inside while also considering the noise levels from the building systems (see Table 2.5-2: Maximum Design Criteria for Noise in Interior Spaces Caused by Building Systems). Assemblies meeting the minimum OITCc requirement typically will provide lower interior noise levels when the outdoor sound is dominated by sources with strong low-frequency sound (e.g., locomotives or slow-moving heavy trucks). Assemblies meeting the minimum STCc requirement typically provide lower interior noise levels when strong low-frequency sound is not present.
    More detailed evaluation should be considered to identify which sound isolation rating (OITCc or STCc) is preferred to meet the exterior shell acoustic requirements and potentially provide a more cost-effective design.
Exterior noise classifications shall be used to identify the degree of sound attenuation required in the building facade due to the sources of exterior noise, including sources being added by the facility. Exterior site noise exposure categories shall be as identified in Table 2.5-3 (Categorization of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound with Design Criteria for Sound Isolation of Exterior Shell in New Construction).
The building façade's sound isolation performance shall depend on the site classification and shall comply with minimum exterior shell composite sound transmission ratings, either OITCc or STCc, as shown in Table 2.5-3 (Categorization of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound with Design Criteria for Exterior Shell in New Construction).
Facility spaces identified in Table 2.5-4 (Minimum Design Room Sound Absorption Coefficients) shall incorporate permanent acoustic finishes that achieve design room-average sound absorption coefficients.
A2.5-8.3 Design criteria for acoustic finishes
  1. Reduction of commercial kitchen noise propagation into dining rooms is important for improved occupant speech communication and resident comfort in the dining area. If the local code allows, consider installing sound-absorbing ceilings made for food service areas in the kitchen to reduce some of the noise.
  2. For large resident dining rooms (occupancy greater than 50), research and experience has shown that use of carpeting, table sizes of six or smaller, and provision of at least 20 square feet of NRC 0.80 or equivalent acoustic absorption per person at full occupancy yield a preferred environment for resident comfort and ease of speech communication. For rooms with high ceilings, the walls above 9 feet should receive acoustic finishes.
Room noise levels caused by HVAC and other building systems shall not exceed the maximum values shown in Table 2.5-2 (Maximum Design Criteria for Noise in Interior Spaces Caused by Building Systems).
A2.5-8.4.1 Design criteria for room noise levels
  1. For circumstances in which hearing-impaired populations may have difficulty hearing or communicating, consider designing the maximum background sound level at least 5 points/dBA lower than values shown in Table 2.5-2 (Maximum Design Criteria for Noise in Interior Spaces Caused by Building Systems). Historically, background sound level recommendations have been formulated for populations with normal hearing. Research indicates that hearing-impaired populations have trouble hearing and understanding in noisy environments, which can lead to decreased socialization and increased isolation of the resident.
  2. Kitchen equipment can add to the background sound level in the dining space for open kitchen designs, cafeteria-style designs, drink stations, and serving areas in the dining space. Use quiet kitchen equipment and/or sound-isolate the kitchen from the dining room. For example, serving equipment such as buffet and salad bars may be purchased as quiet equipment or have sound-blocking enclosures compatible with equipment operation and warranties; drink stations used by staff may be located behind full-height partitions; and resident-accessible drink stations may use partial sound enclosures designed for noise reduction.
Room noise levels shall be determined for unoccupied rooms (e.g., without operating medical equipment).
Sound isolation shall be considered for all occupied spaces adjacent to construction activities.
The composite sound transmission class (STC) rating of demising wall assemblies shall not be less than the ratings indicated in Table 2.5-5 (Design Criteria for Minimum Sound Isolation Performance Between Enclosed Rooms).
A2.5-8.5.2 Demising wall assemblies
  1. A "demising wall assembly" is a wall assembly that separates one occupied space from another occupied space or from a corridor. Partitions in an occupied space are non-demising partitions. For example, the wall between two resident rooms is demising, but the partition in a resident room that encloses the bathroom for that room is non-demising.
  2. Appropriate steps should be taken to assure the composite STC performance of demising wall assemblies as stated in Table 2.5-5 (Design Criteria for Minimum Sound Isolation Performance Between Enclosed Rooms) is achieved after consideration of perimeter leaks due to lack of sealing, flanking due to continuous surfaces extending from one room to the other, sound passing through a plenum above a wall, or penetrations in the wall or ceiling. Particular attention should be given to intersection and sealing details of demising wall assemblies.
Designated spaces in which protected health information is conveyed shall be designed to meet speech privacy goals using one of the four speech privacy rating methods as shown in Table 2.5-6 (Design Criteria for Speech Privacy for Enclosed Rooms and Open-Plan Spaces).
A2.5-8.6 Speech privacy. Federal legislation requires that facilities protect resident, participant, and patient information privacy. This includes speech privacy in all residential health, care, or support facilities wherever resident, participant, or patient health information is discussed, whether between staff, on the telephone, or during dictation.
  1. Methods for determining speech privacy. Select only one of the metrics in Table 2.5-6 (Design Criteria for Speech Privacy for Enclosed Rooms and Open-Plan Spaces) for determining speech privacy in closed- and open-plan settings. Examples of closed-plan settings are staff private offices, conference rooms, examination rooms, and single-resident rooms. Examples of open-plan settings are waiting areas, reception areas, and staff open (not fully enclosed) offices.
    All four metrics in Table 2.5-6 define speech privacy in terms of the intelligibility of speech from the transmitted speech signal compared to the continuous background sound at a receptor position. The choice and use of the selected metric should be made by qualified, experienced professionals.
    • —Criteria for the AI (Articulation Index) metric are defined in ASTM E1130: Standard Test Method for Objective Measurement of Speech Privacy in Open Plan Spaces Using Articulation Index.
    • —Criteria for the SII (Speech Intelligibility Index) metric are defined in ANSI/ASA S3.5: Methods for Calculation of the Speech Intelligibility Index.
    • —Criteria for the SPC (Speech Privacy Class) metric are defined in ASTM E2638: Standard Test Method for Objective Measurement of the Speech Privacy Provided by a Closed Room and "ASTM Metrics for Rating Speech Privacy of Closed Rooms and Open Plan Spaces," an article from the September 2011 edition of Canadian Acoustics, the journal of the Canadian Acoustical Association.
    • —Criteria for the PI (Privacy Index) metric for converting AI values into percentages are defined in ASTM E1130: Standard Test Method for Objective Measurement of Speech Privacy in Open Plan Spaces Using Articulation Index.
  2. Speech privacy in open-plan spaces. People working in open-plan spaces are most productive when distraction from voices, equipment, etc. is minimal. Therefore, the acoustic environment should be designed to minimize such distractions. One option for achieving speech privacy in open-plan spaces is provision of a private room where confidential conversations may take place.
A2.5-8.7 Building vibration
  1. Building vibration refers to vibration produced by building equipment and activities, not vibration produced by earthquakes.
  2. Vibration levels to which occupants are exposed should not exceed those in ANSI/ASA S2.71: Guide to the Evaluation of Human Exposure to Vibration in Buildings.
  3. Vibration produced by building mechanical, plumbing, and electrical equipment; footfalls, and medical equipment should be considered in facility design.
Seismic restraint covered elsewhere in the Guidelines shall be compatible with vibration isolation methods covered in this section.
Vibration levels in the building shall not exceed applicable guidelines and limits outlined in this section.
  1. All fixed building equipment that rotates or vibrates shall be considered for vibration isolation.
  2. Equipment bases, isolators, and isolator static deflections shall be selected based on the proximity of the supported equipment to vibration and noise sensitive areas, structural design of the facility, and type and operating point. The types of bases, isolators and isolator static deflections chosen shall consider the recommendations in the ASHRAE Handbook—HVAC Applications. More stringent requirements shall be considered for equipment impacting sensitive areas.
*(1)  Impact insulation class ratings of floor-ceiling assemblies between dwelling units or between a dwelling unit and a public or service area above it shall be considered in the design.
(2)  Where medical or laboratory instrumentation is used in a residential health, care, or support setting, more stringent vibration criteria shall be considered.
A2.5-8.7.2.2 (1) Floor-ceiling assemblies between dwelling units or between a dwelling unit and a public or service area above it should meet one of the following impact insulation class ratings:
  1. Not less than 50 when using assemblies tested in accordance with ASTM E492: Standard Test Method for Laboratory Measurement of Impact Sound Transmission Through Floor-Ceiling Assemblies Using the Tapping Machine
  2. Not less than 45 when tested after construction in accordance with ASTM E1007: Standard Test Method for Field Measurement of Tapping Machine Impact Sound Transmission Through Floor-Ceiling Assemblies and Associated Support Structures
  1. Structure-borne transmitted sound shall not exceed the limits for airborne sound presented in Section 2.5-8.4 (Design Criteria for Room Noise Levels).
  2. Where necessary, vibration isolators shall be used to control potential sources of structure-borne sound.
Exterior sources of ground vibration, such as road and rail traffic, shall be considered in the site selection and design of a facility. See Chapter 1.3 (Site Selection) for additional requirements.
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for requirements.
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for requirements.
Elevators shall be equipped with an automatic two-way leveling device with an accuracy of ±1/4 inch (± 6.35 millimeters).
Installation and testing of elevators shall comply with ANSI/ASME A17.1: Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators for new construction and ANSI/ASME 17.3 for existing buildings. (See ASCE/SEI 7: Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures for seismic design and control system requirements for elevators.)
See the facility chapters in Parts 3 through 5 for requirements.