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6.5 General Design Criteria

Energy Conservation. The largest factor in the energy consumption of a building is lighting. The overall efficiency of the lighting system depends both on the individual components and on the interaction of components in a system. A good controls strategy that eliminates lighting in unoccupied spaces and reduces it where day lighting is available can contribute significantly to energy conservation. The best way to institute such controls is through a Building Automation System (BAS). See section on Lighting, Lighting Controls in this chapter for further discussion. Designers should check with local power companies and include technologies that qualify for rebates. The Office of Chief Architect assigns an energy goal for each GSA new construction and building modernization.

Visual Impact. Options regarding the location and selection of electrical work that will have a visual impact on the interior and exterior of the building should be closely coordinated with the architectural design. This includes colors and finishes of lights, outlets and switches.

Equipment Grounding Conductor. All low voltage power distribution systems should be supplemented with a separate, insulated equipment grounding conductor. Grounding for communication systems must follow the requirements in the EIA/TIA Standard 607: Commercial Building Grounding (Earthing) And Bonding Requirements For Telecommunications (and related bulletins).

Lightning Protection. Lightning protection shall be provided in accordance with NFPA 780. The system should be carefully designed to ensure that static discharges are provided with an adequate path to ground. Surge arresters on the main electrical service should also be considered.

Cathodic Protection. The need for corrosion protection for conduits and for all other underground piping and buried metals on the project must be evaluated through soil resistivity and pH testing. Testing for soils resistivity is part of the Geotechnical Report. Cathodic protection shall be provided for all metal underground storage tanks. See Appendix A: Submission Requirements. Cathodic protection should be designed by a qualified specialist.

Artwork. Museum standards for lighting works of art range from 5 to 10 foot-candles for extremely light sensitive materials such as paper and textiles, to 20 to 40 foot-candles for moderately sensitive materials such as oil paintings and wood.

Please consult Chapter 4.1, Installation Standards, of the Fine Arts Program Desk Guide for additional information.


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