DESCRIPTION OF MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL SYSTEM INSTALLED IN THE DOHENY MEMORIAL LIBRARY LOS, ANGELES, CALIFORNIABy Ralph E. Phillips
The mechanical and electrical systems required for a modernly equipped Library, such as the Doheny Memorial Library, are very extensive and complicated and incorporate the most recent development in ventilation and electrical equipment installed in buildings to date.
The entire building is mechanically ventilated with supply and exhaust air, which air to all spaces except the book stacks is washed and thermostatically heated. The air to the book stacks is mechanically filtered and heated but not washed, the object being to add no moisture to the air supplied to the book stacks which might create mildew.
From the air washed systems, a cooling effect will be obtained during the summer months and humidification will be effected during the winter months. This will create a comfortable condition throughout the building, both winter and summer at the same time enabling the building to operate with closed windows, creating quiet throughout.
The ventilating system is divided into seven separate systems, having six supply systems and seven exhaust systems, the supply systems being so divided that rooms subjected to the same exposure and conditions generally, are supplied by the same system. This will tend to create even temperature and humidity conditions throughout the building. The total fresh air supplied to the entire building is 112,810 cu. Ft. per minute and the total exhaust air exhausted from the building is 114,400 cu. ft. per minute.
The entire ventilating system has been designed and installed so that any time in the future it will be possible to add a refrigerating plant in order to condition the air by precipitating excessive moisture and cooling of the air.
The heating plant consists of two low pressure steam heating boilers and one low pressure steam boiler for heating domestic hot water. These boilers are oil fired with mechanical type burners, which burners are automatic in operation for oil and air, depending upon the pressure in the boilers. All boilers are also equipped with low water cut-off devices so that in case of delay in condensation return to the boilers, the automatic cut-off will disconnect the oil burners.
The heating system is of the two pipe vacuum return type and certain radiators in main rooms are under automatic temperature control, so that they will operate in conjunction with the ventilating system supplying warm air to these spaces.
The illumination in the Art and Lecture Room is provided by specially designed lenses installed in a flush trough located in the ceiling and approximately 5 ft. from the walls. These lenses are adjustable for directing and diffusing the light for art exhibits on the walls. The lighting fixtures in the main reading room have been specially designed to concentrate diffused light directly over each table, general illumination for the room being of secondary consideration to table lighting. This has been accomplished by artistically designed hanging ornamental lighting fixtures.
The boilers are so connected up that it will be possible during light heating periods to heat the building and furnish hot water, with one heating boiler and in colder weather to completely heat the building and furnish hot water with both heating boilers. During the summer period when no heating is required, the small hot water boiler will be placed in operation for heating domestic water.
Black steel pipe has been used for all steam lines and genuine wrought iron pipe has been used for all returns and oil lines. The three boilers are of the portable steel type. All enclosed radiators are of a new cast iron fin type.
The plumbing system consists of a complete sanitary and drainage work water supply, fire protection and drinking water plant. The main toilets of the building are located in the basement, which level is below the level of the street sewers, which required that the drainage from all basement plumbing fixtures flow to a sewage ejector and pumped from there to the street sewer. All plumbing fixtures throughout the building are of the highest grade bitreous china and are equipped with solid brass chromium plated fittings. Central plant soap dispensers have been installed in the main toilets for the lavatories in the basement and individual soap dispensers have been installed on all other lavatories throughout.
Drinking fountains are located on each floor and are supplied with mechanically refrigerated water, which water is continuously circulated by pump and filtered. The refrigerating plant in conjunction with this system is completely automatic starting and stopping, regulated by thermostat from the temperature of the drinking water. This refrigerating compressor used Methyl Chloride gas as a refrigerant.
All hot water is softened in order to prevent the accumulation of lime in the hot water circulatory system and also for water supplied to the boilers. No roof tank was necessary as the city pressure is sufficiently height to adequately supply direct connection to plumbing fixtures throughout the building.
The fire protection system consists of city pressure mains with the fire hose outlets distributed throughout the building and also exterior dry fire lines located at fire escapes. Piping used for cold water, drinking water and fire lines is standard weight galvanized genuine wrought iron and piping used for all hot water lines is 65 percent copper content brass and for soil, waste and vent lines extra heavy case iron.
A pneumatic tube system has been installed between the various tier levels of the main book stack and the circulation desk on the first floor. This system will greatly facilitate the business operation of the book stack department.
The electrical work includes light and power wiring throughout the building, public telephone system, private telephone system, electric time clock system, stack signal system, warning signal system for closing, fire and paging, special trough lighting system for Art and Lecture Room and provision for exterior flood lighting, etc. The electrical energy for light is alternating current, three wire, phase, single cycle. The transformers for the building are located in the basement and adjacent to this transformer room is the main light and power switchboard which distributes to the various power and lighting panel boards throughout the building. The public telephone system will be tied into the main PABX equipment in the present administration building. This permits inter-communication by dialing between any two stations in the entire group of buildings without going through the main switchboard, and also by dial direct to outside stations. Supplementing this public telephone system, there is a private, independent communicating system between the various departments in the library.
The time clocks throughout are synchronized and controlled by a master clock in the present Administration Building, which master clock is of the minute impulse time, correcting itself every hour.
There is a system of underfloor duct installed in the main and reserve reading rooms, which underfloor duct system accommodates lighting circuits, telephone and signal wires so that the floor may be tapped under any table and provide service for either of the three systems. This entirely eliminates extension cords from the various tables to base plugs on the walls.
No fuses have been used in connection with lighting circuits, but in their place there has been installed, small automatic circuit breakers, which indicate immediately upon investigation which circuit has blown, and can immediately be replaced in operation by throwing in the circuit breaker for further operation. In the event of a permanent short circuit or overload, the breaker will again throw out.
The Library is equipped with two passenger elevators, one service elevator, one book service elevator and one book conveyor. The passenger elevators are of the A.C.-D.C. variable voltage, gear traction car switch control, with automatic floor landing device. The capacity of these elevators is 2,000 lb., each and travel at a speed of 250 ft. per minute. All shaftways and cab doors are automatic electrically operated.
The service freight elevator is of the A.C.-D.C. variable voltage, gear traction, automatic push button control type, with automatic floor landing. The capacity of this machine is 3,000 lbs. And travels at a speed of 125 ft. per minute. Cab doors on this elevator are electrically operated and the shaftway doors are manually opened, spring closing.
The book service elevator is of the A.C.-D.C. variable voltage, gear traction, automatic push button control type, with automatic floor landing and has a capacity of 1,000 lbs. with a speed of 125 ft. per minute.
Cab doors for this elevator are electrically operated and the shaftway doors are manually opened and spring closing.
The book lift conveyor is of the straight A.C. type, fully automatic in operation from push buttons at shaftway doors and has a capacity of 300 lbs., with a speed of 100 ft. per minute.
Text from an unpublished manuscript edited by Mrs. Roger Hayward, on the occasion of the opening of the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library, USC, 1932.