Medical Construction & Design

NOV-DEC 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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16 Medical Construction & Design | NOV EMBER / DECEMBER 2017 | MCDM AG.COM Hospital HVAC systems are not only used for thermal comfort, but are a critical component of infection control and patient safety. HVAC systems help prevent the spread of infection within the hospital, along with helping to promote patient healing. Recent trends in healthcare projects (such as increased energy effi ciency, increased budget constraints and compressed project schedules) have shifted the focus of HVAC systems away from their primary purpose of promoting patient safety, in an eff ort to help achieve other project goals. Mechanical systems are being designed with the intention of meeting building energy-effi ciency goals and maintaining patient safety but, without considering the energy impacts of the building architecture, these eff orts fall short. Projects with inadequate project budgets and a steady increase in construction material and labor costs often require cost reduction exercises, which misguidedly target the HVAC systems due to their high capital costs. Additionally, compressed project construction schedules make proper fi eld coordination diffi cult, leading to equipment and system installations that are diffi cult to maintain for hospital maintenance staff . The following is an overview of trends, challenges and solutions regarding today's state of healthcare HVAC: Trend #1: Energy effi ciency The large outside air and air change requirements fo r healthcare facilities create a need for large amounts of energy and can make energy- effi ciency goals diffi cult to achieve. Air exchange rates, or air changes per hour, help with infection control, but at the same time increase the volume of air that must be conditioned and moved by hospital HVAC systems. Hospital environ- ments require higher amounts of outside air than other build- ing applications. These larger volumes of air, especially in warmer and more humid climates, require large amounts of energy to cool and dehumidify before Trends, challenges and HVAC's role in infection control in large hospitals Spotlight Healthcare HVAC HANDLING IT ALL This air handling unit/ HVAC system above is designed to limit infection throughout the hospital. > Surgical space designed to limit infection during surgery. State of Healthcare HVAC BY GREGORY HUDSON

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