Q: We were given a list of TIA-569 guidelines by a member of our community, who suggested that they were important considerations for our school building. I realize that these are guidelines only, and that they were written with commercial office buildings in mind. Do they apply to school buildings, also?
Red Wing Schools
A: Buildings occupied by the University of Texas at Austin are designed and cabled in accordance with American National Standards Institute/EIA/TIA standards. While the standards were not specifically written for school buildings, they have proven to be excellent guidelines in this area.
The guidelines presented to the school included many pages of a consultant`s recommendations that had been improperly paraphrased from TIA-569. If you are a consultant and are going to paraphrase published codes or standards, be careful not to alter the intent of the documents by changing "shall" to "should"--for example, firestopping should be provided--or by crediting the code or standard with requirements you consider important--for example, ceiling pathways shall have adequate space and ventilation.
Donna Ballast is a communications analyst at the University of Texas at Austin and a BICSI RCDD. Questions can be sent to her at Cabling Installation & Maintenance or at PO Drawer 7580, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713. Phone (512) 471-0112, fax (512) 471-8883. Internet address: firstname.lastname@example.org.