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Postsecondary Education

NCES 2006-160
May 2006

3.2.6 Mechanical Area

(See figure 3-6)

  1. Definition. The sum of all areas on all floors of a building designed to house mechanical equipment, utility services, and shaft areas.
  2. Basis for Measurement. Mechanical Area is computed by physically measuring or scaling measurements from the inside faces of surfaces that form the boundaries of the designated areas. Exclude areas having less than a 3-foot ceiling height unless the criteria of a separate structure are met.
  3. Description. Included should be mechanical areas such as central utility plants, boiler rooms, mechanical and electrical equipment rooms, fuel rooms, meter and telecommunications closets, and each floor’s footprint of air ducts, pipe shafts, mechanical service shafts, service chutes, and stacks.
  4. Limitations. Deductions should not be made for necessary building columns and projections. These small areas are excluded as they represent an insignificant percentage of the total area of an average-sized space. Capturing their area would be unduly burdensome relative to the very small contribution they would make toward precision. Areas designated as public toilets are not included in this category but are included under Building Service Area.

Figure 3-6. Mechanical Area of a building by floor

Figure 3-6. Mechanical Area of a building by floor