RESEARCH REPORT ON BUILDING SERVICES of
Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tutor: MR SANJAY
LEE YIANG SIANG
LING TECK ONG
POH WEI KEAT
ALEX CHUNG KA SENG
LEE CHEE SIONG
ZERROX TAN AIK KAH
Table of Contents
2.0 Air Conditioning System
2.2 Literature Review
2.2.1 Central Plant System
2.2.2 Cooling System
2.2.3 Air-Handling Units (AHU)
2.2.4 Fan Coil Units (FCU)
2.3 Case Study
2.3.2 Cooling Tower
2.3.3 Chilled Water System
2.3.4 Air-Handling Units (AHU Room)
2.3.5 Fan Coil Units (FCU)
2.3.7 Duct System
2.3.8 Pipe System
3.0 Fire Safety System
3.1 Literature Review
3.2.2 Passive Fire Protection
3.2.3 Active Fire Protection
3.3 Active Fire Protection
3.3.1 Smoke Detector
3.3.2 Fire Control Room
3.3.3 Manual Pull Station
3.3.4 Fireman Intercom Station
3.3.5 Fire Alarm
3.3.6 Manual Call Point
3.3.7 Non-Water Based System
3.3.8 Classification and Use
3.3.9 Automatic Sprinkler System
3.3.10 Typical Deluge System
3.3.11 Water Based System
3.3.12 Fire Pump Room
3.4 Passive Fire Protection System
3.4.1 Emergency Exit Signage
3.4.2 Fire Escape Door
3.4.3 Door Closer-
3.4.4 Fire Escape Staircase
4.0 Electrical System
4.2 Literature Review
4.2.1 Power Transmission
4.3 Case Study
4.3.1 Electrical Distribution System
4.3.2 High Voltage, Transformer
Room & Low Voltage Room
4.3.3 High Tension Switch Gear
4.3.4 Raceway, Conductor Electrical
4.3.5 Back Up System
5.0 Water Supply System
5.2 Literature Review
5.3 Case Study
5.3.1 Water Storage
5.3.2 Water Supply
5.3.3 Fire-Flow Requirements
5.3.4 Pump Systems
5.3.5 Cold Water Systems
6.0 Wastewater Disposal System
6.2 Literature Review
6.3.1 Sanitary Appliances
6.3.5 Septic Tank
7.0 Mechanical Transportation System
7.2 Literature Review
7.3.1 Case Study
7.3.2 Geared Traction Elevator
7.3.3 Plunger Hydraulic Elevator
7.3.4 Elevator Car Control
7.3.5 Requirements of Elevators
7.3.6 Special Considerations
7.4.1 Case Study
7.4.2 Escalator Arrangement
7.4.4 Size, Speed, Capacity and Rise
7.4.6 Safety Features
7.4.7 Fire Protection
Subang Parade was the first ‘regional’ shopping centre in Selangor
when it was opened in 1988. The centre is located in the heart of
Subang Jaya’s commercial district, a township 25 minutes drive from
Subang Parade's positioning strategy is neighbourhood focused, with
an emphasis on its primary trade area. This market focus provides the
centre with a captive customer base, whose needs are met by a tenant
mix offering value and convenience. In 2011, the introduction of a
cinema has further enhanced the tenant mix of the centre, bringing us
closer to our purpose in meeting customers' needs.
Subang Parade's refurbishment was recognised by the International
Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) with a Silver Award for
Development & Design at the 2008 ICSC Asia Awards. Subang Parade
remains the largest shopping centre in Subang Jaya.
The research report will be looking into the workings of the services system
in the Subang Parade such as the Air conditioning and ventilation systems,
Fire safety systems, Electricity supply system, Water supply system and the
Sewerage system. The report will aim at introducing the fundamentals of all
the mentioned systems as well as an analysis of the system and the
advantages and disadvantages that have been analyzed and synthesized to
our own understanding and also based on the regulations of buildings and
its services such as Uniform Building By Law and also Malaysian Standards.
Requirements and adherence will also be analyzed based on each services
respected controlling arm.
We would like to extend our gratitude to each individual that has helped
and assisted us to complete this research report which without your
involvement, this report would be insufficient and unsatisfactory. A special
thanks we would like to give to Mr. Sanjay for guiding us through each
tutorial and providing us with an aim to accomplish.
We would also like to thank the staffs at Subang Parade, especially Mr.
Rahman for welcoming and giving us an insight into the services system
incorporated into the building and also for being patient and understanding
of us during our visit there.
2.0 AIR-CONDITIONING SYSTEM
This research paper discuss about the Thermal Control of our chosen
case study building, Subang Parade Mall through this research, we can learn
about the air-conditioning system of the building chosen and have a well and
deep-understanding to it.
The thermal comfort can be easily achieved once this system had been
introduced. Besides, it helps to redraw in the natural air from outside and
expel the state air to create better ventilation as well as the air circulation
within the building. It is also able to control the temperature and the air purity
within the building.
In Subang Parade Mall, there is only a mechanical system in a building
that provides fresh air. It removes unwanted air from the building. Air-
conditioning system in this mall where all the components within the system
will be explained in detail. The components of the air-conditioning will be
studied based on the following sequence:
• Cooling tower
• Chilled water system
• Air-handling unit (AHU)
• Fan coil unit (FCU)
• Supply air diffusers
• Return air grilles
• Piping system
In accordance with rules and standards are also being investigate. Rules
and standards have been set by various bodies to ensure that quality air is
provided via the air-conditioning system. The standards used to examine here
2.2 LITERATURE REVIEW
Air-conditioning system is important to improve indoor air quality of a building.
air-condition accomplishes four functions at the same time; they are to control air-
temperature, control air humidity, air-circulation and air quality. There are many different
types of air-conditioning found in the industry and they are usually classified according to
how the condenser is being cooled. They are the air-cooled condenser, which uses air to
cool the condenser; the water-cooled condenser, which uses water to cool the condenser;
the direct expansion, which uses evaporator to cool the air directly.
2.2.1 Central Plant System
Central plant system has one central source of conditioned air that is
distributed in a network of ductwork. Thus, it is usually used in large buildings as the
equipment is bulky. The room air-conditioning units are self-contained package, which are
usually positioned in every room to provide cool air. Most air-conditioning system these
days in Malaysia uses water-cooled system, which uses cooling tower.
2.2.2 Cooling System
All air-systems transfer cool-air from a central plant through the duct system as
mentioned above, which then distributes the air specific diffusers and into the individual
rooms of the building. Water-cooled system uses chiller plant to produce water that is
pumped into fan coil units found in AHU rooms. Heat rejected from room to water is then
pumped back into chiller unit where it is rejected by a condenser (water directed from
cooling tower). Water is then chilled again and pumped back to the rooms.
Diagram 01 Schematic Diagram of Subang Parade Mall Air-conditioning System
There is another type of cooling system called the direct expansion
system (DX system) that generally operates split or multi-split systems.
This system is usually used in smaller buildings or residential areas. The
refrigerant carries rejected room heats though a dry coil and fan. Then,
the refrigerant is compressed into liquid again by the compressor and
the cycle repeats. A DX system is a system in which the refrigerant
expands directly inside a coil to effect the cooling of the air.
188.8.131.52 ALL-AIR SYSTEM
All air-systems transfer cool-air from a central plant through
the duct system which then distributes the air specific diffusers and
into the individual rooms of the building. It normally comprises the
cheapest equipment cost, but is not necessarily easy or cheap.
184.108.40.206 ALL-WATER SYSTEM
Water-cooled system uses chiller plant to produce water that
is pumped into fan coil units found in AHU rooms. Heat rejected
from room to water is then pumped back into chiller unit where it is
rejected by a condenser (water directed from cooling tower). Water is
then chilled again and pumped back to the rooms.
Diagram 01 Flow of all-water air conditioning system
220.127.116.11 DIRECT EXPANSION SYSTEM (DX SYSTEM)
The DX system generally operates split or multi-split systems. This system is
usually used in smaller buildings or residential areas. The refrigerant carries rejected room
heats though a dry coil and fan. Then, the refrigerant is compressed into liquid again by
the compressor and the cycle repeats. A DX system is a system in which the refrigerant
expands directly inside a coil to effect the cooling of the air.
2.2.3 AIR-HANDLING UNITS (AHU)
All basic air-handling units have an AHU. The AHU functions to supply constant
airflow, draw air in from outside, filter any pollutants, control temperature, and deliver
fresh air into the distribution system. AHU is made up of a number of components. There
is an electrically driven fan to push the air through the distribution system; another fan is
used to extract air from the return ductwork. Then, a filter is used to remove solid
pollutant. A cooling coil, found in the AHU, uses cool water that circulates from the chiller
plant, cools the air before distributing it to the diffusers.
2.2.4 FAN COIL UNITS (FCU)
Fan coil units are also found in the air-conditioning system, it acts similar to an
induction system. The difference is that the fan coil unit replaces the induction unit. The
fan coil consists of finned-tube coil and a fan section. The fan section circulates air
continuously though the coils. The coils are constantly supplied with cool water.
2.3 CASE STUDY
The Subang Parade Mall is a huge shopping mall located at
Subang area; due to the building size, it utilizes a general central air-
conditioning system. This system is very appropriate for big buildings as it is
efficient in providing high cooling loads, which needs to be cooled at all
times (Eg. Shopping malls, hospitals). This system works by distributing cool
air to all areas via a duct system, then to a complex plan of diffusers form
specific AHU rooms found in a building. The desired temperature of building
can be controlled in the AHU rooms. If one specific AHU unit fails to work,
the whole designated area for that particular AHU would fail as well. The
quantity of AHU in each floors are suggested by the built up area and the
users as well. In this case of the Subang Parade Mall, 6 AHU are found in
Instead of an air-cooled system or direct expansion system
explained under literature review, the Subang Parade Mall uses the Central
Air-conditioning system. The main components of Central Air-conditioning
system are cooling tower, chiller units, AHU, duct system and diffusers.
Chiller unit is a device used to remove heat from liquid through the
absorption refrigerant cycle. The condenser used in this particular case of
Subang Parade Mall is called the Water Cooled Condenser. Cooling tower
located at the rooftop functions to cool the water pumped by the condenser.
Condenser transfers the heat inside chiller plant to water. The water will then
be cooled and the cycle will be repeated.
CENTRAL AIR-CONDITIONING SYSTEM
2.3.2 COOLING TOWER
Cooling towers are devices that extract heat out to the atmosphere from the
hot water and the cooled water will send back to chiller. In Subang Parade Mall, there are
6 cooling towers that located on the roof top level of the building (see Diagram 03) to
enhance pressure of water flow and was not covered by roof to maximize its efficiency.
But there is one cooling tower break down and have not repair yet during our visit.
The type of cooling towers used in Subang Parade Mallis the packaged cooling
towers which are pre-assembled in factory by Nihon Spindle. Packaged cooling tower are
compact units but the capacity of it is limited. Due to the limited capacity of the
packaged cooling tower, it is only used for buildings with low heat rejection requirements
such as hospitals, hotels and office buildings like Subang Parade Mall .
Diagram 03 Cooling Tower Location
Besides that, the cooling towers used in Subang Parade
Mallare the mechanical draft cross flow cooling tower. Cooling rates of
mechanical draft towers depend upon their fan diameter and speed of
operation and can be adjusted based on the needs of the building. In this
type of cooling towers, the condensed water is pumped from chiller room at
level LG 2 to the top of the cooling tower and falls downward over the fill.
The air, however, is introduced at the side either on one side (single-flow
tower) or opposite sides (double-flow tower) and the latter is used in Subang
Parade Mallto maximize heat transfer between water and air in order to cool
down the air. An induced draft fan draws the atmosphere air across the
wetted fill and expels the hot air through the top of the structure. The basin
at the bottom of the cooling tower collects all the cooled water and transfer
back to the chiller room (see Diagram 03).
Diagram 04 Cooling Tower Diagram
2.3.3 Chilled Water System
Subang Parade Mall utilizes water cooled chillers, whereby heat is
transferred via cool water from chiller plant, AHU, as well as the cooling
tower. Chilled water system is usually found in big buildings because of its
efficiency and size as water cooled chillers are compact and require very
limited space. The chiller plant room is located at level basement Services
room as the operation of chillers are noisy and may disturb the users in the
building. There are 7 chillers in the plant room: 4 big chillers and 3 small
chillers. The big chillers will function in pair and alternative on weekday
while the small chillers will be operate on weekend or there is emergency
break down on one of the big chillers.
The chillers are connected to AHU of each floors to circulate the
chilled water, as well as connected to the cooling towers which are located
at the roof to circulate the condensed water. The circulation for both chilled
water and condensed water are supported by respective pumps to
maximize efficiency and thus can run simultaneously. Chilled-water system
uses chilled water to transport heat energy between the refrigerants and the
The warm refrigerant that has been sent back from the AHU
rooms is cooled by the chilled water from the Cooling Tower. Then, the
chilled water is transfer back to the Cooling Tower as it has now gain heat
energy. Besides, the condensing water acts just like the Cooling Tower to
cool the mechanical equipment in Chiller room.
Diagram 04 Chiller
According to MS 1525 code 8.11.1:
“Chiller water pumps circulating chilled water through the piping system
external to the package, and cooling tower pumps and fans circulating water
or air through the condenser and cooling tower are not to be included in the
consideration of the COP for the component”
The evaporator is the heat exchanger where the heat is removed from
the system by the boiling of the refrigerant in the evaporator .Refrigerant
flows over evaporator tube bundle and evaporates, removing heat energy
from the water, thus the water is being chilled and circulates back to the AHU.
However, this process causes the refrigerant to evaporate into vapour as it
gains heat from the air. The refrigerant vapour is drawn out of the evaporator
by a compressor that “pumps” the vapor to the condenser.
Diagram 05 Evaporator
The refrigerant vapour will then be drawn into the compressor. The compressor
is needed to converse this low pressure and low temperature gaseous refrigearant into
high pressure, high-temperature gas. Then the vapour will be compressed by increasing
the pressure and the temperature of the vapour to a level that is required which is
typically 98°F and then flows into the condenser.
The condenser is also the heat exchanger where the refrigerant gas condenses,
giving up its heat to the atmosphere(refer to Diagram 2.3.4). The cold water that cooled
in cooling towers is transferred to condenser to absorb heat from the hot refrigerant gas.
This caused the hot gas in the condenser to be condensed and turned back into liquid
form and being transferred to the evaporator. Meanwhile, the heat transferred the cold
water becomes hot water and is circulated back to the cooling tower to be cooled.
Diagram 06 Condenser
The type of refrigerant used in the chiller is known as R-22 or HCFC-22 or
Chlorodifluoromethane as it is less damaging compared to other refrigerants
such as CFC and R-11. R-22 is widely used in refrigerant systems either in
residential or commercial.
18.104.22.168 CONDENSER & CHILLED WATER PUMP
There is two types of pump in the chilled water system: condenser pump and
chilled water pump. The condenser pump channels the hot condensed water to
the cooling tower and then returns back the cold condensed water into the
condenser. The chilled water pump pumps the chilled water to every AHU
room and it also returns the warm chilled water to the chiller so that it can be
Diagram 07 Condenser Water Pump (CWP)
Diagram 08 Chilled Water Distribution Pump
22.214.171.124 CONTROL PANELS
The control panels controls all the processes and can adjust manually by the
technicians in the chiller plant room. The control panels also indicate the
temperatures and pressure of each of the chiller.
Diagram 09 Control Panel
2.3.4 AIR-HANDLING UNIT (AHU ROOM)
The AHU room (Air-Handling Unit) is a room that can be found in every floor
of Subang Parade Mall and each floor has 6 AHU rooms. So many AHU are needed
due to building’s size and complexity as well as the air flow requirements.
As the name AHU (Air-Handling Unit) suggest, the main function of AHU is to
handle the airflow within the entire building. The air is draw back from the office
units, let it pass through the cooling coils, mix with fresh air and then channel back
to the office units.
The system for this is called the constant airflow system. This means the
temperature of airflow will not vary and the AHU is able to provide cool air at the
specific temperature. The temperature can be adjusted with a controlled panel
found in the AHU (see Diagram 10). Since it is a central air-conditioning system, the
temperature is constant throughout the entire building; hence different temperature
for each room cannot be adjusted.
The AHU are all enclosed in rooms specifically designed for AHU only. In
order to protect AHU and other components in it from external forces or pressure, it
is place inside a room, in a form of enclosure. This room of enclosure ensures
compactness and it protects the components within it.
Diagram 10 Air Handling-Unit
126.96.36.199 AIR FILTER
Air returning from the rooms enters the air grilles and then transfers to air
ionizer before to the air filter. Ionizer use charged electrical surfaces to generate
electrically charged air and removes the dirt, impurities and unwanted contaminations in
the air. This helps to improve the air quality. After air passes the air ionizer, it then moves
to air filter before the cooling coil as to ensure the cleanliness of air as well as a
protection for the downstream components.
There are two fans in an AHU room: fan that blow air to go through cooling coil
and supply fan that blow air into the supply duct.
188.8.131.52 COOLING COIL
Cooling coil is made with copper pipes; it is coiled up to increase its surface
area to maximize the heat transfer within the air. Heat is taken away from the mixed air
upon contact with cooling coil. The cooling coil is attached to chilled water pipe
transferred from the chiller plant via a blue pipe as to cool down the mixed air.
Diagram 11 Air Filter
184.108.40.206 Mixing Box
This is where the cool air is mixed with the fresh air. The damper controls by
manipulate the ratio of fresh air and recycled air while exhausting part of the
recycled air. When the air sensor detects more than 500pm carbon dioxide in the
return air from office unit, the system will be activate automatic and intake the fresh
air from the roof and surroundings of the building so that the air in the building can
2.3.5 Fan Coil Units (FCU)
Fan coil units (FCU) are small units, which are usually piped with chilled water
for cooling. FCU uses chilled water instead of refrigerant and it is ceiling mounted.
FCU is similar to inducting system, with the inducting unit replaced by the fan-coil.
The basic components found in a FCU are a finner-tube and a fan section. The fan
functions to recalculates air continuously, from the coil that is supplied with cool
Fan coil units system is similar to AHU but in a smaller scale and the fan speed can
be controlled. FCU are normally used for small spaces. As for the Subang Parade
Mall , the computer server room is the only room within the building that uses FCU.
This is because the server of the room needs continuous cooling for 24 hours.
Diagram 12 Fan Coil Units (FCU)
220.127.116.11 SUPPLY AIR DIFFUSERS
Diffusers are designed to distribute equal amount of air into the
rooms of Subang Parade Mall . Diffusers do not require any generation of
power and it improves the efficiency of the entire air-conditioning system
by dividing the distribution of air form AHU rooms. Diffusers give the
users a comfortable environment constantly by removing any areas with
heat and providing uniform distribution of heat.
At the Subang Parade Mall , there are 2 main types of diffusers
being applied which are directional square diffuser and linear slot diffuser.
Most of the diffusers are found on the floor of offices and some are
mounted on ceiling in public-use spaces like corridor, cafeteria and etc.
The size of both type diffusers for this case is same throughout, however
the number of diffusers on each floor depends on the area that needs to
be covered with air-conditions. The air diffusers work by capturing the air
from fan at the AHU and splitting air into smaller streams forcefully. Tiny
streams will allow air to flow smoothly and evenly throughout the room.
18.104.22.168 RETURN AIR GRILLES
Return Air Grille functions to carry the air back to the specific
area in AHU room. The return air grille is covered with grillwork to cover
up the duct behind it. It is also to avoid big objects from entering the duct
and damaging the AHU. A filter can also be found behind the grille to
trap pollutant, which can reduce the maintenance level. Unlike the
diffusers, the return air grilles are placed at the ceilings of Subang Parade
It works just like a pump; a fan behind the grille sucks out warm
air from the space as well. The return air grilles are larger than the
diffusers, but lesser in numbers. As one can see in Diagram 13, the
number of return air grilles are much more lesser than the supply air
2.3.7 DUCT SYSTEM
Duct system functions to carry cooled air from AHU into the rooms of the
building via a diffuser. The duct used for this building is made of galvanized steel because
this material has good insulation qualities. This is to make sure the air remains cool while
it is being transferred into the diffuser. A blower or fan is also installed within the duct to
help circulate movement of air.
2.3.8 PIPE SYSTEM
There are pipes in the AHU room, which are connected to the chiller plant
room. This pipe brings in cool water for the cooling coil to cool the air, which will later on
be distributed to the users via the diffuser.
‘MS 1525:8.5 Piping insulation: All piping installed to serve buildings and within
building should be adequately insulated to prevent excessive energy looses. Additional
insulation with vapour barriers may be required to prevent condensation under some
Diagram 15 Pipe in AHU line
Diagram 14 Pipe in AHU line
Indoor Air Quality
According to MS1525: 2007
Indoor Design Conditions Section 13a
“At normal comfort room temperature (23 to 26°c), the acceptable air
velocity would be in the region of 0.15 to 0.5 m/s. The indoor design
conditions of an air-conditioned space for comfort cooling is
recommended to have dry bulb of 23 to 26°c. The recommended design
relative humidity is 55-70%. The recommended air movement is 0.15 to
0.5 m/s. According to Department of Malaysian Standards, the maximum
air movement is 0.7m/s. “
From the analysis of our case study, Subang Parade Mall , it is true that
the building complies with thermal control requirements stated in
MS1525. Dry bulb temperature is constantly set at 25°c to fulfill the
requirement, as well as for the comfort of mall user and workers..
Air Distribution System
According to MS1525: 2007
Separate air distribution system
“Zones which are expected to operate non-simultaneously for more than
750 hours per year shall be served by independent air conditioning
According to the Department of Malaysian Standards, zones, which are
expected to operate, should be served by separate air distribution
system. To comply with this requirement, the Subang Parade Mall , the
offices operate non-simultaneously for more than 750 hours per year by
using the air distribution system.
ACCORDING TO MS1525: 2007
“ACMV system should be equipped with automatic controls capable
of accomplishing a reduction of energy use for example through
equipment shutdown during periods of non-use or alternative use of the
spaces served by the system.”
The Subang Parade Mall only schedules to open during office hours.
The ACMV system turn off automatically shut down after office hours to
prevent waste of energy.
“Each system should be provided with at least one thermostat
for the regulation of temperature. Each thermostat should be capable
of being set by adjustment or selection of sensors over a minimum
range of between 22°C to 27°C.”
The Subang Parade Mall has a thermostat at the top floor to measure
temperature of building. Hence the temperature is always at a average
In conclusion, using a centralized air-conditioning system is best
appropriate for the Subang Parade Mall, because of this large scale of
commercial shopping space. The components of the air-conditioning
system such as AHU, Chiller plant and cooling tower were placed at
appropriate levels. This helps the system to run smoothly and save
great amount of energy at the same time.
The building complies with the by-law in terms of air-
distribution, off-hour control and temperature-control. This has
contributed to the comfort and efficiency the air conditioning system
within the building. Subang Parade Mall with this centralized air-
conditioning system can maintain by certain thermal comfort
temperature and generate with energy efficiency achieve the best
ventilation solution for this large scale mall.
3.0 ACTIVE AND PASSIVE FIRE PROTECTION.
3.1 LITERATURE REVIEW
Fire is defined as the results of the chemical reaction called combustion. In
which substances combine chemically with oxygen from the air and
typically give out bright light, heat, and smoke. The basic factors of a fire
triangle are fuel, heat and oxygen, together with the chemical reaction
between one another. Fire is a visible, tangible side effect of matter
changing form. It starts in three main ways, by accidents due to the misuse
of appliances, dropping a cigarette or match on a sofa or mattress, the
deliberate ignition or arson by certain people within the space and lastly,
the failure of equipment including electrical malfunctions and overheating
in certain rooms. The temperatures achieved in fires are usually beyond
the ability of building cooling systems t o control. Thus, special water
system is fixed in the form of sprinklers to deprive fire of high
temperatures. Another design responses are to install fire suppression
system to cover the fuel, or displace oxygen, O2 with carbon dioxide,
CO2 that inhibits the chemical action to flame itself.
The rudiment aim of passive and active fire protection systems is to
prevent the spread of fire and smoke from one space to another space of
building, allowed dweller to escape safely without the any fire menace. It
enable to reduce and control the building damage as well from fire hazard
even neighbor building and reduce the risk of emergency system collapse.
-Passive fire protection
-Active fire protection
Education is important for operator in mastering skills in term of emergency
precautions of that building. The function of active and passive fire protection
system in fire hazard, the blind angle of this system and also the weak point
and strong point of the covered area are those important study has to include
in teaching objective.
The dweller and owner have right to understand all the safety security system
code on plan works when fire hazard and fire escape plan should be provide.
3.2.2 PASSIVE FIRE PROTECTION
Passive Fire protection (PFP) is one of the components of structural fire
protection, which provide existing fire safety to the building and do not rely
on the operation of any form of mechanical device. It is to maintain the
rudiment requirements of building fire separation, structural stability, building
compartmentation and safety escape. For instance, passive systems in the
form of fire rated doors, barrier, ceilings and structural fire protection. Passive
fire protection system provided an alternative way to slow down the fire
spread when incident happen by make use of fire protection tools on site.
Passive design are always designed with the building which included the fire
water, fire walls, escape route, emergency access and opening protection.
Passive fire protection is only effective for short duration exposure about 1-2
3.2.3 ACTIVE FIRE PROTECTION
Active fire protection system widely used in the process industries for
protection in the form of suppression, extinguishers, sprinkler, alarm and
extract ventilation. There are always on alert and first to act in case of fire.
The overall aim of active system is to extinguish the fire by:
• Detecting the fire early and evacuate the building.
• Alerting emergency services at an early stage of the fire.
• Control the movement of smoke and fire.
• Suppress and/or starve the fire of oxygen and fuel. (NAFFCO, 2004)
This system includes automatic, or manual operation systems such as, water-
based system, non-water based system, fire alarm systems, fireman intercom
system and smoke control system. These systems are crucial in protecting
properties and the lives of the occupants. Active fire protection system
includes the action of retarding the progress of fire spread, putting out the
fire, or being notified of fire happenings and smoke conditions. The most
popular type of automatic sprinkler system under water-based system is by
using water to put out or slow down the progress of a fire. Some other
examples of the water-based system are hydrant system, hose reel system
and wet riser system. Some examples of non-water based active fire
protection systems that can help to extinguish a fire are CO2 automatic
sprinkler system, foam and chemical system. These systems are most likely
being used in places where water is not advisable against firefighting, such as
transformer room in certain shopping malls where it contained such high
voltage of electrical devices. Alternatively, manual active fire protection that
requires human operation such as the use of fire extinguishers, this is only
advisable during an occurrence of a small fire. Besides that, active fire
protection also includes the fire alarm system and smoke control system.
These are vitally important to protect life and to ensure a quick fire
department response. Generally, smoke control systems consist of smoke
detecting devices being placed throughout a building that detect the
smoke and heat from a fire. These detectors are extremely sensitive and
can notify the occupants of a building of danger with plenty of time to get
out of the building and call for help, meanwhile notify the fire department
automatically, which is very useful especially during night times when the
buildings are not under guarded.
ACTIVE FIRE PROTECTION
Active fire protection system is a system widely used in the process
industries for protection. There are always on alert and first to act in case of
fire. The overall aim of active system is to extinguish the fire by:
• Detecting the fire early and evacuate the building.
• Alerting emergency services at an early stage of the fire.
• Control the movement of smoke and fire.
• Suppress and/or starve the fire of oxygen and fuel. (NAFFCO, 2004)
3.3 ACTIVE FIRE PROTECTION
3.3.1 SMOKE DETECTOR
Smoke detector is a typically as an indicator of fire and is one of the
important safety tools to detect smoke and heat while fire in the building.
Smoke detectors usually powered by a central fire alarm system, which is
powered with a battery backup. When heat sensation reaches the fixed
temperature it will send a signal to master plan while the surroundings
temperature reaches 47°C. For the installation of smoke detector, it has a
laser sensor inside, while the smokes flew in and lower down the detection
of laser. It will be activated and sent signal to master panel.
Under UBBL 1984 section153: Smoke detectors for lift lobbies.
• All lift lobbies shall be provided with smoke detectors.
• Lift not opening into a smoke lobby shall not use door.
• Reopening devices controlled by light beam or photo detectors unless
incorporated with a force close features which after thirty second of any
unless incorporated with a force close feature which are thirty seconds of
any interruption of the beam causes the door to close within a preset-time.
There are two types of smoke detector commonly found in the market
that are photoelectric smoke detector and ionization smoke detector.
Figure above shown the photoelectric smoke detector used in
Figure 2. : Sensing chamber in a photoelectric smoke detector that smoke
reflected light to activate the detector.
Photoelectric smoke detector is generally more responsive to fires that begin
with a long period of combustion with smoke but without flame. The detector
works when smoke reflecting the straight light from light source on to the
sensing chamber to trigger the alarm shown in Figure 2.
Photoelectric Smoke Detector
1. Optical chamber
3. Case molding
4. Photodiode (detector)
5. Infrared LED
3.3.2 FIRE CONTROL ROOM
Fire Control Room at ground floor
According to the guidelines, the fire control room have to meet the
requirement of the building that has an effective height of more than 50m
and shall be separated from the rest of the building by two hour fire rated
elements of structure.
UBBL 1984 section 238:- Command and Control Centre
Every large premises or building exceeding 30.5 meters in height shall be
provided with a command and control center located on the designated
floor and shall contain a panel to monitor the public address, fire bridge
communication, sprinkler, water flow detectors, fire detection and alarm
systems and with a direct telephone connection to the appropriate fire
station by passing the switchboard.
Therefore, the Subang Parade meets the requirement that the fire control
room is located at ground floor near the lift lobby and staircase as it has 4
stories including the car parks located at basement and one lower ground
floor above. There are 2 guard observing the control room continuously
and begin to manage an appropriate action when there are any signal form
the detectors come directly to the control unit.
Figure above shown the example of fire control room in Subang Parade
(as we are not allowed to take photo inside.) Source: http://
T h e s i t e h a s a d i r e c t
communication system to the
nearest firefighting station to
allow for immediate warnings
to take place shown in figure 5.
Figure 5: Digital Alarm Communicator link directly to the Nearest Jambatan
The general requirements for fire control room are as follows. It should:
• Have a minimum floor area of 10m². Can be larger depending on the
• Location near the main entrance or exit to the building’s main lobby in a
• Preferably be adjacent to a fire lift lobby or any other location as
designated by the relevant authority.
• Be accessible via two path of travel. One from the front entrance and the
other form a public place or fire-isolated passageway, which leads to a
public place has a two hour fire rated door.
• Have an independent air handing system if mechanical ventilation is
provided throughout the building.
• Be adequately illuminated to not less than 400 lux.
• Provide the ability to communicate (e.g. via telephones and loudspeakers)
with all parts of the building, and with fire and other emergency services.
• Be provided with insulation form ambient building noise.
• Be under the control of the Chief Fire Warden (or similar appointed
3.3.3 MANUAL PULL STATION
Manual pull and key switch box normally located near HT sub station and gen
set room. While the room is on fire, ones can straight activate the key switch or
Figure 3.3.3 a: Key Switch Box
Found in the fire Control Room
3.3.4 FIREMAN INTERCOM SYSTEM
Fire intercom system provides a communication between the Master
Console, or commonly known as Fire Command Centre and the remote Handset
Stations. The system consists of a remote handset station and Master control panel
which is normally installed at the Fire Control Room. The Intercom handset stations
are located at staircases of each floor in Subang Parade. At the Master control panel,
a call alert lamp shall flash with audible signal when there is incoming call. Upon
lifting the handset, the audible signal will be silenced. The master control panel is
also equipped with a fault indicator unit to indicate the type of fault, see Figure
Figure.3.3.4b: Emergency and EWIS is equipped in
Subang Parade fire control room.
Figure above shown a telephone
connected directly to the external
3.3.5 FIRE ALARM
There are two types of fire alarm mechanisms that need to be installed in the
building to notify people in the building that there may be a fire and need to be
evacuated. The two types of mechanisms for fire alarm are the fire emergency
light and fire alarm bell.
According to UBBL 1984, Section 237:
1) Fire alarms shall be provided in accordance with the Tenth Schedule to these
2) All premises and building with gross floor area excluding car park and storage
area exceeding 9290 square meters or exceeding 30.5m in height shall be
3) provided with a two-stage alarm system with evacuation (continuous signal) to
be given immediately in the affected section of the premises while an alert
4) (intermittent signal) be given adjoining section.
5) Provision shall be made for the general evacuation of the premises by action
of a master control.
According to UBBL 1984, Section 155:
1. The fire mode of operation shall be initiated by a signal from the fire alarm
panel which may be activated automatically by one of the alarm devices in the
building or manually.
2. If mains power is available all lifts shall return in sequence directly
to the designated floor, commencing with the fire lifts, without
answering any car or
landing calls, overriding the emergency stop button inside the car,
but not any other emergency or safety devices, and park with doors
3. The fire lifts shall then be available for use by the fire brigade on
operation of the fireman’s switch.
4. Under this mode of operation, the fire lift shall only operate in
response to car calls but not to landing calls in a mode of operation
in accordance with
5. In the event of mains power failure, all lift shall return in sequence
directly to the designated floor and operate under emergency power
as described under
paragraphs 2 and 4.
According to UBBL 1984, Section 255:
1. Every building shall be provided with means of detecting and
extinguishing fire and with fire alarms together with illuminated exit
signs in accordance with the
requirements as specified in the Tenth Schedule to these by-laws.
The fire alarm mechanisms also apply to the Subang Parade that has
982,000 square feet. In order to make the Subang Parade to be more
effective way of fire safety, a fire alarm system is set up to alert the
occupants thought noise, light or both at the same time. As mentioned,
there are two types od fire alarm mechanisms sued to install that are fire
emergency light and fire alarm bell.
The figure above shown the fire emergency light, control panel box, alarm box and
emergency break glass had been installed in front of transformer room.
Emergency light is to alert people in building through light and sound. This
mechanism is effective for people whom are deaf or poor hearing that could not
be able to hear the fire alarm bell instead they might notice the fire emergency
light in order for them to evacuate. The light in green showed normal situation as
for the red light showed fire in order for people to evacuate. The emergency light
usually installed in a common area for immediate and effective way for people to
evacuate or to escape.
3.3.6 ALARM BELL
Alarm bell also named as alarm sounder shown in figure below.
Functionally in manual or automatic as well as by breaking down the glass
of manual call point. If a smoker detector detects smoke or heat or
someone operates a manual call point, then alarm bell will operate to
alert other in the building that there may be a fire and to evacuate. It may
also incorporate remote signaling equipment, which would alert the fire
brigade via Subang Parade.
Diagram: Fire Alarm Bell Found in Lift Lobby
Diagram: Fire Alarm Bell Found in Lift Lobby
3.3.6 MANUAL CALL POINT
A manual call point also called as an emergency break glass is a device
that enables the occupants to raise the alarm by breaking the frangible
element on the fascia. Most of the manual call points mounted 1.4m from
the floor and installed where they can be easily seen especially on the
floor and installed where they can be easily seen especially on floor
landings of stairways and at exists to open air. Most importantly, the
manual call points should be installed on the floor side of an access door
to a staircase so the floor of origins indicated at the control panel. Extra
call points should be installed, where necessary, so that the greatest travel
distance from any point in the building to the nearest call point does not
exceed 30m. A greater number of call point maybe needed in high risk
areas or if the occupant are likely to be slow in movement.
Automated processes triggered by fire alarms
a. When the Fire alarm goes off in any zone, all fire shutters and fire
curtains will fall within 5 minutes.
b. When the smoke detector is activated, it will trigger the fire alarm in
the zone, which will then trigger the fire shutters and fire curtains.
c. When the sprinklers in any zone are activated, the fire alarms in that
zone will be automatically triggered, and the rest of the automated
process subsequently triggered.
d. There a 2 stage Alarm System with evacuation (continuous signal) given
immediately in the affected section of the premises while an alert
(intermittent signal) is given in the adjoining section.
e. When there is a fire alarm all lifts return to the designated floors,
without answering any car or landing calls
f. When there is a fire alarm, the fire lift only responds to car calls.
Portable Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher, flame extinguisher, or simply an extinguisher, is an
active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in
emergency situations. Typically, a fire extinguisher consists of a hand-held
cylindrical pressure vessel containing an agent, which can be discharged to
extinguish a fire. Basically, the fire extinguisher can be found at all the floors,
to be specific besides every fire escape doors and hose reel rooms and
almost every corner that easy to reach in Subang Parade.
Diagram: Portable Fire Extinguisher Used in Subang Parade
Most of the Fire Extinguishers are located in the Hose Reel Closets
and the Wet and Dry Risers. For aesthetic reasons the Fire Extinguishers are
not immediately visible, though they are located near enough to Fire exits,
in ‘concealed’ Fire Hose Reel closets, which are located in close proximity to
the Fire Exit Doors, and along the Fire Escape paths.
According to UBBL Law 1984, Section 227:
Portable Fire Extinguisher shall be provided in accordance with relevant
codes of practice and shall be sited in prominent position on exit routes to
be visible from all direction and similar extinguishers in a building shall be of
the same method of operation.
The type of fire extinguisher that Subang Parade uses throughout the
building is dry powder extinguisher. Portable Fire extinguishers installed are
primarily of Dry Powder variety, which can extinguish majority of classes of
Diagram: Table of Classes of Fire and Travel Distance
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that
employers select and distribute fire extinguishers based on the classes of
anticipated workplace fires and also on the size and degree of the hazards,
which would affect their use. The above chart contains OSHA requirements
for classes of fires and travel distance to an extinguisher. There is no
distance requirement for Class K extinguishers. They are typically placed at
the point of possible cooking fire ignition.
3.3.8 CLASSIFICATION AND USE
3.3.9 AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SYSTEM
Automatic sprinkler system is found in our case study. The sprinkler system was found
covered every floor of the building. The dimension between two sprinkler head is
4.2m wide and 3m high, as shown in the diagram below.
Sprinkler Tank and Sprinkler Pumps
The water for the sprinkler piping system is supplied from a reinforced concrete tank
located in basement. The Sprinkler Pump draws water from the sprinkler
tank, to distribute the water to the sprinklers. The sprinkler pump comprises an Alarm
Cont. Valve, which serves as the jockey pump. It is sensitive to changes in
water pressure in the sprinkler piping system. When any sprinkler(s) is activated and
water is discharged through the sprinklers in that zone, the pressure in the valve is
reduced, triggering the duty pumps to pump water from the Sprinkler Tank.
There are a total of 3 pumps to supply water to the sprinkler systems of all zones and
levels of each with holding pressure of 120 psi. There is only one jockey
pump for all Duty pumps. As long as the sprinklers in any one of the zones have been
activated to discharge water, all the Duty pumps will be triggered to pump water from
the RC sprinkler tank. Since only the sprinklers in the affected zone have been
activated, the rest of the sprinklers will not discharge water, even though the duty
pumps connected to the zone have been activated to pump water.
Pendant type hangs from the pipeline, its water deflector is placed at the
bottom, but water spreads in the same circular pattern as that of an upright
sprinkler. When concealed, pendant sprinklers hide under the ceiling under a
special cap that falls away when the surrounding temperature rises to a
prescribed level. If the temperature continues to rise, the concealed pendant
head automatically drops and begins to spray water.
Diagram: Rows of Pendent Sprinkles in Subang Parade
An upright sprinkler, as its name implies, stands atop the pipeline, whereas a
pendant type hangs from the pipe. An upright sprinkler, however, comes with a
water deflector at the top so that water coming out of the orifice shoots upward
and then spreads in a circular pattern. Upright sprinklers are used mostly in places
where obstructions may block water spray during a fire, and their height allows
them to aim water around possible obstacles.
Diagram: Upright Sprinkle in Subang Parade
3.3.10 TYPICAL DELUGE SYSTEM
Diagram: Compartments of Deluge System
In deluge system, the arrangement of deluge fire sprinkler system piping is similar
to a wet or dry stem with two major differences:
A. Standard sprinklers are used, but they are all open. The activating elements have
removed so that when the control valve is opened water will flow from all of the
simultaneously and deluge the area with water
B. The deluge valve is normally closed. The valve is opened by the activation of a
fire detection system
Deluge systems are used where large quantities of water are needed quickly to
control a fast-developing fire. Deluge valves can be electrically, pneumatically or
Wet Riser also plays important role in putting down fire. In Subang Parade,
wet riser is located near the lift lobby and at the emergency staircase in
each and every floor. It supplies water from the water tank through wet
risers pipes and is distributed to canvas hoses and hose reel at each floor.
The pipes supplying water from the tank to the hoses are pressurized at all
the time. As mentioned earlier there are three pumps are jockey pump,
duty pump and standby pump, located at the pump room which is needed
for water to travel from the water tank to the hoses.
The firewater storage tank is located at the basement level 1 in the fire
pump room. The wet riser system and water sprinkler system uses the same
water. The volume of water contained into the tank in sufficient to supply
water to the whole building.
According to UBBL 1984, Section 247:
1) Water storage capacity and water flow rate for fire fighting system and
installation shall be provided in accordance with the scale as set out in
the tenth schedule to these By-laws.
2) Main water storage tanks within the building, other than for the hose reel
system, shall be located at ground, first or second basement levels, with
fire brigade pumping inlet connection accessible to fire appliances.
3) Storage tanks for automatic sprinkle installation where full capacity is
provided without the need for replenishment shall be exempted from the
restrictions in their location.
Diagram: Hose Reel Pump connected to Water Storage Tank
Wet riser, canvas hose and hose reel are found in the two wet riser section
of every floor. The canvas hose has a standard size of 65mm diameter with
a length of 30m. The canvas hose are pressure at each floor that is control
by a landing valve that allows the return of excess pressurized water back
to the wet riser tank through a drain pipe. The hose reel in the building
uses 30mm diameter with a length of 40m. Unlike the canvas hoses that
need a high pressure, the hose reel pipe have a pressure reducer at the
end of the wet riser pipe so that the water that send to hose reel will be a
lower pressure pipe. But when the valve at the start of the hose reel s
open, water comes out at high pressure.
According to UBBL 1984, Law 248: Marking on wet riser
1) Wet riser, dry riser, sprinkle and other fire installation pipes and fittings
shall be painted red.
2) All cabinet and areas recessed in walls for location of fire installations and
extinguisher shall be clearly identified to the satisfaction of Fire Authority or
otherwise clearly identified.
According to UBBL 1984, Law 23: Installation and testing of wet rising
1) Wet rising system shall be provided in every building which topmost floor
is more 30.5m above the fire appliance access level
2) A hose connection shall be provided in each fire fighting access lobby
3) Each wet riser outlet shall comprise standard 63.5mm coupling fitted with
a hose of not less than 38.1mm diameter equipped with an approved
types cradle and variable fog nozzle.
3.3.11 WATER BASED SYSTEM
External Fire Hydrant
Water Hydrant fire-fighting system consists of hydrants connected to same
pipeline; the other end of the pipeline is attached to the pumps and water
supply tank of the fire fighting room. The fire fighting hydrant line is close
loop pipe system to maintain the pressure in the water hydrant fire fighting
system. The networks of pipes are located underground. The hydrants are
used in case of emergency when there is need for more water. Firemen will
connect their equipment to the outlets of the hydrant, forcing water into the
There are approximately 10 external fire hydrants found around Subang
Parade. The distance between the fire hydrant and the building is between
4m to 8m. Fire hydrant is place beside the road so that fire brigade could
get easy access to input their hose.
Fire hydrant is located at the boundary of our case study. The type of fire hydrant
used is two-way fire hydrant. It is made up of cast iron that could withstand high
water pressure. The following diagram shows the location of fire hydrant in
3) Standby Pump
The standby pump acts as the same function of duty pump. It replaces the
function of duty pump when the duty pump does not function as required or
is under repair. Standby pump can be manually from the control panel
The type of pressure switch used in Subang Parade is the alarm pressure
switch. In a wet pipe sprinkler system, an alarm pressure switch is typically
installed on top of the retard chamber into a one half inch tapped outlet. A
time delay is not needed when using a pressure switch because the retard
chamber will divert water flowing through the alarm line during pressure
surges from the city water supply. A drip valve allows water to drain from the
chamber. Alarm pressure switches are pre-set to alarm at 4 to 8 PSI on rising
pressure. The pressure setting can be field adjusted to obtain a specific
pressure alarm response between 4 and 20 PSI.
According to UBBL 1984 Section 226:
Where hazardous processes, storage or occupancy are of such character as
to require automatic system sprinkles or other automatic extinguishing
system, it shall be of a type and standard appropriate to extinguish fire in
the hazardous materials stored or handled or for the safety of the occupants.
Water supplied to these pump is stored in a reinforced concrete tank found
next to the pumping station. The tank is connected to a 4-way breeching
inlet to enable the fire brigade to pump water into the system in case of
disruption in water supply.
Diagram: Stop Valve to Control Flow of Water from Tank Pump
3.3.12 FIRE PUMP ROOM
Diagram: Location of Fire Pump Room in
According to UBBL 1984 Section 247(2): Water Storage
Main water storage tanks within the building, other than for hose reel
systems, shall be located at ground, first or second basement levels, with fire
brigade pumping inlet connections accessible to fire appliances.
1) Jockey Pump
Apparatus that works together with a fire-pump as a part of the fire protection system. It is
designed to maintain the pressure in the system elevated to a specific level when the
system is not in use, so that the fire pump doesn’t have to run all the time and the system
doesn’t go off randomly. It can also help prevent the system from drainage when a fire
happens and water rushes into the pipes.
2) Duty Pump
When pressure in pipe goes down, duty pump takes the lead and supply enough pressure
of water to maintain the system in running order. However, if this pump fails to run due to
some defaults, standby pump is activated automatically by the system. Duty pump can be
switch off manually from the control panel in case of necessity.
3.4 PASSIVE FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEM
Fire Escape Plans
Fire escape provide a method of escape in the fire to allow the occupant to
evacuate from the building to a safer area outside of the building, which also
mean assembly area. There are routes and exits that were designed
specifically in Subang Parade in case of fire.
Escape route is a designed safe pathway to occupants, from an area of the
building to a place such as fireproof staircase, where the occupants will be
safe and capable of escaping from the fire or smoke as a fire protected area
or a fire fighting access lobby.
According to UBBL 1984: Enclosing Means of Escape in Certain Building.
1) Every staircase provided under these By-laws in a building where the
highest floor is more than 1200mm above the ground level, or in any
place of assembly, or in any school when such staircase is to used as an
alternative means of escape shall be enclosed throughout its length with
fire resisting materials
2) Any necessary openings, except openings in external walls which shall not
for the purpose of this by-law include wall to air wells, in the length of
such staircase shall be provided with self-closing doors constructed of fire
3.4.1 EMERGENCY EXIT SIGNAGE
Exit Emergency signage indicate the way to safety outdoor area or assembly
point. It is an effective guidance tool, helping to reduce panic an confusion
by providing a clear directional system. These signs are always lit for cases
of necessity. The letters are written in block letters sufficiently big to be seen
and green on color to attract attention. In Malaysia, the exit signage is
written in Malay word “KELUAR, which mean EXIT.
3.4.2 FIRE ESCAPE DOOR
Location: All escape door
Material: Solid hardwood core with asbestos insulating board
Dimension: Single leaf 900mm x 2100mm x 38mm
Double leaf: 1800mm x 2100mm x 38mm
Fire Rated: 1 hour
According to UBBL 1984 Section 172:
1) Storey exits and access to such exits shall be marked by readily visible
signs and shall not obscured by any decoration, furnishings or other
2) A sign reading “KELUAR” with an arrow indicating the direction shall be
placed in every location where the direction of the travel to reach the
nearest exit is not immediately apparent.
3) Every exit sign shall have the word “KELUAR in plainly legible letters not
less than 150 meter high with the principal strokes of the letters not less
than 18 mm wide. The lettering shall be in red against a black
4) All exit signs shall be illuminated continuously during periods of
According to UBBL 1984 Section 162:
Fire doors including frames shall be constructed to a specification which can
be shown to meet the requirements for the relevant FRP when tested in
accordance with section 3 of BS 476: 1951.
3.4.3 DOOR CLOSER
All the fire door closers of the building are made out of aluminum.
Overhead door closers are typically surface mounted. Door closer ensure
the doors are closed. Hence preventing escape of smoke if fire into the
protected areas and staircase section and slow down the spread of fire
According to UBBL 1984 Section 164:
1) All fire doors shall be fitted with automatic door closers of the
hydraulically spring operated type in the case of swing doors and of wire
rope and weight type in the case of sliding doors.
2) Double doors with rabbeted meeting stiles shall be provided with
coordinating device to ensure that leafs close in the proper sequence.
3.4.4 FIRE ESCAPE STAIRCASE
Like any other firefighting facilities, Subang Parade has its own fire escape
staircases with door boundaries at each floor of the shopping mall including
the basement car park. The type of fire escape staircase used is half landing
staircase and the material used is cement concrete. There is an opening to
the outdoor at each stairway exit enabling smoke to escape during fire and
also for ventilation. The landing area has a dimension of 1.2m x 2.4m. The
stairway landing is wide
enough to accommodate the users during a fire to escape.
Fire Escape staircase allow the occupants of the building to escape from the
building to a safer area or assembly point when there is fire event or any
emergency event happen. According to the law, the building should have
two means of exits consists of separate exits or doors that leads to a corridor
or other space giving access to separate exits in different directions.
According to UBBL 1984 Section 166:
1) Except as permitted by-law 167 not less than 2 separate exits shall be
provided from each storey together with such additional exits as many as
2) The exits shall be so sited and exit access shall be so arranged that the
exit are within the limits of travel distance as specified in the seventh
schedule to these by-law and are readily accessible at all time.
According to UBBL 1984 Section 166:
In buildings exceeding 30 metres in height all staircases intended to be
used as means of egress shall be carried to the roof level to give access
one floor discharging into it calculated in accordance with provisions in the
Seventh schedule to these By-laws.
3. The required width of a staircase shall be the clear width between walls
but handrails may be permitted to encroach on this width to a maximum of
4. The required width of a staircase shall be maintained throughout its
length including at landings.
5. Doors giving access to staircases shall be so positioned that their swing
shall at no point encroach on the required width of the staircase or landing.
According to UBBL 1984 Section 229(4):
A fire fighting staircase shall be provided to give direct access to each fire
fighting access lobby and shall be directly accessible from outside the
building at the fire appliances access level.
The width of the staircase is 1350mm, allowing two people to be able to use
it at the same time. The height of riser is 170mm and the tread is 290mm.
Every flight of stairs has more than four riser and due to that. Handrail is
required for safety purpose of the occupants in the building. The height of
the handrail is 950mm, and no intermediate handrail are required in this
building, as the width of the staircase does not exceed 2255mm
According to UBBL 1984 Section
1. Except as provided for in by-law
194 every upper floor shall have
means of egress via at least two
2. Staircases shall be of such width
that in the event of any one
staircase not being available for
escape purposes the remaining
staircases shall accommodate the
highest occupancy load of any
Railings are usually seen in the dimension of 1.0m heights x 0.04m in
diameter. It is painted in grey iron. The railings have minor parallel railing in
0.2m each to accommodate different height of occupants when escaping.
Whereas for areas that do not have a fire exit, the respective fire staircase
them to the nearest fire exit, which the distance between one fire exit and
another is within 45 meters. The entire stairway is constructed with non-
materials. A landing is provided to ensure the users to have enough
circulation space in the stairs to avoid any injuries or accidents during an
emergency. It is also realized that no piping are found within the stairway.
Thus obeying the law number 157 as follow.
According to UBBL 1984 Section 157: Protected Shafts consisting of
A protected staircase containing a staircase shall not contain any pipe
conveying gas or oil or any ventilating duct other than a duct serving only
In Conclusion, both active and passive fire protection system plays an
important role in protecting the building against an eventual fire
breakdown. Along with its functional aspect, the passive systems also
attribute in aesthetic features. As far as active fire protection system is
concerned, it contribute to its fair share in the protection of the
building. But nowadays, more technologically advanced system for the
detectors are available. There are more responsive and more efficient.
4.0 ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Tenaga National Berhad (TNB) who is the largest company electricity
utility company in Malaysia, and also Southeast Asia are in charge of
generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity throughout
Peninsula Malaysia and Sabah. They are also in charge of repairs, testing,
maintenance of all equipment, construction of power plants and
manufacturing of high voltage gears to ensure continuous transmission
and distribution of electricity. According to Norayhunt (2008), Malaysia has
a mix variety of energy resources such as oil, natural gas, coal and
renewable energies such as hydro powered electricity, biomass and solar.
However, about 75% of the energy used comes from natural gas which in
our opinion is not sustainable. The reason for this is that Malaysia has the
cheapest and most fossil fuel in the region. We as architects should
encourage the construction of more renewable sources.
Electricity is the most prevalent form of energy in a modern building. It
not only supplies electric outlets and electric lighting, but also provides
the motive power for HVAC equipment, traction power for elevators and
material transport, and power for all signals and communications
equipment. An electric power failure can paralyze a facility. A properly
designed facility can quickly return to partial operation by virtue of
emergency equipment that can furnish part of the facility’s electricity
needs for a limited time.
Electricity is form of energy that occurs naturally only in unusable forms
such as lighting and other static discharges or in natural galvanic cells
(which cause corrosion). The primary problem in the utilization of
electricity energy is that, unlike fuels or even heat, it cannot be readily
stored and therefore must be generated and utilized in the same instant.
This requires an entirely different concept of utilization than, for example,
a heating system with its fuel source, burner, piping, and associated
4.2 LITERATURE REVIEW
4.2.1 POWER TRANSMISSION
Subang Parade is the
first shopping center in
Subang Jaya, Selangor,
Malaysia. It is located
near Wisma Consplant
(formerly Wisma Tractors
until 1995) and Empire
Subang in SS16. Its
anchor tenant is the
store. They require
continuous flow of
e l e c t r i c i t y w i t h o u t
breakdowns to ensure
that the department is
forever running during
the working hours. Without it, the entire financial and regulation of securities
will go haywire. Electricity in this building is mostly used for air conditioning,
lighting, elevators, escalators, appliances, etc. Electricity from the power
station is stepped up from the power plant to keep loss of electricity to a
minimum due to resistance of the material transmitting electricity, usually
copper. As shown in the figure, before the distribution stations, it is further
stepped down to either 275kv or 132kv and when it reaches the substation,
it is stepped down to 33kv. The local substations would further reduce the
electricity from 33kv to 11kv, which the Subang Parade uses. In the Subang
Parade, the transformer further steps it down to the usable voltages.
Several devices used in the distribution of electricity throughout a
building. A meter is used to receive electricity through a residual current
device. A meter helps take measurements of usage and normally takes
measurements in kilowatt per hour. In the case of the SCC, a commercial
electric meter is used instead of a watt hour meter. Main switch,
commonly known as the circuit breaker allows electricity to pass through,
and will break the circuit if overloaded or short circuit. Distribution board
allows for the division of cable to receive current and to distribute it
through a branch circuit.
A branch circuit is typically used instead of a feeder circuit because it is
generally safer. It has a reserve capacity to ensure that the circuit does
short circuit. There are 3 types of outlets used which are single, multiple
and general multiple circuits. Single normally used for heavy usage
appliances, multiple for small devices and general multiple for things like
Safety devices such as circuit breakers and fuses are used to prevent
incidents like fire or wreckage of devices from happening due to over
usage. A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch
designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload
or short circuit. Its basic function is to detect a fault condition and
interrupt current flow. Unlike a fuse, which operates once and then must
be replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or
automatically) to resume normal operation. Circuit breakers are made in
varying sizes, from small devices that protect an individual household
appliance up to large switchgear designed to protect high voltage circuits
feeding an entire city.
4.3 CASE STUDY
The transmission voltage networks in Malaysia are 500kV, 275kV, 132kV
and the distribution voltages are 33kV, 11kV and 400/230V. The latter is
usually used for residential and the rest for industrial use. In the case of
the Subang Parade, it gets its electricity directly by the TNB Substation.
4.3.1 ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
According to TNB, the function of a SSU / Main Switching Station is to
supply a dedicated amount bulk consumer of 32kV, 22kV and 11kV. As for
the Subang Parade’s case, we are getting 11kV. The SSU provides a bulk
capacity injection from the Main Distribution substation to the load center
for distribution. The SSU is normally divided into 3 parts which is the SSU
Switchgear Room, the control room and the battery room. As for the
Subang Parade’s case, there is only a switchgear room.
Main Switching Station (SSU)
Switchgear is the combination of electrical disconnects switches, fuses or
circuit breakers used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment.
Switchgears are used both to de-energize equipment to allow work to be
done and to clear faults downstream. This type of equipment is directly
linked to the reliability of the electricity supply. As required by TNB, this
room has medium voltage vacuum circuit breaker, vacuum circuit breakers
have rated current up to 6,300 A, and higher for generator circuit
breakers. These breakers interrupt the current by creating and
extinguishing the arc in a vacuum container - aka "bottle". Long life
SSU Switchgear Room
bellows are designed to travel the 6 to 10 mm the contacts must part.
These are generally applied for voltages up to about 40,500 V, which
corresponds roughly to the medium-voltage range of power systems. This
room has no column and cross beam to avoid hindrance. It must have well
ventilation within this room as well.
1. High Voltage / Low Voltage Room
2. Switch Gear
3. 3 Phase Transformer (11kV to 415V)
4. Label indicating transformation of voltage
5. Distribution Panel
6. Sub Switch boards in various places of Subang Parade
The above diagram illustrates how electricity from the Power station
reaches into the Subang Parade. Before the power station, it reaches the
TNB metering kiosk. After the meter, it reaches the TNB Power Station
(SSU). After that it goes to the Vacuum Circuit Breaker, known also as the
main switch which helps to protect the three phase transformer when it is
overloaded by disconnection the power which is at 11kV in the
transformer room beside it. The transformer further steps down the
voltage to 415kV before transferring it to the Low Voltage area located at
another room. The transformer room is beside the Low Voltage Room.
They are all located close to each other to further increase efficiency and
to prevent energy loss. Air Circuits are installed to prevent leakage of
current for transformer, which could zap a person to death if leaked. After
the transformer, it reaches the distribution panel (switchboard) which it
furthers distributes to the rest of the Subang Parade through the riser.
4.3.2 HIGH VOLTAGE, TRANSFORMER ROOM & LOW VOLTAGE ROOM.
4.3.3 HIGH TENSION SWITCH GEAR
Main metal-clad switchgear for commercial, industrial, and public
buildings, as well as Subang Parade is almost invariably located in a Lower
Ground and encapsulated in a separated well-ventilated electrical
switchgear room. These switch gears regulate the flow of electricity within
the electrical system. Switch gear provides protection against overload of
current, short circuit current and insulation failure. It is an insulating barrier
between open contacts which is clearly visible and also a fail-proof
mechanical indicator. The many functions of the switch gear includes
functional switching, emergency switching, emergency stopping and also
stopping of entire mechanism for maintenance. Emergency switching is
used when there is a failure in power, the switch gear would run on the
backup generators providing the power needed. Smaller sub distribution
switchboards require no special room. A wire screen enclosure to prevent
tampering or vandalism plus a large “DANGER-HIGH VOLTAGE” sign are
usually adequate. The diagram below showed the sign “DANGER’’ which
outside the High Voltage Room. From the diagram below, sufficient of
exits, hallways, or hatches for the installation and removal of all equipment
had provided as well. Specification for switchgear should state the
maximum overall dimensions of sections that will be transported and
installed in a piece.
The unique objective of the transformer is to step down high voltage
current from 11kV to 415V through the machinery shown in the Figure
below. There are total 5 transformers in the transformer room at Subang
Electricity flows from the TNB substation passing through the switchgear
which is (a), and reaches the 5 transformers (b) to step down the voltage
from 11kV to 415V. It later splits and goes through the ACMV and the
switchboard for distribution to the users, lighting, AHU and etc. (c) helps
to absorb water vapors or oil to reduce the humidity inside the
transformer (d) is a system to check the temperatures of the transformers.
In case of an emergency, the technician would be notified. (e) Transformer
room is a CO² system room which will release carbon dioxide if there was
A transformer is an electrical device that transfers energy between two or
more circuits through electromagnetic induction. It changes or transforms
alternating current (ac) of one voltage to alternating current of another
voltage. Transformers used in building work consist essentially of an iron
core on which are wound at least two coils: a primary winding and
secondary winding. A voltage impressed on the primary winding induces
(through the iron core) a voltage in the secondary winding in proportion to
the ratio of turns in the two coils. Thus, a step-down transformer has a
larger number of turns in its primary winding than in its secondary
winding. In theory, transformers are reversible, although in practice they
are rarely used that way. Transformers cannot be used on dc. Transformers
are available in single-phase or three phase construction. In the case in
Subang Parade, Three phase transformer have been used.
Heat is generated by the passage of current through the transformer coils
due to the winding cable resistance. The heat is transferred to the unit’s
cooling medium, where it is radiated or otherwise disposed of. The unit’s
cooling medium is a property of major importance. Transformers are either
dry (air cooled) or liquid-filled. The choice depends upon the required
electrical characteristics, the proposed physical location of the
transformer, and costs. For the case in Subang Parade, Oil-insulated
Transformer had been used. These present a fire hazard when installed
indoors because flammable oil can spread from a tank leak or rupture. To
prevent this, most oil-filled transformers must be installed in a fire-resistant
vault, the construction of which involves substantial cost. Advantages
offsetting this cost, low losses, long life, excellent electrical characteristics,
low noise level, and high overload capacity.
When an indoor transformer installation is indicated, special consideration
must be given to the transformer’s heat-generating properties. The room
must be well-ventilated. Besides that, indoor transformer installation is
more suitable to install in fire-resistant room. In Subang Parade, the
transformer room had a CO² fire protection system for safety. Carbon
dioxide is used as an extinguishing agent in this fire protection system.
Every time before enter the transformer room, the technician have to see
the sign on the door whether the condition inside the room is suitable for
man to go in. If the sign is green that mean is safe and red sign mean
danger. The figure below showed the sign on the door.
Vacuum Circuit Breaker (VCB) and Air Circuit Breaker (ACB)
A circuit breaker is an electromechanical device that performs the same
protective function as a fuse and also acts as a switch. It is a device which
is able to open and close a circuit in a quick time. Both these breakers
have the same function which is to cut off power and to isolate if there is a
fault to prevent outbreaks. Circuit breakers are made in varying sizes, from
small devices that protect an individual household appliance up to large
switchgear designed to protect high voltage circuits feeding an entire city.
Vacuum breakers interrupt the current by creating and extinguishing the
arc in a vacuum container while air circuit breakers use configurable trips
thresholds and delays to trip the circuit when it overflows. Air circuit
breakers usually come in draw-out enclosures for easy access and
maintenance. Vacuum circuit breakers usually have a longer life than air
circuit breakers. Photo below showed the vacuum circuit breaker used in
Main Switch Board / Distribution Panel
The main switchboard is a large assembly of panels which contains
switches which allow electricity to be redirected. It is to divide the main
current into smaller currents for further distribution control of current. With
this board, one can control the electrical supply of the entire network from
just one area. The role of a switchboard is to allow the division of the
current supplied to the switchboard into smaller currents for further
distribution and to provide switching, current protection and (possibly)
metering for those various currents. In general, switchboards may
distribute power to transformers, panel boards, control equipment, and,
ultimately, to individual system loads. Distribution panel is a component of
an electricity supply system which divides an electrical power feed into
subsidiary circuits, while providing a protective fuse or circuit breaker for
each circuit, in a common enclosure. Normally, a main switch, and in
recent boards, one or more residual-current devices (RCD) or residual
current breakers with overcurrent protection (RCBO), are also
The sub-switch board has the same functionality of the main switch board
which is to connect and disconnect the electric supply from the main
switchboard. There are many sub switch boards such as the AHU room,
fire pump room, A/C Room and etc.
4.3.4 RACEWAY, CONDUCTOR ELECTRICAL RISER
Conductors could be round wires, rectangular cross section or stands that
are usually made out of metals either copper or aluminum. Electrical
conductors are means by which current is conducted through the electrical
system, corresponding to the piping of a hydraulic system. Current is
carried through these wires which are covered with the raceway.
Conductors are wrapped with insulators to prevent them from causing
electric shock. Insulators are called raceway.
Raceway is used for protection and routing of electrical wiring. Electrical
conduit may be made of metal, plastic, fiber, or fired clay. Flexible conduit
is available for special purposes. Conduit is generally installed by
electricians at the site of installation of electrical equipment. Raceways are
generally enclosure of wires and metallic raceways must be grounded.
Rigid conduit and tubing are mostly used in this building as they have fire
stopping elements and they protect the cables from being damaged.
Electrical risers are used to carry electrical supply to upper floors and
distribute them to each floor in the Subang Parade; we can find most
these risers in AHU rooms, car parks and at the service areas. Figure below
showed the raceways and riser.
4.3.5 BACK-UP SYSTEM
Subang Parade uses a standby system which is needed due to the nature
of the function of the building. They need a system that would protect and
prevent them from having any sort of financial loss especially it being a
commercial building. Two diesel generators had been used as a standby
system in Subang Parade. This kind of generator is the combination of a
diesel engine with an electric generator (often an alternator) to generate
electrical energy. This is a specific case of engine-generator. The figure
below showed both diesel generators in low voltage room, which is (1A) &
Diesel generating sets are used in places without connection to the power
grid, as emergency power-supply if the grid fails, as well as for more
complex applications such as peak-lopping, grid support and export to
the power grid. Sizing of diesel generators is critical to avoid low-load or a
shortage of power and is complicated by modern electronics, specifically
non-linear loads. The generator will start running automatically when
there is a power failure or a power shortage. The system will automatically
detect the power shortage and start the gen set based on the power
needed to prevent any clash. The generator set consists of three
components which are the fuel system, space housing the equipment and
the set itself. Using a gen-set gives the building an unlimited kVA capacity
and is only set back by the size of the fuel tank. It has to be properly
maintained to ensure that it does not fail if there is a power failure. Gen-
sets are usually placed at the lower ground levels to ensure noise levels
are kept to a minimum and to prevent diesel emissions from reaching the
users. Besides that, the fuel also closed to the gen-set to easy the job of
refill the fuel and ensures the gen-set work continuously during power
shortage. The figure below showed the fuel tank that placed near to the
A transformer is device that changes or transformers alternating current
(ac) of one voltage to alternating current of another voltage. A varying
current in the transformer's primary winding creates a varying magnetic
flux in the core and a varying magnetic field impinging on the secondary
Under MS1525; 7: Electric power and distribution
This clause applies to the energy efficiency requirements of electric
motors, transformers and distribution systems of buildings except those
required for emergency purposes.
All electrical power distribution equipment should be selected for their
energy efficiency and to minimize cost of ownership. Cost of ownership
includes the capital cost and the cost of energy over the equipment life
Supply system voltage has significant impact on losses. Hence, the supply
voltage should be maintained as close as possible to the design/optimum
voltage of the equipment installed.
Subang Parade has a gen set that has its own transformers to step down
its current just for it. The figure below show the transformer own by gen-
set. It is not necessary for a gen set to have its own transformer as they
cost relatively expensive. The gen set system should be connected to the
other two transformers that are still able to handle the load of the gen
sets. One less transformer means one less equipment to maintain and