In this episode of WGI Unleashed, we get to know Eric Luttmann, Project Architect from our Tampa, Florida office.
How Do I Obtain Gas Service For My Commercial Development in The City of Austin?
The process of obtaining gas service in The City of Austin can be a long process. It is important to start the application process early so that the construction schedule is not negatively impacted.
The required steps to obtaining a service for your building are typically as follows:
- Ensure that gas is available on your site (engineer). Texas gas will often have a map showing the gas within the vicinity of the site as well as the pressures available. The city gas line will often be supplied at high pressure (above 5 psi). A gas availability map can be obtained through Texas Gas Customer Development (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Obtain approval for medium-pressure gas if it is available, and if necessary for your project (engineer). The form will include all gas loads and requested pressure. Texas Gas will verify that the city has both enough pressure and capacity to meet the requirements of the building. In the City of Austin, a permit cannot be issued if medium pressure approval has not been provided. The medium pressure request should be routed to the Texas Gas Engineering Department (GasMediumPressureLetterAustinMetro@txgas.com)
- Obtain a gas design from Texas Gas (contractor). Review this design with the Engineer of Record. This gas design oftentimes takes weeks to complete. A gas line design can be obtained through Texas Gas Customer Development (email@example.com).
- Set up an account and meter set date with Texas Gas (owner/contractor). Texas gas will extend the city main up to the property and provide a main meter and regulator to meet the building’s needs. All piping and specialties downstream of this assembly will be provided by the building owner. A meter account can be obtained through Texas Gas Customer Development (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If available, the engineer should utilize medium pressure wherever possible for large properties and/or high gas loads. Providing a higher pressure within the building will allow for a greater pressure drop through the system and therefore a smaller gas line.
Typically, the requirement to obtain 2 psi is a gas load less than 1,000 MBH. The requirement to obtain 5 psi is a gas load greater than 1,000 MBH. Running medium pressure lines (5 psi) will require the need for pressure regulators on the branch lines of all pieces of equipment. The regulator will reduce the pressure down to meet the equipment’s’ operating requirements.
Multifamily buildings may utilize a central boiler system for their hot water. In this case, a separate, dedicated meter will be required, and the meter/regulator will utilize medium pressure (5 psi if available) within the building. When requesting medium pressure, a form should be filled out for each meter serving the building.
Sizing of gas piping downstream will be provided by the engineer utilizing engineering practices. For new construction, it is recommended to utilize the longest line method. This is more conservative and will ensure your system is sized for full load.
It is important to start have an expert that understands the requirements of procuring gas in commercial designs in Texas gas so that the permit and construction processes go smoothly.
At WGI, we have the market expertise and local knowledge to help your next building design go smoothly from design through construction. Contact us today if you need assistance with the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems in your next project.
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