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Vape Lounge - Mech Options

Discussion in 'Mechanical Codes' started by DTBarch, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. DTBarch

    DTBarch Sawhorse

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    My client is looking to lease a shops space in his shopping center to a tenant who will operate a "vape lounge" in a mechanically separated, 800sf room in the back of the tenant space. The space is currently a grey shell, so all mechanical will be new and fully permitted with the City.

    My engineer has indicated that we will need to install (2) Aaon 10 ton, 100% outside air units to serve this 800sf space (located in the Phoenix metro area in Arizona). These units also handle all the exhaust and have heat recovery provisions to help reduce the outside air temp.

    Since this is clearly specialized equipment, the tenant is responsible for the cost, which for (2) 10-ton units + structural engineering, etc. is going to be completely cost prohibitive.

    I'm curious how this is handled across the country in all the millions of vape shops out there. I'm sure the majority of them are not served by specialty HVAC units like these. I'm sure many of them open up in existing shops spaces without the scrutiny of plan review and building permits, but I would think this would be a huge topic of discussion, yet an internet search on the topic yields very little. I'm sure it's likely been discussed on this forum before, so I apologize for redundancy, but I'd love to hear some insight from the mechanical code community on their experience with this.
     
  2. Ty J.

    Ty J. Registered User

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    I'd take a look at IMC Section 403.3.1.1 and the associated Table.

    For retail stores, sales floors and showroom floors, particularly smoking lounges, the minimum ventilation rates are 70 and 60 for OCCUPANT DENSITY#/1000 FT^2a and PEOPLE OUTDOOR AIRFLOW RATE IN BREATHING ZONE, Rp CFM/PERSON.

    Note that footnote b specifies that "Mechanical exhaust required and the recirculation of air from such spaces is prohibited. Recirculation of air that is contained completely within such spaces shall not be prohibited (see Section 403.2.1, Item 3)."
     
  3. Ty J.

    Ty J. Registered User

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  4. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    800 sq ft, seems like assembly room

    What is the total sq ft for the lease space??

    Is the separate room really required/ needed?

    Plus any zoning issues ?

    This is kind of like a cigar shop in town, they have couches up front and you walk past the walk in cigar storeroom/ sales to a back area, where there are some tables and chairs to smoke at.
     
  5. DTBarch

    DTBarch Sawhorse

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    cda, the total sf of the leased space is 4,600sf It will be a comic book store, with an 800sf vape lounge in the back where vape products will be sold and smoked. We could get it to 750sf if it made a difference. The separation is mainly to confine the vapor generating area so that it does not impact the rest of the comic book store. By it's nature, the vapor-filled atmosphere will eventually leave a residue on everything in that room, so they do not want that in the comic book sales area. We've got the zoning code issue addressed.
    It's their zoning ordinance that requires an indoor smoking area to be "physically separated and independently ventilated". It furthermore states that "smoking lounges be constructed so that nonsmoking customers can receive all services provided by that business without walking through the smoking area and without exposure to smoke"
     
  6. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Figured there was more bureaucracy involved.

    So if sales vape in the same area, the sales will take up maybe about 1/3, So assembly should not be an issue.

    Not into ac, but 800 sq ft 2 10 ton units seems over kill.


    Thought they made scrubbers, for bars and such??
     
  7. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    On a similar note, if this was a nail salon on the ground floor with condos above, what level of filtration would be required to minimize polish odors migrating outside?
     
  8. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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  9. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    My recommendation would be to find another mep designer. 20 tons of air for 800 sf ... maybe 8000 cuft ... is excesive. You need air circulation ... air changes ... not meat locker temperatures.
     
  10. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    Any decent HVAC company should be able to do this pretty easily. They would want to create a positive pressure in the retail area and keep a slightly negative pressure in the vape area in addition to the required ventilation rates, This would be very similar to a hospital operating room that is kept at a positive pressure to reduce the chance of airborne germs entering the room.

    10 tons of AC for 4,600 sq ft is what we would have figured in south Fl in the early 70's when buildings had very little if any insulation and the units where not as efficient as they are today.

    I can't believe they would need 20 tons of AC
     
  11. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    You do realize ... the 20 tons is just fir the 800 sf vape lounge, not the entire 4600 sf space.
     
  12. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    even worse (smiling) imagine the closer pressure necessary to keep the door closed?
     
  13. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    IMC TABLE 403.3.1.1
    MINIMUM VENTILATION RATES
    h. For nail salons, each manicure and pedicure station shall be provided with a source capture system capable of exhausting not less than 50 cfm per station.
    Exhaust inlets shall be located in accordance with Section 502.20. Where one or more required source capture systems operate continuously during occupancy, the exhaust rate from such systems shall be permitted to be applied to the exhaust flow rate required by Table 403.3.1.1 for the nail salon.
     
  14. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    There may be thousands of vape shops across the country that exist but that does not mean that they are code compliant and safe. I have had the unfortunate experience in going into several of these and they are really disgusting with an enormous amount of exhales vape smoke the just billows like a thick fog and all with different odors/ aka flavors. They are essentially burning oil until it vaporizes.
     
  15. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Thanks Rick, what say you as to type of exhaust filter required?
     
  16. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    Reminds me of my wifes cooking.
     
  17. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    I don't know of any requirements for filters for anything anywhere in the codes.
     
  18. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Objectionable Odors?
     
  19. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Ouch, subject to adjacent uses complaints. In a condo bldg with ground floor commercial (nail salon landlord is also owner of this condo unit) and residential above this could be an unaddressed issue subject to CC&R controls.
     

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