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Office of Information Technology
Spaces and Pathways
I. General Scope of AU Telecom Design
A. 1. This document defines the telecommunications infrastructure standards at Auburn University. It is intended to be used as a guide during the planning and design stages of renovation and new construction projects. These standards reflect minimum requirements and should be followed on all jobs. Exceptions to these standards must be coordinated and approved by the Auburn University Office of Information Technology (OIT).
B. 1. The guidelines in this document should be used by architects, engineers and planners in the design phase of projects to properly address the telecommunication infrastructure needs. It is essential that OIT be involved early-on in the planning and design process, at each design review, at pre-construction meetings, and throughout the project so that all telecommunication considerations and needs may be addressed at the appropriate point in the project schedule.
C. 1. OIT should be copied on all updates of the electrical, auxiliary, and communications blueprints, and building floor plans and site plans during the design, pre-construction, and construction phases of the project including but not limited to RFIs, CCDs, ASIs, and Cos that affect telecom design as well as progress meetings and inspection scheduling.
D. 1. OIT is responsible for telecommunications wiring specifications, bidding, and selection of the telecommunication installation contractor for all Auburn University projects.
II. General Standards
A. 1. The telecommunications infrastructure wiring standards used at Auburn University generally follow the EIA/TIA 568B wiring standard as developed by the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). A Category-6 structured cabling design and installation is required at Auburn University for all new telecommunication voice and data outlets that are included in construction projects.
B. 1. The number and location of telecommunication outlets in a new or renovated building should be determined during the architectural design stage of the project with significant input provided by the Auburn University college/division/department that is the principle owner or will be the principle occupant of the new or renovated space. OIT should also be involved in the architectural design stages of the project to provide feedback related to the proper location of telecommunication rooms and backboards, pathways from the backboards to the outlets, and other cable management concerns. This design should follow closely the EIA/TIA-569 industry standards for telecommunications spaces and pathways.
C. 1. A Category-6 and CATV wiring installation requires the distance (cable length) not to exceed 100 meters between equipment connected to a telecommunications outlet and the electronics in the telecommunications room. Therefore, telecommunication cable pathways shall not exceed 90 meters from the telecommunication room (TR) to the outlet, allowing 10 meters for work area cables, patch cables, etc. The Engineer of Record shall insure that the cable route distances between outlets and the TRs do not exceed this distance limitation for all cables.
D. 1. The number and locations of telecommunication rooms required should be determined using the EIA/TIA industry standards. These guidelines will also determine the design of the telecommunication cable pathways (cable trays, conduits, etc.), which are typically installed above ceilings and along hallways and corridors. Exceptions to the EIA/TIA standards must be approved by OIT.
E. 1. All cable trays, conduits, and outlet boxes must be installed before the telecommunications wiring installation begins. Telecommunications wiring must be completed before ceiling grids are installed. These installation schedules must be coordinated between the project manager, contractors, and OIT. The Construction Project Management hired by the University to oversee construction shall insure that the schedule includes time for wiring BEFORE the ceiling tiles are installed.
F. 1. The Electrical Plans shall have a note on every sheet that instructs the electrical sub-contractor to obtain a copy of these standards and to follow these standards during construction of any telecom related work.
III. Telecommunication Rooms (TR)
A. 1. Every building on campus has a Main Distribution Facility (MDF) where all copper, fiber, and coaxial outside plant cables enter the building; also known as the Building Entrance Terminal (BET). This may be the only telecommunications termination point required in a small building. Larger buildings typically require additional Intermediate Distribution Frames (IDF) in separate telecom rooms located strategically throughout the building. Per EIA/TIA-569 industry standards, a minimum of one telecom room per floor is required. Additional telecom rooms may be necessary if the floor area to be served exceeds 1000 square meters. Additional telecom rooms are required as necessary to keep the length of the cable path from the telecom room to the work area within 90 meters.
B. 1. Telecommunication rooms should be sized according to the following EIA/TIA-569 standards:
If the served area is: Then the interior dimensions of the room must be at least:
500 m2 (5000 ft2) or less 3.0 m x 2.4 m (10 ft x 8 ft). (See note below.)
Larger than 500 m2 and less than or equal 3.0 m x 2.7 m (10 ft x 9 ft).
to 800 m2 (>5000 ft2 to 8000 ft2)
Larger than 800 m2 and less than or equal 3.0 m x 3.4 m (10 ft x 11 ft).to 1000 m2 (>8000 ft2 to 10,000 ft2)
NOTES: ANSI/TIA/EIA-569-A recommends a minimum TR size of 3.0 m x 2.1 m (10 ft x 7 ft). The size of 3 m x 2.4 m (10 ft x 8 ft) is specified here to allow a center rack configuration.
Smaller Buildings: In smaller buildings, less space is required to serve the telecommunications distribution needs of the occupants.
If the Building Is Smaller Than Then the interior dimensions of the room must be at least:
500 m2 (5000 ft2) Shallow closets
100 m2 (1000 ft2) Wall cabinets, Self-contained cabinets, Enclosed cabinets.
NOTES: Walk-in closets must be at least 1.2 m x 1.8 m (4 ft x 6 ft). Shallow closets must be at least 0.9 m deep x 2.6 m wide (3 ft deep x 8.5 ft wide) with double doors that swing out.
C. 1. The telecommunications BET and IDFs should be located in dedicated rooms and not share space with electrical or mechanical equipment. The telecommunications networking electronics are sensitive to electrical fields created by transformers and distribution power panels, and are not suited for the dirty environment of a mechanical room. The telecommunication rooms should be accessible from a hallway or corridor and not be located behind any offices, labs, classrooms or other spaces or with an exterior window.
D. 1. The environment of all telecommunications rooms shall be equivalent to that of an office, which is heated and cooled by the building HVAC system (64º F to 75º F; 30% to 55% Relative humidity; minimum one air change per hour). The room should have finished walls and floors. There shall be no floor drains or any kind of drainage in or into any telecom room. There shall be no overhead pipe joints for pass-thru plumbing and all pipe penetrations must be sealed. 2. The HVAC engineer of record shall design each room with a separate dedicated HVAC supply, capable of maintaining the temperature of less than 76 degrees F with a 3000 BTU/hr heat load controlled by a thermostat installed in the telecom room. The supply airflow CFM/Temp into and return air CFM out of the telecom rooms shall be sufficient to meet these standards at all times.
E. 1. The telecom backboard shall be constructed of ¾-inch AC-grade plywood painted on all sides. The backboard shall be of either fire-retardant plywood or painted with two coats of fire-resistant paint. The plywood should be mounted vertically to all walls in every telecommunications room. The plywood is required for the mounting of termination hardware and electronic equipment, therefore requires toggle or butterfly bolts for fastening to the wall.
2. Conduits entering the telecom room shall terminate at the backboard edge either directly above or directly below the plywood backboard to minimize the routing of cables around the room. No telecom conduit should penetrate the ceiling or floor more than 3 inches from the wall that supports a backboard. It shall be the responsibility of the electrical contractor to install backboards in all telecommunication rooms during building or renovation when the contract electrical work is being performed and install conduits in compliance with this section.
F. 1. A ground busbar shall be installed on the backboard in each telecom room. This busbar shall be connected to the Building Entrance Service Ground Busbar, and at no other point, with an insulated AWG #6 solid conductor. The busbar shall be a minimum of a ¼"x 2"x 12" copper busbar with stand-off insulators for backboard mounting and mechanical connections for ground conductors. (See ERICO part# EGBA14212EE as an accepted example).
G. 1. A cable tray shall be installed at the top of the telecom back board and shall circumnavigate the entire telecom room between 90 inches and 96 inches AFF. Any conduits that enter the room shall be connected to the cable either direct mechanical connection or via a cable tray bridge. At No Time is telecom cabling allowed to hang in free space without support.
2. Two 20-amp 120-volt NEMA duplex power outlets on separate circuit breakers should be installed in a single quad outlet faceplate near the top of the backboard on each wall under the cable tray that circumnavigates the telecom room backboard, typically at 84 to 90 inches AFF. These outlets/circuits should be on an emergency circuit connected to the backup generator, if provided. One duplex 20A 120V power convenience outlet, on a separate circuit breaker, should be installed elsewhere in each telecommunications room for power tools, test equipment, etc. Contact OIT for a detail drawing. At no time shall a conduit cross a backboard vertically except in corners.
H. 1. Other design considerations that should be incorporated into each telecom room design:
IV. Horizontal Pathways
A. 1. Horizontal Pathways are facilities necessary for the installation of telecommunication cable from the telecommunication room to the work area outlet. These facilities should allow for installation of telecommunication station cables that do not rest upon ceiling grids and are not affixed to other utility pathways that are located above the ceiling, such as water pipes, air conditioning ducts, electrical conduit, etc. Accepted horizontal pathways include homerun conduit, sleeves, cable trays, and support hooks or rings.
B. 1. Cable trays are recommended along all hallways, corridors, attics or any other places where it is practical, and should be extended into each telecommunications room. Cable trays should be used whenever possible, especially for large projects. Cable tray sections should be sized to accommodate up to four Category-6 cables per telecom outlet box to be served by the section of cable tray under consideration. OIT should be consulted when it is necessary to use hooks or rings. Distance between hooks/rings should not exceed 36 inches. When using hooks/rings, multiple 4-inch sleeves must be installed into each telecommunication room from the above ceiling hallway for access to the hooks/rings. The Cable hooks must be rated by the manufacturer for the use of Category-6 data cabling. Ordinary cable hooks are unacceptable.
2. The design & size of the hooks/rings should be coordinated with OIT such that a minimum of three station cables to each telecommunication outlet box is accommodated.
3. Cable tray rails are never to be cut to accommodate piping or other obstructions.
4. Cable tray or hooks are not to be installed over hard ceilings of greater distance than 72 inches. Where cable runs cross a hard ceiling, conduit transitions must be installed. The total cross sectional area of the conduits must equal the cross sectional area of the cable tray.
5. Cable trays are never to be installed more than 24 inches above a ceiling grid.
C. 1. Each telecommunications outlet box requires a 1-inch EMT conduit to be installed from the outlet box to the nearest cable tray or hooks. A pull string must be installed in each conduit. Where a cable tray is used, the conduits shall make a mechanical connection to the tray at the top rail with a nylon bushing. No gaps between conduit and cable trays are permitted. Pullboxes shall be installed for every 180 degrees of bend in a conduit and notated on drawings.
2. The Engineer of Record must include the requirements of this document in the electrical specifications, drawings, and notes for the job and require AU Standards compliance.
3. It is the electrical subcontractor’s responsibility to install all telecommunications pathways according to the requirements as specified by Auburn University Telecom standards.
D. 1. All cable trays shall be grounded to the telecom room busbar with an AWG #6 solid conductor as they pass by the TRs and all discontinuous sections of cable tray shall be jumpered with an AWG #6 solid conductor.
V. Backbone Pathways
A. 1. Backbone Pathways consists of both intra-building and inter-building facilities.
B. 1. Intra-building backbone pathways are necessary for the installation of telecommunication riser cables between various telecommunication rooms (BET & IDF locations) within a building. Each IDF telecom room should be connected to the BET telecom room via dedicated conduit. In multi-story buildings, it is best to stack the telecommunication rooms when possible and connect the rooms with multiple 4-inch sleeves between floors. A dedicated 4-inch sleeve or conduit should be installed from the BET telecom room to each IDF. When IDFs are not stacked and it is physically impossible to run a 4-inch conduit between the BET and each IDF, then two 2½-inch conduits should be installed from the BET to each IDF. A pullbox is required for every 180-degrees of total bend in the conduit.
C. 1. Inter-building backbone pathways are facilities necessary for installation of telecommunication outside plant trunk/feeder cables between buildings. At least two 4-inch conduits should be installed from the appropriate telecommunications manhole to the building BET telecom room. These conduits should be concrete encased and have a pull rope installed in each conduit. Three 1.25” HDPE innerducts should be installed in one of the 4-inch conduits between the manhole and building. OIT should be involved in the early site plan design stages of new construction projects so that all new telecommunication duct bank and manholes necessary can be included in the design of the project site plan. The duct bank installer shall call OIT when the conduit duct bank is installed BEFORE concrete is poured, for inspection and photographing. All duct bank conduits are required to have a mandrel successfully pulled through each conduit without binding or abnormal pulling tension. A ductbank will not be covered until it has passed the mandrel test as witnessed by OIT personnel.
D. Inter-Building Lateral and Backbone Pathway Requirements
1. Inter-building lateral distribution conduit and backbone feeder conduit is infrastructure pathway necessary for installation of telecommunication outside plant distribution and backbone feeder cables between cable vaults and to buildings.
OIT shall be involved in the early site plan design stages of new construction projects so that all new telecommunication duct bank and pull points and the Owners duct bank construction specifications shall be incorporated in the design of the project site plan.
Lateral duct banks to buildings require two 4-inch conduits minimum from a cable vault to the building BET telecom room. Backbone duct banks require up to six-4 inch conduits between cable vault sections. One 4 inch conduit out of a duct bank conduit stack shall have inner-duct installed.
VI. Telecommunication Outlets
A. 1. Telecommunication outlet boxes shall be installed wherever telephone, computer, and/or cable television service is required or desired. Generally, voice and data jacks in offices, classrooms, conference rooms, etc. will share the same outlet box. It is not necessary to install a separate outlet box for voice and data with the exception of wall mounted telephone locations. For known cable television outlet locations, a separate outlet box may be desired and should be installed at the location requested.
B. 1. A standard double-gang electrical outlet box (4" x 4" x 2" deep) should be installed at each telecommunication outlet location indicated on the blueprints. All outlet boxes are to be securely fastened to the studs of the interior wall. A 1-inch conduit should be installed from the outlet box, running up the interior of the wall, out into the hallway above the ceiling, and attached to the telecom cable tray via mechanical means. The conduit should interface the top of the double-gang outlet box at an off-center position to allow for maximum bending radius of future cable installs. A pull-string or pull-wire should be installed in each conduit. Do Not place junction boxes above the ceilings in offices even if there is 180 degrees of bends in the conduit.
C. 1. Where gypsum ceilings exist, the 1-inch conduit from each wall outlet box shall be home-run to the nearest cable tray or telecommunications room or home-run to a junction box where a 2-inch or larger conduit path is provided to the cable tray or telecommunications room. The conduit from the junction box to the telecommunications room should be sized according to the number of 1-inch conduits it serves, and should be sufficiently large to accommodate the aggregate cables that will fit into the 1-inch conduits combined not exceeding 40 percent fill ratio. Exposed cabling should not be installed in open ceiling spaces, unless concealed and protected by a cable tray.
D. 1. Where surface mounted raceway is required within a room or lab, the raceway must be dual-channel to allow for the complete separation of the low voltage telecommunications cable in one channel and 120-Volt AC wiring in the other channel. The cover for the raceway should be a secure snap-on design to allow ease of access to the wiring when required. The location of telecommunication outlets along the raceway will be determined by OIT and the building tenants. More power outlets may be required than telecommunication outlets. At locations along the raceway where a power outlet is installed but no telecommunication outlet, the telecommunication channel shall be covered with a blank faceplate by the electrical contractor.
E. 1. Where floor mounted telecommunication outlets are required, specify FSR FL-500P-BLP-6 floor boxes for standard applications. FSR FL-600 should be used under lecterns in auditoriums. Covers will vary with application. Wiremold RFB4-C1-1 compartment combination floor box may also be used for standard applications. The stamped steel version shall not be used in contact with grade. Only the cast steel version is rated for grade contact applications. Coordinate with OIT when specifying floor mounted outlet boxes. A telecommunication outlet will not be installed if the station cable must be exposed to a surface mounted box.
G. 1. Where tele-power poles are required, coordinate with OIT on the selection of products which accommodate both telecommunication wiring and AC electrical supply.
H. 1. When the design of an office space requires the use of cubicles or other modular type office furniture, it is recommended that the furniture chosen have as part of its design an integrated raceway for installation of telecommunication cables and outlets. If the floor plan of the office space dictates the furniture be located in the center of the room and not adjacent to any walls, the telecommunications and power access requirements may be met through the use of tele-power poles. Floor boxes have proven to be unworkable for modular furniture and therefore shall not be used. The Engineer of Record may use EMT conduit stubbed into the modular furniture telecom raceway if the conduit can be easily accessed for the pulling of wire. Furniture layout should be planned such that telecommunication wiring will not be exposed from the outlet box to the furniture. At no time is exposed telecommunications wiring from conduits to furniture allowed.
I. 1. When a network wireless access point (WAP) is required to be on a hard ceiling or on some architectural ceiling design feature that is suspended from the hard ceiling, the Architect will insure that the design incorporates and supports wireless access point installation on the ceiling or design feature, which ever is lowest, with a telecom conduit to a double-ganged box with easy access to the units for maintenance. AU Telecom WAPs do not need a power outlet as our design supplies power-over-ethernet (POE) to the WAP.
A. Room Numbers
1. Final official room numbers are required before telecommunications wiring can be installed, since room numbers are needed for labeling faceplates and wire terminations. Also, room numbers are critical to an accurate Emergency 911 database, which is maintained by the OIT.
B. Small Projects
1. There are several issues associated with small renovation projects that are often overlooked. Proper communication with OIT should address these issues.
2. Room number changes due to renovation of an office suite sometimes affect the entire floor of the building. Auburn University telecommunication records track cable facilities using room number and jack number designations. More importantly, Emergency 911 records are maintained by OIT, so it is vitally important that OIT be notified of all room numbering changes.
3. Old telecom cabling being replaced as part of any size renovation project shall (per NEC) be removed as part of the project. The removal of old cable should be covered by funds in the renovation project, including small projects with no Telecom funds budgeted.
C. Plenum Environments
1. For design and budget considerations, telecommunication installation costs are significantly higher when plenum cable is required because of exposure to return-air ceiling environments. Other horizontal telecommunications cables typically costs at least 50% more for plenum cables than non-plenum. In some cases the hallway ceiling space is non-plenum while the ceiling space above offices or classrooms is plenum. In this case, the standard conduit run from the telecommunication outlet box into the hallway ceiling will be sufficient to allow for a non-plenum cable installation.
D. Emergency Phones
1. The Emergency phone equipment will be purchased by OIT and charged to the project. The standard AU Emergency phone is a Gai-Tronics 234 Silent Sentinel Stanchion, 297-003 Smart Phone Stainless with a 530-001 LED Strobe 120 VAC.
2. Emergency Phones require two conduits from a building depicted on the electrical plans. One ¾" conduit for power and One 1” conduit for telecom cabling as well as a grounding rod shall be installed. A grounding rod shall be installed with the conduits within the template.
The electrical contractor shall install pullstrings in both conduits, construct the concrete pad upon which the phone will be mounted and stub-up the conduits 6-12 inches above the pad. AU Telecom will supply the electrical contractor with the EP template kit consisting of four j-bolts, nuts, washers, and a plastic spacing template to insure proper j-bolt spacing in the concrete pad.
3. The Architect or Engineer of Record shall insure that the pad meets ADA guidelines for accessibility and shall consult with AU Representatives for placement and size requirements.
4. The OIT/Telecom contractor will install the EP.
1. Installation of the Talk-A-Phone AoR Command Unit Model CU-16 adjacent to the Fire Alarm Annunciator panel at the Fireman's entrance to the building.
2. Install an AoR Station ETP-100MB (surface mounted) or ETP100EB (flush mounted) in each stairwell..
3. Install a 3/4" home run conduit from the AoR Command Unit to each AoR Station. Install an accessible pull-box for every two 90-degree bends in the home run conduit.
4. Install one shielded twisted pair copper circuit (not to exceed 25 ohms resistance) from the AoR Command Unit to each AoR Station via the home run conduit.
5. Install a 3/4" conduit homerun from the Telecom Room to the AoR Command Unit. This is to be notated on the drawings. A pull box is required for every 180 degrees of total bend.
F. Building Elevator Phones
1. The model elevator phone that AU Telecom specifies is the Viking E-1600-02A. The phone should be flush-mounted at the appropriate ADA approved height. The phone electronics should be accessible by simply removing the flush-mounted phone cover, and not having to remove any other elevator control panels. The cost of the phone and installation of telephone cable and outlet should be covered by the project. A conduit shall be installed homerun from the Telecom Room to each elevator controller box in the elevator control room with a double ganged box installed no more than 12 inches from the elevator controller box. Please coordinate installation of all elevator phones and/or cables with AU Telecommunications.
G. Building Automation Systems (BAS)
1. Auburn University uses Johnson Controls Building Automation Systems for energy management and control. The Electrical Engineer of Record shall insure that a data conduit is supplied to the Main BAS Controller as designated by the Johnson-Controls Contractor and is routed to the nearest cable tray or telecom room via conduit.
2. The Electrical Subcontractor will coordinate the installation of the data conduit with the Johnson Controls Contractor so that it is connected directly to the BAS controller box.
H. Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) Network Connection
1. Auburn University uses Simplex Fire Alarm Systems. The Electrical Engineer of Record shall specifically spell out in the specifications and note on the drawings that the FACP is to be connected to the nearest Telecom Room with a homerun ¾-inch conduit. This is a requirement of Auburn University. A pull box is required for every 180 degrees of total bend.
I. Lock Access Network Controller
1. When the lock access system controller is not located in the telecom room, a telecom conduit shall be installed from the controller location to the nearest cable tray or telecom room.
If you have any questions about these standards, please contact the Auburn University Office of Information Technology, Monday through Friday, 7:45am to 4:45pm CST.
AU Telecommunications Project Management
300 Lem Morrison Avenue
Auburn, AL 36849
Phone: 334-844-4512 Fax: 334-844-9390