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Commercial building ventilation louvers


Jerry Simon
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A strange...

This was on a 2002 commercial condo wall. A set of approx. 2' x 5' gravity louvers with metal shutters...shutters (three rows of) only able to be closed manually.

The other side of the condo wall is an enclosed parking garage. When I got there, the shutters were all up, and you could easily push up the louvers and say hi to the gals and guys parking their cars.

I talked to Mitenbuler, and he thinks it might be for make-up air for the garage ventilation system, and that the other condo units may have same, and if so, it's f****d up. I'm flagging it as a CO problem due to the auto exhaust unless someone tells me I'm a moron and shouldn't do that. (Can't just call me a moron...gotta give a good reason why.)

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Yep, he was.

I talked to a couple folks about this, and I'm halfway convinced this is one of those developer sucker punches of the building boom. In 2002, for all practical purpose, there were no City inspections. None. Folks just did what they did, and paid off anyone that noticed.

I'm halfway betting they got their CO, if there even is a CO, by faking it somehow, and showing makeup air, but not indicating or showing it was through another unit.

It's the only thing I can think of. Chicago's like the Wild West; one can't rule out complete lunacy, unfortunately.

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The "shutters" are, I believe, are fire dampers. They are held up by a fusible link that will melt and shut the damper.

The gravity dampers have too be part of a smoke/fire system. It's strange to see on a condo wall for sure but it is reminiscent in a smoke removal / fire suppression system of a commercial building / hi-rise.

I would call the fire department and discuss my findings with them for better insight.

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The "shutters" are, I believe, are fire dampers. They are held up by a fusible link that will melt and shut the damper.

The gravity dampers have to part of a smoke/fire system. It's strange to see on a condo wall for sure but it is reminiscent in a smoke removal / fire suppression system of a commercial building / hi-rise.

I would call the fire department and discuss my findings with them for better insight.

Terry...

That makes a lot of sense. I "bent" one of the fusable links to close one of the shutters. Thanks for the insight. I have to go back to check stuff that was locked-away, and now I might know of what I speak.

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Fire dampers make sense. I briefly thought fire dampers, but I couldn't figure why the garage would be open to the condo space in the first place.

Maybe there was some weird approval wherein makeup air was allowed through the condo, and the fire dampers are there for "safety".

Gotta be fire dampers, but I still don't get the condo part.

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Prints are available in theory, but you're talking City of Chicago Dept. of Buildings. Ask, and you may or may not receive.

Commercial garages in Chicago (and elsewhere I suppose) are required to have engineered ventilation with either continuous duty or timer controlled fans. There's gotta be makeup air.

That's why the whole thing is kinda weird.

See Jerry, we care.........[:-angel]

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Prints are available in theory, but you're talking City of Chicago Dept. of Buildings. Ask, and you may or may not receive.

The prints might be at the building somewhere or with a management company???

Commercial garages in Chicago (and elsewhere I suppose) are required to have engineered ventilation with either continuous duty or timer controlled fans. There's gotta be makeup air.

Same with the commercial garages here but I've seen where they are controlling the makeup and exhaust with a CO detection system (on the newer garages).

I believe what were seeing in the condo is a totally separate system from the garage ventilation system (or had better be).

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