Telecommunications Spaces and Pathways

The telecommunications spaces (e.g. rooms) house telecommunications equipment and terminations of telecommunications cables. Telecommunications pathways (e.g. cable trays, conduits) transport the cables.

The typical telecommunications infrastructure of spaces and backbone pathways in a building, as defined in industry standards, is illustrated below in the drawing "Typical Telecom System".

Typical Telecom System

Image show typical telecommunication infrastructutre in a building. See link below for long description.

Long description of Typical Telecom System is available on a separate page.

According to industry standards, each floor contains at least one telecommunications room (TR – formerly called a "telecommunications closet") ranging in size from 6.6 to 10.2 square metres (70 to 110 square feet), depending on the floor area served. Each TR may serve up to 1000 square metres (10,000 square feet) of floor space and each is dedicated to the telecommunications function – there is no electrical distribution equipment in the TR. All telecommunications rooms are intended to distribute all telecommunications signals (e.g. voice, data, image) to the area they serve.

Horizontal pathways carry telecommunications cables from the TR to the vicinity of the work area being served. Horizontal pathways usually support a zone-distribution system where the zone is typically the area between four columns and ranges in size from approximately 30 to 80 square metres. A zone distribution system based on a conduit (EMT) is illustrated below in "Typical Zoned Conduit Horizontal Pathway".

Typical Zoned Conduit Horizontal Pathway

Illustration of a zone distribution system based on conduit (EMT). See link below for long description.

Long description of Typical Zoned Conduit Horizontal Pathway is available on a separate page.

The Equipment Room is the central point for telecommunications within the building. The Equipment Room is also dedicated to the telecommunications function – there is no electrical distribution equipment in it other than that required for the telecommunications equipment installed in the Equipment Room. When sized according to standards, the Equipment Room will be quite large and should have ample space to house LAN servers as well. The Equipment Room is typically located in the basement, but it need not be. It may also function as a TR serving work areas located on its floor.

The telecommunications carriers (e.g. telephone company, cable TV company, etc.) should provide the point of demarcation for their services in the Entrance Room. The point of demarcation is analogous to a "border" between equipment and facilities owned by the carriers and that owned by the building occupants. Consequently, the Entrance Room will typically house terminations of copper and optical fibre cables (coming from outside the building) owned by the carriers. The Entrance Room is usually combined with a Common Equipment Room which houses electronic equipment owned by the carriers that is required to provide their network services. This combined room is illustrated as Ent. Rm/CER.

This Entrance Room / Common Equipment Room may be part of the Equipment Room. But if it is, the combined room should be constructed with a physical barrier (such as a wire cage), so that the occupant's equipment associated with the Equipment Room is separated from the facilities of the carriers. The objective is to ensure that the point of demarcation (located in the Entrance Room/Common Equipment Room) is accessible to both the occupants and carriers, but only the occupants will have access to their equipment installed in the Equipment Room.

Backbone pathways connect each TR to the Equipment Room. It is preferable for the TRs to be stacked vertically to facilitate running backbone cables through them. In such cases, backbone pathways typically consist of sleeves run through the slab, as illustrated. Backbone pathways also connect the Equipment Room to the Entrance Room / Common Equipment Room. When a floor has more than one TR, standards also require that the TRs be joined by a backbone pathway.

The Equipment Room must contain adequate HVAC, preferably from a separate stand-alone system capable of operating on a continuous (7/24/365) basis. If the Equipment Room is to house LAN servers or other computer equipment (recommended), HVAC must be provided by such a separate stand-alone system. It is strongly recommended that the TRs also be served by such a system. In addition, the Ent. Rm/CER should also be so equipped if it will house electronic equipment.

Leasing specifications should demand that a standards-compliant infrastructure of telecommunications spaces and a telecommunications grounding and bonding system be provided, at least in buildings where all the office space is to be occupied by the Crown.