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
Vivariums present many unique challenges to design and construction professionals. Due to the stringent environmental and construction requirements, designers and builders have their hands full ensuring the facility meets the numerous standards regulating these spaces. 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is undergoing significant changes at its Atlanta campuses. With many of its buildings constructed in the 1950s and ’60s, the main campus now requires facility upgrades to improve its ability to fulfill its missions, which include being a national leader in research and response to the threat of bioterrorism. more
On the surface, vivariums housing rodents are very similar in function, use, and frankly, design. Generally, they include holding rooms, procedure rooms, cage washing facilities, necropsy, and various other support spaces. Likewise, heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems serving these spaces can also be fairly typical. more
Despite the recent scrutiny and criticism of primary-secondary chilled water pumping systems, many owners still decide these systems are appropriate for their facility. Factors such as simplicity, familiarity, and experience are considered, in some cases, to have benefits to the owner that overshadow efficiency and first costs. Primary-Secondary pumping is not appropriate for all projects, but when the decision has been made to use it, properly addressing technical aspects of such designs and adequately addressing facility users’ needs significantly contributes to the project’s success. This article explores key issues to consider when designing a primary-secondary chilled water plant. 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