A utility vault is an underground room providing access to subterranean public utility equipment, such as valves for water or natural gas pipes, or switchgear for electrical or telecommunications equipment. A vault is often accessible directly from a street, sidewalk or other outdoor space, thereby distinct from a basement of a building.
Utility vaults are commonly constructed out of reinforced concrete boxes, poured concrete or brick. Small ones are usually entered through a manhole or grate on the topside and closed up by a manhole cover. Such vaults are considered confined spaces and can be hazardous to enter. Large utility vaults are similar to mechanical or electrical rooms in design and content.
- City of Sacramento, California. Sacramento City Code. "12.12.010 Definitions." "'Utility vault' means any underground room providing access to subterranean utility equipment." Accessed 2018-04-09.
- City of New York, New York. 2014 Construction Codes. Building Code, Chapter 32. "Section 3201.8. Definitions." "Vault: Any space below the surface of a street, that is covered over, except those openings that are used exclusively as places for descending, by means of steps, to the cellar or basement of any building." Accessed 2018-04-09.
- Underground Utility Vaults - National Precast Concrete Association