Service Walls

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Service walls are wall assemblies, wall-mounted units or modular units that contain specific services intended for use within an interior space.  Types of services may include: medical services, drinking fountains, electric outlets, clocks, fire hoses and alarms, extinguisher cabinets, telephone and internet connections, waste receptacles, or other services.  This type of system is most commonly used in the health care industry, although the term service wall can also be used to describe other typical wall assemblies where services are installed.



The emergence of wall-mounted and modular equipment units in the health care industry allowed for the efficient installation and organization of all required services at the head of the patient care bed.  Wall-mounted units are installed within a specific wall, while modular units are movable units.  Modular units offer the advantage of limiting penetrations within firewalls between rooms.  Installing the many required medical services, which range from communication devices to conduits for gases, electrical wiring and plumbing pipes, in every room of every floor level can quickly become complex.  Several decades ago, manufacturers worked with health care providers to develop a system that incorporated all the required patient services in one modular area.  Architects, engineers and designers viewed this system concept as a method to meet the specific needs of space and labor.


Unique building design and/or code regulations may define specific walls for services.  Traditionally, architects and designers have tried to capture as much usable space within an area as possible.  Therefore, recessing items such as drinking fountains, fire extinguishers and fire hoses, and security cabinets with their associated plumbing or electrical construction, allow space to be gained through the use of a service wall.

Campers, RVs, trailers, and boats also have considerable conflicts between services provided and the space available.  Modern plastics, in conjunction with thin, yet strong and lightwight, composite materials, offer designers of recreational vehicles the opportunity to create service walls for kitchens, baths and entertainment centers, without sacrificing space and weight.

Whether used in the patient's room of a hospital, a public service area, or on a recreational vehicle, service walls are silent system work centers that efficiently organize services and maximize space.

Last modified on Tue, Sep 14, 2010
Buildipedia Staff

The Buildipedia research and writing staff consists of dozens of experienced professionals from many sectors of the industry, including architects, designers, contractors, and engineers.

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