6.4 Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Component Examples
In the following sections, the seismic performance of individual mechanical components will be discussed. However, it is critical to remember that mechanical components act and interact together as systems. While each component is examined individually, the performance of that component and the system as a whole depends on the performance of many individual components. Depending on the performance objectives of the structure, these interactions may be inconsequential, or should be studied in greater depth. For example, the following would be considered for a rooftop fire water tank, mounted close the edge of the building overlooking a busy sidewalk:
- If the performance objective is limited to protect the occupants of the sidewalk from the tank falling on them, the seismic evaluation may focus on the adequacy of the tank legs, bracing, and anchorage to the roof structure.
- If the performance objective is to prevent the contents of the tank from flooding the floor below, then the evaluationmust not only consider the anchorage of the tank but the connections and bracing of the rooftop piping associated with the tank.
- If the performance objective is to provide a reliable fire suppression system that may function after an earthquake, the tank must be considered as part of a complete system that includes fire sprinkler risers, mains, branches and sprinkler drops. The possibility of interactions between the fire protection piping and adjacent structural or nonstructural elements, such as sprinkler heads and hard ceilings, should also be considered.
Having a clear view of the performance objectives will guide the selection of the proper degree of investigation and the mitigation measures needed. The following table lists the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) subcategories and component examples included in this chapter: