Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 6. Criminal Justice and Corrections
Agency 15. Department of Corrections
Chapter 81. Standards for Planning, Design, Construction, and Reimbursement of Local Correctional Facilities
2/28/2020

6VAC15-81-990. Mechanical.

A. Within the secure perimeter of the facility, flexible duct work shall not be installed within six feet of any opening (e.g., register, grille, diffuser, etc.) that can be accessed by inmates.

B. Air inlets and outlets.

1. Maximum security grills shall be provided in the following areas:

a. All cells.

b. Maximum security housing units.

2. Maximum security grills shall have a 3/16-inch steel face plate interconnected to a 3/16-inch thick steel sleeve. Openings in the face shall be no larger than 3/16-inch each. Alternatively, a security grille specifically designed for suicide resistance may be allowed as approved by the reviewing authority.

3. In inmate accessible areas, other than maximum security, security grilles, security diffusers and security face plates shall be 12-gage or protected by 12-gage steel full face protection.

4. Commercial grade grilles, diffusers and face plates may be provided in:

a. Areas where lay-in ceiling tiles or single layer gypsum board ceilings are allowed.

b. Areas located greater than 12 feet above the floor.

c. Areas greater than six feet measured horizontally from any tier.

d. Staff areas within the security perimeter.

5. Grilles, diffusers, and face plates shall be constructed of stainless steel in inmate shower areas and stainless steel or aluminum in kitchen areas. Thickness of stainless steel grilles and diffusers for shower areas shall be as required for the security level indicated in this section.

6. Consideration shall be given to upsizing grille and diffuser sizes, but not openings in face, to compensate for pressure drop due to anticipated paint buildup.

7. Consideration shall be given to locating inlets and outlets to provide proper distribution of air and prevent short circuiting.

C. Opening protectives. Duct and other penetrations of security walls, security floors, security ceilings or security roof shall be protected by bar grille or woven rod meeting the dimensional requirements for walls in this chapter when they are larger than:

1. Eight inches by eight inches.

2. Five inches in one direction if the other dimension is larger than eight inches.

3. Exceptions:

a. Duct bars are not required in wall penetrations in the interior security walls located within an individual housing unit, or the inner wall of their integral sally port. Duct bars are required in penetrations of control rooms.

b. Duct bars are not required if maximum security grilles are provided in interior security walls or interior security ceilings in accordance with subsection B of this section.

D. Within the secure perimeter, portions of the mechanical system requiring maintenance or inspection shall be located so it cannot be accessed by inmates.

E. Supply, return, or exhaust through chases shall be ducted.

F. Armories shall have a dedicated exhaust to the outside of the building.

G. Control rooms shall have dedicated HVAC systems.

Statutory Authority

§§ 53.1-5, 53.1-80, and 53.1-82 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 34, Issue 12, eff. March 8, 2018.

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