Medical Construction & Design

SEP-OCT 2017

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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56 Medical Construction & Design | SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER 2017 | MCDM AG.COM crevices. When designing for new construction or planning renovations, follow these tips to avoid drafting blueprints for a pest's new home: > Avoid semi-enclosed spaces in alcoves or courtyards, as they provide ideal roosting and nesting areas for birds. > Install straight — rather than cove — baseboards. Cove baseboards typically are installed with adhesives that provide food for cockroaches. The gap behind them can provide shelter for many pests, including bed bugs. > Minimize inaccessible areas like wall voids and false ceilings. Design to discourage pest entry Even if there are fewer comfy spaces for pests to hide, you don't want them to get inside in the fi rst place. Pest entry is prevented by more than just window screens and weather strips. When planning, con- sider these guidelines to help keep pests outdoors: > Structure the building for positive airfl ow. Install air curtains where doors are frequently opened and use models that automatically start to conserve energ y. This will prevent fl ying insects from entering the building. > Create a two-foot gravel, crushed stone or vegetation- free barrier around the exterior of the building. This barrier creates a buff er between the building and landscaping to prevent pests from nesting next to the foundation and crawling onto the structure. The barrier will also help drain moisture away from the building. > Select pest-resistant materi- als. Termites are known to avoid certain woods, fi bers and types of siding. Stucco, on the other hand, is a poor build- ing choice for high-termite areas. > Avoid rough fi nishes that rodents can gnaw or use as footholds. A 12-inch band of glossy paint around exterior vertical pipes may prevent rats and mice from climbing them. > Install certain types of land- scaping mesh under planters to prevent burrowing and around drain pipes or other areas that might provide perfect entry- ways for pests. Design for easy inspection When designing, consider how pest management profession- als might inspect and treat the nooks, crannies and hidden spaces. If an area is easier to inspect, it's easier to prevent pest introductions from be- coming pest infestations. The following should be included in design plans to make a pest management professional's life easier (and insects' lives a little harder): > Build in access to critical areas like foundations, drains, utility boxes, false ceilings and triple-wall voids. This can help detect pest problems earlier and make solving the problem easier. > Try not to install drains un- der immobile kitchen equip- ment. This makes them harder to inspect — and almost im- possible to clean. Put drains in easier to reach areas. In healthcare facilities, diff erent areas have diff erent pest thresholds — just one cockroach in a surgical ward would be unacceptable while a fl y in a loading dock could be managed. Many design and construc- tion features can help reduce pest pressure, but not all of them will make sense for the scope of a project or a budget. Gaining a better understand- ing of the simple changes that impact pest activity can help project stakeholders make more informed decisions about the benefi ts of more complex design choices. Tim Husen, Ph.D., BCE, is technical services manager for Orkin. He can be reached at A pest management professional points out potential pest weak points.

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