Outside Plant Construction Standard for Information Technology Section 16666




A.  This section describes the codes, standards, specifications, recommendations, and practices required for outside plant (OSP) construction at the Auraria Cooperative Technology Committee (ACTC.  Section 16666 applies to all IT outside plant projects on campus.


B.  The project general contractor (GC) is responsible for building OSP pathways and spaces as per the requirements described in this document.  The GC is also responsible for providing copper and fiber media placed in the OSP pathways and spaces.


C.  Corrections, comments, questions, or omissions about this OSP standard shall be submitted to the ACTC via the FACMAN project manager.




A.  Applicable Codes, Standards, and Specifications.


1.  The following table of codes, standards, specifications, recommendations, and methods and procedures are applicable to the provisioning of OSP at Auraria.  They are incorporated by reference.  The most current version is referenced.





National Electric Code (NEC) (2008)


National Electric Safety Code (NESC)


Information Technology-Local and Metropolitan Area Networks - Part 3: Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) Access Method and Physical Layer Specifications


Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard (Parts 1, 2, and 3)


Commercial Building Standard for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces


Administration Standard for the Telecommunications Infrastructure of Commercial Buildings


Commercial Building Grounding (Earthing) and Bonding Requirements for Telecommunications


Customer-Owned Outside Plant Telecommunications Cabling Standard


Building Automation Systems Cabling Standard for Commercial Buildings


Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual (TDMM), 11th Ed.; Network Design Reference Manual, 5th Ed.; Customer-Owned Outside Plant Design Manual 3rd Ed.; Wireless Design Reference Manual, 2nd Ed; Electronic Safety and Security Design Reference Manual, 1st Ed.; AV Design Reference Manual, 1st Ed.


Standard 29 CFR 1910.268


2.  Requests for variations from code shall be submitted to the campus code official via the project manager and must have ACTC approval.  The code official will either disapprove or approve the request.  In general, requests for code variations shall not be looked upon favorably.  Variations from OSP standards may be authorized by ACTC on a case-by-case basis and must be requested in writing by the designer through the project manager.


3.  ACTC will provide design parameters for all campus OSP systems, and ACTC shall be consulted during the OSP project design through the assigned project manager.




A.  Planning.


1.  To facilitate expansion of telecommunications services via OSP pathways and spaces, the architect/engineer shall provide ACTC with floor plan drawings for new building construction and major renovation projects during design and at construction.  CAD drawings of the Electrical/Communications plans shall be provided to ACTC upon release of construction document through the project manager.  These documents will serve as a baseline for OSP build out and expansion.


2.  The preliminary plans, indicating service locations and space requirements, will be returned to project managers for inclusion in the final plans.


B.  Consult with ACTC for the following.


1.  Acceptability for specific substitutions of specified products.


2.  Guidance in the application of a standard or specification in a non-listed or design situation.


3.  Approval for deviation from standards and specifications or industry-standard methods and procedures if indicated by special circumstances.


C.  Workmanship.  All materials and equipment shall be installed in accordance with recommendations of the manufacturer as approved by the architect, to conform to initial design requirements or specification’s and contract documents.




A.  Telecommunications.  Any transmission, emission, or reception of signs, signals, writings, images, and sounds, or information of any nature by wire, radio, visual, or other electromagnetic systems.  Includes, but is not limited to, voice communications networks, Local Area Networks (LAN), Wide Area Networks (WAN), and Local Exchange Carriers (LEC).


B.  OSP Spaces.  Consists of maintenance holes (MH), handholes (HH), pedestals, cabinets, and vaults.  MHs are used as access points for pulling and splicing cables.  HHs are smaller than MH and are used for pulling cables.  HHs do not typically serve as splice points.  Pedestals provide access to smaller splices, interconnects, and cables.  Cabinets are used as cross-connects for aerial and direct buried solutions.  Vaults provide environmentally protected spaces either above grade or below grade.


C.  OSP Pathways.  Pathways are the conduits that interlink OSP spaces and end points such as buildings.  Pathways can be direct buried or underground infrastructure.  The third pathway method, aerial pathways, is not used on campus


D.  Telecommunications Entrance Facility (TEF).  Serves as the entry point into a building for the campus backbone media.  TEFs interconnect the building backbone to campus backbone.  The TEF is where conductive copper media receives it primary protection from sustained hazardous voltages.  Also called the Service Entrance (SE).


E.  OSP media.  Copper and fiber optic media placed in the OSP pathways to link structures back to the campus core. 


F.  Campus backbone.  The pathways and media that provide connectivity between the campus communications centers.  The campus backbone provides connectivity between buildings. 


G.  Auraria Cooperative Technology Committee (ACTC).  An organization that represents the major IT entities on campus.


H.  Outside Plant (OSP).  The pathways, spaces, and media that provide telecommunications external to buildings.  OSP is used to support voice, data, video, electronic security, building automation systems, fire, life, and safety systems, and other low voltage systems as they evolve.

I.  OSP Consultant.  A firm or member of a firm that has considerable technology and OSP design experience and possesses working knowledge and subject matter expertise in telecommunications code (NEC and NESC), industry standards (see TIA/EIA standards in references), and BICSI methods and procedures (Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual, LAN Design Manual, and Customer-Owned Outside Plant Design Manual). 




A.  OSP Spaces.


1.  Maintenance Hole (MH).


a).  General description.  MHs are concrete enclosures with a removable lid that permits internal access.  MHs house splice closures, racking, a grounding and bonding system, drainage, sump, and other components.  MHs are placed to facilitate placement of fiber and copper cables.  MHs are considered confined spaces.


b).  Safety.  MHs are considered confined spaces containing possible hazardous atmospheres such as flammable, explosive, asphyxiating, or toxic environments.  Prior to entry, all MHs shall be checked for hazardous atmosphere conditions.  Mitigate all conditions found.  Ensure the MH area is free of other hazards such as engulfing, immersion, entrapment, auto emissions, etc.  MHs on or near roadways require signage and safety cones to prevent vehicular accidents.  Two-person crews are required when entering campus MHs.


c).  No joint use.  Joint use of ACTC MHs is prohibited. ACTC MHs are not shared with other utilities except those needed to directly service ACTC requirements.


d).  Sizing.  Campus MHs are 10’ wide x 10’ long x 7’ high. 


e).  Run length.  The maximum conduit run length between campus MHs is 600 feet.


f).  Physical placement.  Place MH out of roadways, if possible.  MHs shall not be placed within 50’ of the curb radius of intersecting roads.  The desired location for MH location is under sidewalks paralleling campus roads. 


g).  Loading.  H-20 loading desired.  Minimum concrete strength shall be 3500 PSI.  Higher strength may be required depending upon placement locale.


h).  Orientation.  MH shall be placed so their four walls are oriented north-south and east-west.


i).  Precast concrete MHs are preferred.  These ASTM standards apply ASTM C 478, ASTM C 857, ASTM C 858, ASTM C 891, and ASTM C 1037.  Precast MH vendors include Amcor and Vaughn Concrete Products, among others.  MH shall be placed on a minimum 12” bed of gravel, sand, or squeegee (pea-sized gravel mixed with sand). 





j).  Windows.  MH windows shall be placed in each wall.  Each window shall be capable of supporting 16 bells.  All four walls and windows may support cable placement.


k).  Equipment.  All MH shall be equipped with a cast iron 30” cover, minimum 12” sump, corrosion-resistant pulling irons with minimum 7/8” pulling eyes, grounded cable racks (if metallic), grounding and bonding system, and a fixed ladder.  MH copper grounding rods shall be a minimum ½” in diameter by 8’ in length.


l).  Water infiltration and seepage mitigation.  MH bells shall be sealed to preclude water infiltration and seepage.  Sump pumps may be specified to mitigate unusual conditions.  MH-to-building underground conduit runs shall be placed uphill so that water infiltration and seepage flows to the MH, as shown in the sketch below.  A minimum drain slope of 12.5” per 100 feet is required when extending conduits away from building structures.  MH-to-MH conduit runs shall be bowed upwards to preclude MH-to-MH water infiltration and seepage, as illustrated below.  A minimum drain slope of 12.5” per 100 feet shall extend from the middle of the span to each MH.




m).  MH designator.  New campus MHs shall be assigned a number designator by ACTC.  The current campus OSP layout is illustrated below.




n).  Opening.  Each MH shall have a single opening, given the 10’ x 10’ x 7’ dimensions.


o).  Covers.  MH covers shall be 30” in diameter.  Cast iron covers are required and they shall be rated for the expected load. 


p).  Cover labeling.  All campus ACTC MH covers shall be labeled “COMMUNICATIONS”.


q).  Flush mounted covers.  MHs covers shall be placed so they are flush with road surfaces or the ground level.


r).  Documentation.  As-builts of the MH system shall be delivered to IT Services, in the prescribed format and media.


2.  Handholes (HH).


a).  General description.  HH facilitate placing of cables in a conduit system.  HH shall not be used in place of a MH or in the main campus conduit system.  HH support connections to the campus conduit system.  HH shall not be used for splicing cables together.


b).  No joint use.  Joint use of ACTC HHs is prohibited. ACTC HHs are not shared with other utilities except those needed to directly service ACTC requirements.


c).  Placement.  HH are placed when the bends exceed two 90-degree bends or a total of 180-degrees.   HH are also placed when the secondary in-tract run length exceeds 200 feet to the main campus conduit system or other pathway.  HHs are placed out of roads and other heavy load areas.


d).  Sizing.  HH shall not exceed 4 feet in length by 4 feet in width by 4 feet in depth. 


e).  Conduits supported.  HH shall not house more than four 4” Trade Size 4 conduits.


f).  Covers.  HH covers shall be of about the same size as the HH and rated for the expected load.


g).  Water infiltration and seepage mitigation.  HH conduit bells shall be sealed to preclude water infiltration and seepage.  HH-to-building underground conduit runs shall be placed uphill so that water infiltration and seepage flows to the HH, as shown in the sketch below.  A minimum drain slope of 12.5” per 100 feet is required when extending conduits away from building structures.  HH-to-HH or HH-to-MH conduit runs shall be bowed upwards to preclude HH-to-HH or HH-to-MH water infiltration and seepage, as illustrated below.  A minimum drain slope of 12.5” per 100 feet shall extend from the middle of the span to each HH.  HH shall have provisions for drainage such as an open bottom, drain holes, sump-hole, etc.  HH shall be placed on a 12” bed of gravel, sand, or squeegee. 




h).  HH designator.  Campus HHs shall be assigned a number designator by ACTC. 


i).  Documentation.  As-builts of the HH shall be delivered to ACTC, in the prescribed format and media.


3.  Pedestals.


a).  General description.  Pedestals house splice closures and terminals.  A BD3 primary distribution pedestal housing a 50-pair cable and a 100-pair splice is the largest pedestal permitted on campus.


b).  Limited use.  Pedestals may be used to support temporary structures such as construction trailers. 


c).  Mounting.  Pedestal may be mounted on concrete pads or directly on the ground.


d).  Security.  Pedestals shall be secured via hasp or padlock.


e).  Cables supported.  Pedestals shall not house more than 4 cables.


4.  Cabinets.


a).  No campus use.  Cabinets are not used in campus OSP infrastructure.


5.  Vaults.


a).  No campus use.  Vaults are not used in campus OSP infrastructure.


B.  OSP Pathways.


1.  Underground conduits.


a).  General description.  Underground conduits are the required pathway in main campus conduit system runs. 


b).  Material.  Underground conduits shall be constructed of Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit Schedule 40.  Trade Size 4, 4” conduits shall be used. ACTC shall specify the number of conduits to be placed in each run.


c).  Innerduct. ACTC may specify Carlon Multi-Gard multiple cell PVC in lieu of innerduct installed in Schedule 40 conduits.  Carlon Multi-Gard PVC Type C, Schedule 40 outer shell with four 1.25” multiple cells (innerduct maximum inside diameter is 1.19” and the maximum outside diameter is 1.31”) is the standard prefabricated innerduct used on campus, as illustrated in the picture. 


1). ACTC may alternately specify Maxcell Innerducts in lieu of Carlon Multi-Gard.  Each Trade Size 4 conduit shall have two (2) 4” 3-cell Maxcell Innerducts placed in it.  Maxcell Innerducts are factory lubricated and have pull tapes are pre-installed.


d).  Length.  No section of underground conduit shall exceed 600 feet between pulling points (i.e. MH or HH).


e).  Depth.  The tops of underground conduits shall be placed a minimum of 36 inches below grade.


f).  Loading.  Underground conduits shall be constructed to dissipate H-20 dynamic loads. 


g).  Electrical underground clearances.  The minimum clearance between electrical conduits and underground IT conduits is 12 inches of well-tamped earth or 3 inches of concrete.


h).  Foreign structure underground clearances.  The minimum clearance for parallel underground foreign structures such as gas, oil, or water pipelines is 12-inches of well-tampered earth.  The minimum clearance for crossing underground foreign structures is 6-inches of well-tamped earth.


i).  Water infiltration and seepage mitigation.  MH- or HH-to-building underground conduit runs shall be placed uphill so that water infiltration and seepage flows to the MH or HH, as shown in the sketch below.  That is, all conduits entering a building shall be pitched to drain away from the building.  A minimum drain slope of 12.5” per 100 feet (0.125 inch per foot) is required when extending conduits away from building structures.  MH-to-MH conduit runs shall be bowed upwards to preclude MH-to-MH water infiltration and seepage, as illustrated below.  A minimum drain slope of 12.5” per 100 feet shall extend from the middle of the span to each MH.  Conduits entering a window’s bell shall also be compound sealed.




j).  Vacant conduit sealing.  Vacant conduits shall be sealed with duct plugs at all MHs, HHs, and building entrance points to preclude water infiltration and seepage.  Duct plugs shall be adjustable with a metal base and a screw-type expandable outer rubber surface.


k).  Bends.  There shall be no more than the equivalent of two 90-degree bends, or 180-degrees total, between pulling points, including kicks (a pipe bend of less than 45-degrees made to change the pipe’s direction) and offsets (two mirror-image bends made to avoid an obstruction).  Manufactured bends shall be used where possible.  Back-to-back 90-degree bends placed closer together than 10 feet shall be avoided. 


l).  Sweeps.  Sweeps are preferred to 90-degree bends.  Trade Size 4, 4” conduit sweeps should possess a minimum 48-inch bend radius.


m).  Diverts.  The maximum divert or change in direction in any plane between lengths of straight rigid conduit without the use of bends or sweeps shall be limited to 5 degrees.


n).  Pulling tape.  Each underground conduit shall be equipped with a minimum 3/8” diameter pulling tape, rope, or strap with a rated tensile strength meeting or exceeding 2500 pounds. Pull rope tails of a minimum of 36” shall be secured at the end of each conduit.


o).  Measuring tape.  A pre-lubricated conduit measuring tape shall be provided in at least one conduit in every run.  The conduit measuring tape shall be waterproof with permanent printed footage.


p).  Warning tape and markings.  Concrete encasements shall be permanently dyed red.  Orange detectable warning tape shall be placed within 12” to 18” of the surface for the length of the underground conduit run. 


q).  Conduit supports.  Pre-manufactured conduit support saddles/seats are required.  Saddles shall allow a minimum of 2” between conduits and a minimum of 3” of perimeter concrete encasement.  Saddle supports shall be interlocked and placed a minimum of every 5 feet along the entire run.  The conduits shall be staked down at each saddle and #3 crossties installed. 


r).  Encasement.  All underground conduits shall be encased in minimum 2500 PSI concrete with #4 rebar run parallel with the conduit on all four corners.  The concrete encasement shall be permanently dyed red.  A typical campus conduit system run (campus backbone) is shown below.




s).  Soil compaction.  After encasement, the trench shall be backfilled with native soil in lifts no greater than 12 inches.  The replaced soil shall be mechanically compacted by tamping so as to maintain a minimum relative density of 90 percent.   The university shall conduct field tests to verify compaction compliance in accordance with ASTM D 2922 (Standard Test Methods for Density of Soil and Soil-Aggregate in Place by Nuclear Methods (Shallow Depth)), ASTM D 1556 (Standard Test Method for Density and Unit Weight of Soil in Place by the Sand-Cone Method), or ASTM D 2167 (Standard Test Method for Density and Unit Weight of Soil in Place by the Rubber Balloon Method).


t).  Certification and commissioning.  All underground conduits shall be tested prior to commissioning.  Underground conduits shall be certified by pulling a mandrel through them.  The mandrel shall be equivalent to the nominal inside conduit diameter and not less than 12 inches long.  If the mandrel does not pass through the conduit, the conduit must be repaired or replaced at the failure point. ACTC personnel shall witness the certification test and commission the underground conduits in writing. 


u).  Documentation.  As-builts of the underground conduit system shall be delivered to ACTC, in the prescribed format and media.


2.  Direct buried cables.


a).  General.  Direct buried cable is placed under the ground surface in such a manner that it cannot be removed without disturbing the soil. 


b).  Limited campus use.  Direct buried infrastructure is suitable for use in short-term infrastructure such as construction trailers.


c).  Marking.  Direct buried cable shall be marked every 50 feet along its run length to preclude inadvertent damage during project construction.  The run length markings may be stakes, placards, or other suitable signage.


d).  Depth.  Direct buried cable shall be placed a minimum of 24” below grade.


3.  Aerial pathways.


a).  No campus use.  Aerial pathways shall not be used on campus.


B.  OSP Media.


1.  All OSP media is specified by the ACTC and placed by the general contractor.


2.  Between the campus core and each building or structure 48 strands of single mode fiber (SMF) and 24 strands of 50-micron multimode fiber (MMF) are typically placed.  These counts will be specified by the ACTC.


3.  Copper media is placed to support telephony and other miscellaneous circuitry.  The numbers of pairs placed is reflected in the structure’s load.  Depending upon distance, 22 (0.64 mm) or 24 (0.5 mm) AWG is used.