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Project Planning - Telecommunications Facilities Guidelines -MDF - TR-  IDF

 

To successfully design and implement the types of systems that business will need in this millennium, companies must possess skills analogous to those required to put together a very big, complicated, jigsaw-puzzle. Each system will require that each system element fit or work in harmony with the other pieces to the puzzle while integrating multiple IT-based technologies. Figuring out how to build such systems is a daunting, complex task, and the client must accomplish that task while trying to keep his/her day-to-day business operation running smoothly. The key to a successful technology design is to provide a platform to deliver the communications services.  The heart of this is the Network and Telecommunications and Cabling Infrastructure is the communications rooms and cabling pathways throughout the facility.  Our consultants have a unique understanding of the and expertise in designing and implementing these core Infrastructures.  When you want your facilities design team to provide a uniform platform to deliver communications services, let us work with your team on the design and Implementation Management of these critical resources.

 

EQUIPMENT ROOMS

A. The main equipment room

The main equipment room is where inside and outside cables and conduit terminate. It is usually referred to as the MDF (Main Distribution Frame). It is also the usual location for most of the electronic hardware associated with the building's telecommunications facilities, including data equipment. They could even house PBX switching equipment if necessary. Ancillary equipment rooms are usually referred to as IDF's (Intermediate Distribution Frames). The changing technology along with user's data requirements has caused a corresponding increase in the electronics required in the equipment room, thus and increase in space, power and HVAC requirements.

 

B. Design specifications to consider for the MDF:

  1. The MDF is generally located in the basement or bottom floor of a building. IDF's located on the floors above are generally "stacked" above the MDF to allow for ease of cable distribution and limit cable distances. Cable distance is an important factor for data users. Most data communications systems are limited to 300' maximum, to allow for 100Mbps over 24 AWG twisted pair telephone cable. Because of these factors it is extremely important to know the user's requirements for data as early in the design phase as possible.

  2. MDF's should not be co-located with electrical equipment due to the EMI-mechanical noise transmitted from the electrical equipment. This noise interferes with most voice and data equipment, thus the reason for segregation.

  3. Room size: 8'W x 8'H x 8'L minimum usable floor space. (The size may vary depending on the amount of communications equipment needed).

  4. Usable backboard size: 8' x 8' x 3/4" brightly painted, plywood backboard for cable termination's and electronic equipment, with a minimum 4' clearance in front. It is mandatory that this room lock securely. If a double door is used there should be no center posts or sills.

  5. Two four-plex 110V AC electrical outlets are required. When necessary the electrical outlets should be connected to UPS or the buildings emergency generator power. These should be placed 6" from the floor to center of the outlet box. No outlets should be switched.

  6. Its is recommended that four 4" entrance conduits terminate here. If necessary, Paradise Communications will provide Design & Construction with an outside conduit design, identifying a route to the Point of connection (LIM site). Pull rope must be installed in each of the 4" conduit.

  7. A minimum of three 4" riser conduits/sleeves with pull ropes between each IDF on every floor.

  8. Static free flooring should be installed.

  9. Lighting should be at 50 foot-candles measured at 3' from the floor. The lighting fixtures should be hung at 8'6" from the floor. No ceiling tiles should be installed in a telecommunications closet.

  10. HVAC should be provided 365 days a year. Expectable temperature range is 64-75 degrees, with a humidity range from 30 to 55% relative.

  11. A grounding bus bar should be installed in the MDF. This will part of the grounding backbone. All of the terminals that feed from this MDF should have a common grounding system. Because of the electronic equipment that is manufactured today a good grounding system is necessary.

     

C. Ancillary Equipment Rooms (IDFs)

  1. IDFs (Intermediate Distribution Frames) serve as local distribution points for the telecommunications cable which terminates at the users workstation. Northern Telecom BIX equipment is use the terminal room for terminations.

  2. Usable backboard size: 4' x 8' x 3/4" plywood backboard with 4' clearance in front. These rooms may be a closet-type room if at least 3' of clearance is provided between the backboard and door when closed. These IDFs must lock securely.

  3. Two duplex 110V AC electrical outlets connected to UPS or emergency power supply if available. These should be placed 6" from the floor to center of the outlet box. No outlets should be switched.

  4. A minimum of two 4" riser conduits/sleeves will extend to the IDF's located on the floors above.

  5. Sleeve's, cable trays, floor distribution conduit may terminate here to pick up cabling for horizontal distribution on each floor.

  6. Maximum distance from the furthest jack to the terminal room on the floor should be 300'. Another terminal room may be considered if the distance is exceeded.

     

CABLE TRAYS AND OTHER HORIZONTAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS

  1. Cable trays are installed in open areas between the false ceiling and the floor above. They serve to accept the bulk and weight of the telecommunications cabling routed through the ceiling. These trays are accessed frequently for installation and repair activities by Paradise Communications.

  2. Paradise Communications prefers cable trays, generally, for their accessibility. However if another method is preferred, Paradise Communications will provide information on guidelines which should be followed.

  3. Cable trays should be placed to minimize the length and bending of the conduits. 4" x 12" cable trays along hallways, if possible, in user areas. Note the locations of the lights in the hallways so there is easy access to the tray for adds moves and changes. Not to be shared by electrical.

  4. 4" x 12" cable trays should be used between other horizontal IDFs located on the same floor, or two 3" conduits.

  5. Other horizontal distribution systems, usually more costly than cable trays but having certain benefits to users in similar applications, include under floor distributions systems and conduit run through the wall and stubbed above the ceiling. In some cases the conduit will be run from the faceplate to the IDF. This is referred to as a "home-run".

     

RELOCATION OF EXISTING TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES

Construction of new buildings sometimes requires the relocation of existing telecommunications facilities. Paradise Communications will consult with Design & Construction and the architect when necessary to minimize this situation.

If necessary, Paradise Communications will provide Design & Construction with the design and cost estimate for new outside plant infrastructure.

 

CONDUITS

  1. Conduits are used to accommodate the larger feeder communications cable between the MDF of each building and the telephone equipment rooms or Nodes.

  2. Entrance conduit: Four 4" conduits to the outside utility tunnel, pull box or manhole.

  3. Between MDF and each IDF: Two to four 4" conduits.

  4. Between IDFs vertically: Two to four 4" conduits.

  5. Between IDFs horizontally (on the same floor) : Two 3" conduits. (Note: Cable trays are preferred. Please see item II.)

  6. Limit conduit runs in C, D, and E to two 90 degree bends or equivalent, with none less than a 3' radius.

  7. Limit the use of flex conduit.

     

STATION WIRING CONDUIT

  1. One 1" conduit "home run" with pull strings for each telephone outlet back to the nearest IDF/MDF, or

  2. 1" conduits with pull strings stubbed up into the ceiling near the cable tray, or

  3. For items 1 or 2, a 4" x 4" outlet box should be covered with a standard SINGLE GANG ring to which our ModTap faceplate and jack will attach at the station end.

  4. "Mud rings" (metal rings placed in the wall to receive telephone jack faceplate) with pull strings installed in the wall. 

  5. 4" Channel is becoming an economical and functional alternative to conduits. Care is to be taken to the location of these channels around modular furniture.

  6. For looping conduits once the conduit must be increased one trade size for each additional location, starting with a 3/4" conduit.

     

NOTE: For future flexibility and cost savings, Paradise Communications recommends that all rooms in the building be "prewired" with some form of station conduit. This will save the users a great deal of time, money and aggravation as the use of space changes in the future.

 

RELOCATION OF EXISTING TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES

Whenever relocating outside telecommunications facilities is necessary, Paradise Communications will work in conjunction with Design & Construction and the architect in resolving the issue.

 

BUDGETING FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES

  1. Construction budgets for new buildings and major renovations shall include the following budget considerations for funding the installation of interior and exterior telecommunications cabling, and the necessary hardware needed to activate the data communication outlets.

    Allow approximately 4 weeks from the time Paradise Communications receives final 100% construction drawings for the design and budgetary cost estimates for electronic communications.

  2. Exterior Cabling: Budget $50.00 per lineal foot between point of connection (LIM site) and the MDF located inside the building.

    Because of system design limitations with the communications equipment, Paradise Communications shall be consulted to determine the Point of connection (LIM site) for each new building project.

  3. Interior Building "prewire": Using an average distance of 150' (300' maximum) from IDF's to each communications outlet, the following unit prices would apply for placement of horizontal cabling only. Unit prices include labor and materials.

    It is very helpful when ceiling tiles can be scheduled for installation after the inside wiring is complete. This will keep the cost down for installing the inside wiring.

    (2) 4 pair, Cat. 5 plenum: Unit Price $ 210.00

    (2) 4 pair, Cat 5 & one (2)strand 62.5 fiber optic cable: Unit Price $ 340.00

  4. The total cost for communications, which includes: 1) cabling cost, 2) data equipment, 3) activation, 4) relocation of existing voice and data services from old location, and 5) Electronic Communication Services and Facilities Management project management fees, comes to $ 1,000 (outlet) per location.

  5. Changes made to communications wiring or equipment after the building budget is submitted to Design & Construction, will be at an additional cost to the project or to the individual department, as appropriate.

    The Project Manager, designated by Design & Construction, will approve these changes and determine whether the project or the department will pay the additional fees.

  6. Departments moving into the new facilities, requesting additional communication services will submit a Service Request form to Paradise Communications. The department's requesting new service will be charged appropriately. Cost estimates will be provided by Paradise Communications upon request.

    Departments should allow a minimum of one month lead time from receipt of the telephone service request to install telephones and data communications service.

     

PROJECT SCHEDULING

  1. Because of the length of time it takes to acquire a contractor, Paradise Communications will need to be notified at least 3-4 months in advance of when the building cabling can begin.

    Typical contractor acquisition timeline:

    Prepare Bid Documents with Facilities Management: 4-6 weeks

    Design & Construction to prepare documents for bid process: 1-2 weeks

    Design & Construction to:

    • Advertise

    • Pre-Bid meeting

    • Bid Opening

    • Bid Award

    • Written authorization to proceed: 6-7 weeks

    • 60-90 working days to complete entire job

     

  2. Allow approximately 30-90 working days, after cable trays, conduits, sleeves and drywall are installed for inside wiring to be completed depending on the size of the installation.

     

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Elevator telephone wiring and phones are usually provided by the elevator supplier in the contract. Paradise Communications will install wiring from the IDF to the elevator room at the request of the project manager. A proper telephone service request is required.

  2. Pay phones will be installed by Pacific Coin / MCI. The service requests forms should be coordinated by Paradise Communications. Original cabling completed by the contractor for the cabling.

  3. Data communications can require a great deal of specialized design and additional cost (above the standard cost estimate). The requirements should be brought to our attention as early in the design process as possible. For this reason, Paradise Communications meets with representatives from the individual departments, approximately six months prior to occupancy. The additional cost are usually covered by the building project.

  4. Temporary telephone service to the job site will be the contractor's responsibility.

 

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              Last modified:  10/04/08                           Paradise Communications                            2005 Paradise Communications