EVEN though a designer knows what symbols to use, how to indicate plumbing work on plans, how to lay out the work, write the specifications and superintend the installation, he will sometimes be at a loss to know just what kinds and number of plumbing fixtures will be required in buildings of different classes. Very few architects are called upon during their business careers to build a prison, library, church, hotel, public comfort station, hospital, sanitarium, school, court house, Y. M. C. A. building, theater, or like structures; yet, if commissioned to do so, must be able to rise to the occasion. Numerous works can be had teaching them the principles of design, and architectural papers are full of good examples of the different classes of buildings; but nowhere can there be found an authoritative work analyzing the requirements and pointing out just what is desirable in the way of plumbing in buildings designed for different purposes. In this section, therefore, an effort is made to supply this much-needed information. Examples of the various classes of buildings are shown, but no effort is made to indicate the layout of the plumbing systems. Instead, only the architectural requirements in the way of plumbing appliances are considered, and any plumbing plans or details incorporated are more in the nature of incidental matter thrown in for whatever value they may possess.
It is assumed that if the designer knows just what plumbing fixtures and appliances are required in a certain type of building he either knows, or can learn from the preceding chapters of this work, how to indicate them on the plans.
Wherever people live or congregate for a period of time, toilet accommodations must be provided for their comfort. For instance, temporary grand stands for viewing parades, likewise ball grounds and stadia for the holding of field games, must all have plumbing fixtures for the accommodation of the patrons of the games or sport, even though they are assembled there only for a short time; while buildings where people reside must likewise be well supplied with sanitary conveniences; and each class of structure will possess conditions peculiar to itself and present problems which differ more or less from the others.
The first consideration when designing the plumbing for any class of structure is to find the source of water, and learn where and how the sewage will be disposed.
If no system of sewage is available, the method of treating and the place of final disposal of the sewage must be worked out before the plumbing work within the building can be intelligently designed. If, on the other hand, a system of sewers is available, the depth of the main sewer in the street must be ascertained to see if there is sufficient fall for a gravity discharge or whether sub-sewer ejectors will be required for the basement and sub-basement floors of the building.
No less important is the source, quality and pressure of the water supply. If a pure filtered water can be had from street mains, under sufficient pressure to supply all fixtures in the building, the problem simmers down to proportioning the sizes of supply pipes, securing an adequate main from the street and laying out a suitable and economical system of pipes. Should the water be hard, however, the question of softening must be considered, if hard water is undesirable. If, again, the water is from a surface source, and unfiltered, whether delivered through city mains or impounded for the particular building, filtration should unquestionably be resorted to, and the question of what method to employ would naturally follow. For country institutions the securing of a water supply is sometimes a difficult problem, and the method of elevating and storing the water must likewise be carefully considered. When the outside problems of sewer and water supply are fully-worked out, and planned up to the foundation walls of the building, the real work of planning the plumbing work within commences, and the different problems will be considered under the classes of buildings to which they belong.