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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey there!

We have a less than ideal under-stair broom closet that's being used as a 'server room' for a small studio environment. There's also going to be a lot of "You shouldn't ___" in regards to the setup, but we're working the best with what we have.

The server room has been used for years without issue by using one pair of 4" air intake holes with ~100CFM fans attached, pulling in cool air from the crawlspace below, and evacuated by another pair of 4" pipes in the rear of the room pulling the hot air out and down. However, we added to this room and now the thermal load is too much for that setup.

We have a couple of ideas bouncing around, and I'd like to share them and also ask your more seasoned opinions on what we could/should do for our scenario.


First up: context! Here's the room we're dealing with.


If the image doesn't show for you, it's 3'7" x 5'10" with a sloped ceiling upward from rear to back with lowest being 3'11", and peak 8'2".


Here's the front into the room:


Another closer look from the top of the door frame towards the rear:


The rear of the room with exhaust pipes pairs present:


Upper top left corner of room for future reference:


Lower bottom right intake fans:


Our crawlspace, in addition to being pretty large and open, has active ventilation from the existing HVAC system. So it's air conditioned in the summer, and heated in the winter. Prior to the upgrades in the server room, it kept the room around a decent 20-22C which is fine. We're riding close to 30 post upgrade. No bueno.

Now for the ideas we had:

1.) Vent it into the women's washroom next door. - Variant A

If you reference the upper top left image, this plan was to punch out a 6" hole to the right and slightly below the existing wiring hole, slip in a short 6" steel duct to be flush to the women's drywall, and on the server room side, attach 6" (8-10' long) flexible insulated ducting which would be routed about with a fan attached to the end of the pipe, primarily to reduce the amount of sound that will transfer to the women's room due to the nature of the studio environment. Sound control is very crucial to us being a studio.


2.) Vent it into the women's washroom next door. - Variant B

Another take of this was to just take the same 6" pipe, and have it stick out as forward as it can go, which is limited due to the proximity of the server rack, and attach a fan (duct booster?) to the end of it. The major concern with that setup is the amount of noise that would transfer via vibration to wall, and from the servers.

3.) Vent it down and out

This option would be to extend one of the rear exhaust's higher up so it hits the rising heat, and from the crawlspace, attach one of those very high CFM doughnut-style in-line duct boosters, that would sit on the crawlspace gravel, unable to make noise, and vent it out a hole we could punch in the outside wall.


Between the group of us here, we have the tools and manpower to get the work done, but we don't have the HVAC knowledge to figure out an optional solution to this issue. We're open to alternative options, and welcome any and all feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply,

The door remains closed always. Unfortunately a vent in the front door is unacceptable, it would be spilling high frequency noise directly into our audio editor's room.

The door is near sound proof with additional seals on the frame. we're talking 30 dB(a) drop when closed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Another option that was thought of was to make use of the space between the walls to act as the baffle to filter out noise by creating the hole as intended in option A, but instead of going straight through, punching a hole lower to the floor in the women's side, and allowing the air to escape down there.

 

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It sounds like you are a commercial/retail environment, so particular rules may apply. For one, I don't know if it is allowed or desirable to vent into a washroom - venting from one space to another as opposed to venting outside just seems like a bad idea. I realize you are trying to do your best with what you have, but you should consider aspects such as the landlord (if renting) and what your insurance company will say if the things go south.
 
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