Piping should deliver refrigerant, heating water, chilled water, condenser water, fuel oil, gas, steam, and condensate drainage and return to and from HVAC equipment as directly, quietly, and economically as possible.

Structural features of the building generally require mechanical and electrical coordination to accommodate P-traps, pipe pitch-draining of low points in the system, and venting of high points.

When assessing application of pipe distribution to air distribution, the floor-to-floor height requirement can influence the pipe system: it requires less ceiling space to install pipe.

An alternative to horizontal piping is vertical pipe distribution, which may further reduce floor-to-floor height criteria.

Pipe Systems
HVAC piping systems can be divided into two parts: (1) piping in the central plant equipment room and (2) piping required to deliver refrigerant, heating water, chilled water, condenser water, fuel oil, gas, steam, and condensate drainage and return to and from decentralized HVAC and process equipment throughout the building.

Pipe Insulation
In new construction and renovation projects, certain HVAC piping may or may not be insulated depending on code requirements.

ASHRAE Standard 90.1 and Chapter 26 of the 2005 ASHRAE Handbook Fundamentals have information on insulation and calculation methods.

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