Medical Construction & Design

JAN-FEB 2016

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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occupied zone is the lowest level where patient and healthcare workers reside; the connection zone is equivalent to a normal plenum space above the ceiling where fi nal connections are made for power, lighting and air conditioning and the distribu- tion zone is an additional level that a walkable fl oor separates from the connection zone where all bulk mechanical, electrical and plumbing distribution is routed. The building owner worked with the Design-Build team to construct an IBS that would meet the needs of all stakeholders, and it has proven to pay dividends. From a patient care perspec- tive, the majority of maintenance and renovation activities have been moved out of the occupied zone and into the distribu- tion zone, enhancing infection control prevention, as well as helping to support a healing environment. From an operations perspective, the walkable distribution zone allows a majority of MEP maintenance activities to occur at chest-high work level while standing on the fl oor. This removes the need to work of of ladders in order to access a ceiling plenum. Similarly, from a construction standpoint, the use of an IBS allows a majority of MEP installation work to be done from the fl oor, as opposed to ladders or man lifts. This single solution was a major factor in the construction team's achievement of more than 3.75 million man hours straight of construction without a lost-time injury. Ultimately, the PtD process resulted in a number of achievements. Perhaps the most notable accomplishment being that the space will continue to be safer for the facility's employees throughout the building's entire lifecycle. Applying PtD to future projects The fi rst step to make PtD work is to get all parties engaged in a dialogue, ideally beginning in the project programming phase when intent of the building's use can be discussed. This in- cludes: » Addressing how the building will be constructed, main- tained and used by the owner. Sharing this information allows all parties to better understand the activities that could present hazards throughout the lifecycle of the building. » Identifying hazards and assessing the associated risks within each phase. Based on the initial discussion, tasks that may be de- tected as troublesome include maintaining roof-mounted equip- ment; washing the exterior window glazing; removal of trash and recycling from the building; potential operation of cranes over active workers; potential for major trenching; potential use of any hazardous chemicals and expectation of future expansion or renovation. » Highlighting best practices on how hazards have been han- dled on other projects. There is no need to reinvent the wheel if others have already devised ef ective solutions. Research best practices through Internet searches, input from peer organi- zations, review of known safety standards such as OSHA and feedback from material or product manufacturers. » Developing a strategy to eliminate or control associated risks utilizing technologies, processes and products. Use data and research as a guide to develop approaches as a team that fi t the needs of a particular project. Examples include: developing a tie-of plan for maintaining elevated equipment; using high-end fi ltration products that require less change on equipment that is dif cult to access and using trash and recycling chutes for high- rise buildings. » Identifying and requiring training to execute the strategy and develop an implementation plan. The safest procedures and tools are irrelevant if the persons expected to follow and use them are not properly trained. Also, remember that changes in personnel will always exist throughout the lifecycle of a build- ing, so part of the implementation plan should cover onboarding new team members and providing refreshers for all experienced individuals. Building a culture of safety starts at the top, so strive to make the plan meaningful and hold people accountable to it. The entire plan should remain visible to all stakeholders with planned PtD reviews that continue throughout the design phase to maximize cost ef ectiveness and stakeholder input. Progress should also be tracked throughout the design, construction, building turnover and normal operations. Additionally, project delivery methods such as Design-Build and Integrated Project Delivery add considerable value as they inherently bring the constructor, subcontractors and all trades to the table early in the process. PtD ultimately gathers all stakeholders together to share and better implement safety methods throughout the full building lifecycle; it does not necessarily introduce new safety concepts. The biggest hurdle for more widespread implementation is changing the mindset of the entire team to make the process meaningful. The motivation for change should be something everybody can rally around because enhancing safety is one of the few subjects where everybody wins. Shawn Manley is a senior mechanical engineer for the Mid-Atlantic division of Southland Industries, a national MEP building systems fi rm. He can be reached at smanley@southlandind.com. BIM can be used to ensure that safe access is provided for maintenance and future renovation. MCDM AG.COM | JA N UA RY/ F EBRUA RY 2016 | Medical Construction & Design 41

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