Planning Ahead

Accommodating Ductwork and Piping

Ari important consideration when designing beam and joist layout is accommodating ductwork and piping. Ductwork for heating and mechanical ventilation systems, unlike electrical wiring, is not very flexible. To minimize sharp bends and long runs, consider how ducts will be concealed when designing beam and floor joist layout. Piping is somewhat more flexible than ductwork, however, plumbing components such as soil stacks are usually required to run vertically with few, if any, horizontal offsets. Bathroom plumbing may also be made more difficult if bathrooms are n< grouped around a common soil stack. The following items should be considered when beam and joist layouts are being designed:

Review the house design with a knowledgeable plumbing and heating contractor at the preliminary stage for an idea of what is required and how it. may be accommodated. Consider a higher basement to conceal services above a finished ceiling.

-» Avoid the use of flush beams where floor joists are tied into the sides of beams. Resting joists on top of beams provides a continuous chase over the beam for ductwork and piping.

-» Keep joist spans running in 1he same direction over the entire floor plan, whenever possible. This minimizes situations where ducts or piping must pass beneath the joists.

-» Use blocking, rather than additional floor joists, under non-loadbearing pat tition walls running parallel to floor joists. This permits ductwork and piping to enter the partition wall from underneath.

-» Always provide a 2 x 6 in. (38 x 140 mm) wall when it contains a plumbing stack. Alternatively, plan on strapping the wall out to conceal the stack and accommodate any potable water piping.

-» Where possible, align wall studs in partitions with floor joists so that the full width of a stud space may be accessed from beneath.

-» If. in following all of the above points, it appears that it will still be difficult to accommodate ductwork and piping, consider using floor trusses which will permit passage of services between the webs.

-* Be prepared to revise your framing plan to accommodate ductwork and piping.

(100 150 mm) from the end of each piece. Butt joints in each member are located over a supporting post or within about 6 in. (150 mm) of the quarter points in the span. (See Tables 11,12 and 13).

Alternatives to steel or built-up wood beams and columns include glue-laminated (glulam) and laminated veneer lumber beams, and parallel strand lumber beams and columns (See Table 14).

Ends of beams should bear at least 3 1/2 in. (89 mm) on concrete or masonry walls or columns. There is a decay hazard, however, where beams are tightly set into wall notches, such that moisture cannot escape readily. Therefore, the ends of wood beams, located at or below grade and framed into masonry or concrete walls, should be treated to prevent decay or have a '/2 in. (12 mm) air space at the ends and sides. Untreated wood beams should also be separated from the concrete with an impermeable membrane where they are at a level of 6 in. (150 mm) above grade or less.

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