Airflow Design for Healthcare Facilities | Part 5: Construction & Renovation Risk

Snapshot of the Healthcare Industry:The business motivators for ventilation in healthcare are infection control, energy savings, maintenance-free operation, pandemic readiness, and the flexibility to control ventilation throughout the facility for varying uses over the lifetime for the building. These subjects can be grouped into four main topics important to running a hospital:Patient HealingLiability & RiskOperational Cost ReductionConstruction & Renovation RiskThese main topics will be discussed next in more detail, moving on to our last topic, Construction & Renovation Risk motivators.Construction & Renovation RisksNew construction and renovation projects face challenges associated with dust.

Aspergillus and Legionella are two major challenges that come with building construction and renovation. Aspergillus is a major concern since it is a mold that is common to the surrounding natural environment. Dust is what effectively carries airborne diseases.

Contaminated dust can be brought into any clean environment via clothing or movement. From there, the dust can be transported throughout a facility via the ventilation system. The contaminated dust puts high-risk patients in jeopardy and places hospital personnel and construction workers at risk as well.

Special ventilation needs in isolation rooms must be maintained, and other ventilation needs must be considered in areas where exposure to contaminated dust may occur.Recent discoveries linking patient deaths directly to contamination from construction dust have heightened national awareness about this problem. Now the engineering community is being asked to help hospitals take precautions to stop the spread of construction particles in healthcare facilities, primarily with sophisticated pressuriazation techniques (Schraag, Jennifer.

Upholding Infection Control Principles in Hospital Construction and Renovation Projects, Infection Control Magazine Today. 2005)Other patients at high risk are those in intensive care units, newborn nurseries (especially neonatal intensive care and dialysis units), operating rooms, and invasive procedure areas. Clearly, these patients must be protected from dust sources that could spread bacteria.

Infection Control Magazine TodayHealthcare Industry SummaryTo meet the needs of modern new construction and retrofit in healthcare, designers must look at new approaches which include products and systems into healthcare facilities that address the key needs and motivators of facility owners.Effective healthcare design incorporates components and system features that:Ensure health, safety, and comfort for all occupantsReduce facility risk and liabilityImprove patient healingEnhance employee job satisfactionReduce operational costsMeet local, state and federal regulatory requirementsBelnor Engineering is the official multiple consecutive award-winning distributor of innovative architectural products around the globe. At the forefront of sustainability for over three decades, we specialize in laboratory & building automation & controls, IAQ & HVAC systems, renewable energy & architectural solutions, and technical services building green cities one green building at a time.

For more information, contact us. Dont forget to read our Sustainability Manifesto: Decade Of 2020 while youre at it. Cheers!

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