Tag: Codes and Standards

The WELL Building Standard, or WELL, focuses attention solely on the health and wellness of building occupants. WELL was pioneered by Delos, is administered by
International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), and is third-party certified through IWBI’s collaboration with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).  more

An electrical hazard analysis identifies dangers that are present in an electrical system. This starts at the building’s electrical service and continues through the electrical distribution system to the building loads, including panelboards, motors, safety switches, etc. This analysis should identify electrocution (shock) hazards, arc flash (burn & toxic vapor) hazards and arc blast (pressure & shrapnel) hazards.  more

Have you ever wondered what the most frequent citations are during Joint Commission surveys? Speculate no more! The Joint Commission has teamed up with The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) to identify the top eight physical environmental standards that are most frequently cited during Joint Commission surveys. Physical Environmental standards include, but are not limited to, fire safety features, egress concerns, and mechanical and electrical system design and operation issues. Citations are made during on-site surveys conducted by The Joint Commission every three years as a part of the process that allows hospitals to maintain their accreditation.  more

Health-care design evolves constantly, reflecting improvements and advancements in surgical techniques, equipment (such as MRIs and robotic surgical equipment), clinical practices, hospital design trends, energy efficiency, sustainable design, and other factors. Ventilation for health-care facilities must change to be aligned with the changing needs of health-care facilities design, patients, surgeons, clinical staff, and visitors. more

ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2008, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, can be adopted by authorities for health care facility construction and private national organizations such as the Facilities Guidelines Institute (FGI). In 2010, FGI incorporated Standard 170- 2008 as Part Six of its Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities.1 This includes all addenda, present and future, issued by ASHRAE. The Joint Commission, federal agencies and authorities in 42 states use the Guidelines either as a code or a reference standard when reviewing, approving, and financing projects or when surveying, licensing, certifying or accrediting newly constructed facilities, according to FGI.  more

The furor over compliance with United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) General Chapter 797, Pharmaceutical Compounding—Sterile Preparations,1 has somewhat subsided with the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ decision not to enforce its requirements. As of this writing, at least 10 states require compliance (in whole or in part). However, many facilities may desire to comply now to prepare for future federal, state or industry regulations. Operational modifications are the primary means of compliance, but the pharmacy’s HVAC system also must be evaluated. USP 797 offers some confusing requirements for HVAC system designers, but compliance in an existing facility is not as difficult as it may seem. more

The latest edition of the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Health Care Facilities1 will be published this month. With assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Guidelines is revised periodically and published by the American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Health, and Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI). The Guidelines provide minimum ventilation for health-care facilities. The Guidelines also are adopted or adapted and enforced by 42 states and the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The 2006 edition has some notable changes to the ventilation and ventilation-related recommendations. more

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classified environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) as a Group A carcinogen, many state and local codes began requiring restaurants and entertainment facilities to provide designated smoking areas that prevent smoke from being recirculated to nonsmoking areas.

For consulting engineers, these smoking areas open up whole new concerns—and special commissioning needs. The following case study is a primer on HVAC commissioning with special attention to smoking areas in these venues.  more