TIA Subcommittee TR-42.3, responsible for developing recommendations for pathways and spaces, recently approved Addendum 6 to TIA/EIA-569-A, officially called ANSI/TIA/EIA-569-A-6 Multi-tenant Pathways and Spaces Addendum.

Before, ANSI/TIA/EIA-569-A only addressed the needs of single-tenant buildings. While adequate pathways and spaces are critical to the long-term support of any building with the high number of moves, adds and changes that occur within its life cycle, nowhere is this more critical than in multi-tenant buildings. With the constant change of tenants, significant changes occur not only within the tenant spaces but also for service and access providers that serve these tenants.

The nature of the multi-tenant building significantly increases the complexity and the number of required pathways and spaces because not only do individual tenants need pathways and spaces, but common telecommunications and equipment rooms also need them to support numerous access and service providers. It is recommended that anyone involved in the multi-tenant building design or implementation should procure this document, because some very specific guidelines and recommendations have been established.

This addendum addresses the common telecommunications pathways and spaces for multi-tenant buildings including:

• Entrance facilities.

• Access provider spaces and service provider spaces.

• Common equipment rooms.

• Common telecommunications rooms.

• Intrabuilding and interbuilding pathway requirements.

This addendum recognizes that each tenant’s every need can not be addressed but hopefully, the common needs of the building pathways and spaces will be adequately planned for and accommodated.

Table 1 provides a summary of the spaces to be used in a multi-tenant building with recommended space requirements, sample functions and equipment that need to be accommodated and the primary and secondary responsible organization for these spaces.

While the entrance room requirements are well spelled out in the existing clause of TIA/EIA-569-A, Addendum 6 provides additional guidance for wireless entrance facilities. In multi-tenant buildings, you must not only consider the cables coming in from the street but also the wireless signals coming in from the top of the building.

Access provider and service provider spaces are critical. They should be close to the common equipment room (CER) and to the entrance facility. For services provided over wire, this is typically in the basement; however, for wireless, they should be located as close as is practical to the transmission/reception devices. The access/service providers’ space can be shared or separate; however, they should be located where they can be expanded if necessary. Adequate pathways must be provided for between the following:

• The entrance facility to access provider space and the service provider space.

• The access provider space to the CER.

• The service provider space to the CER.

• The access provider space to the service provider space.

The CER should contain only those facilities that serve multiple tenants in the building. It may be appropriate to employ more than one CER, such as for large buildings and those that are serviced by both wireline and wireless access and service providers. The addendum recognizes the efficiency of combining the access provider space, service provider space and the CER into one contiguous space. The CER for buildings of 500,000 feet2 or less is recommended to be 120 feet2. For buildings greater than 500,000 feet2 the CER should increase in size by 10 feet2 for every 100,000 feet2 of building space. The CER should be located as close as is practical to the riser pathways.

Adequate pathways should be provided between the access provider and service provider spaces to the CER as well as to any common telecommunications room (CTR) and to any other equipment rooms as appropriate.

The CTR should only contain those facilities that serve multiple tenants. Individual tenant equipment shall not be located in a CTR. They should be vertically aligned and should be located centrally to the area being served. The typical CTR size is 80 feet2 to serve an area of 20,000 feet2. Where an area of more than 20,000 feet2 is required, it should be served by multiple CTRs.

A number of detailed and specific recommendations have been established for design and provisioning of the CER and CTR. The standard committee and the industry hope that the architectural community will accept this addendum so that an adequate infrastructure will be planned in new buildings and building rehabs so the necessary telecommunications services can be provided. Unnecessary disruptions and construction after the fact are to be avoided. EC

BEAM is director of systems marketing at AMP NETCONNECT Systems. He can be reached at 336.727.5784 or tebeam@tycoelectronics.com.