Archive for Uncategorized

Tidbit 11/19/12

Formal Interpretations Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities, 2006 edition

“Question 2: Is it the intent of Guidelines Section 2.1-10.2.2.4 to prohibit ceiling-mounted returns (low-level returns are, of course, required) in lieu of returns mounted high on the wall to increase the air mixing in the room and aid in the reduction of particulates?

Response: The intent is not to prohibit the use of ceiling-mounted return/exhausts as long as they are used in addition to the required low wall grilles. (However, care must be taken that the location of ceiling grilles does not disrupt the primary airflow over the sterile area.) This arrangement is supported by the above-referenced studies, which concluded the following: “In a room that provides a laminar flow regime, a mixture of exhaust location levels works better than either low or high level locations only. However, the difference is not significant enough that the low or high level location systems are not viable options.” This conclusion makes no reference to the exhaust location being high on the wall or located in the ceiling. Therefore, if the proper exhaust mixture can be achieved by an exhaust grille located in the ceiling, this would be considered to meet the intent of Section 2.1-10-2.2.4.”

Tidbit 11/05/12

International Building Code 2012 – IBC 703.4 Automatic Sprinklers Used as Equivalency for a Fire Rated Assembly.

This section prohibits the use of sprinklers to be considered as a compensatory feature for reduction or elimination of a fire rating required by the Code without justification through the application of Sections 104.10 (Modifications) & 104.11 (Alternative design).

Tidbit 10/29/12

NFPA 72 Section 17.7.4.1 states that in spaces served by air-handling systems, (smoke) detectors shall not be located where airflow prevents operation of the detectors.

Annex A Explanatory Material A.17.7.4.1    Detectors should not be located in a direct airflow or closer than 36 in. (910 mm) from an air supply diffuser or return air opening. Supply or return sources larger than those commonly found in residential and small commercial establishments can require greater clearance to smoke detectors. Similarly, smoke detectors should be located farther away from high velocity air supplies. See B.4.10. “

Tidbit 10/24/12

The draft manuscript for the 2014 edition of the FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities is available for public comment. The public comment period ends November 22.

Tidbit 10/19/12

2010 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities

1.2-8.1.4 Commissioning Requirements

On projects involving installation of new or modification to existing HVAC or fire alarm systems in patient care areas, the following commissioning activities shall be completed, at minimum:

1.2-8.1.4.1 Describe the basis of design (BOD) 1.2-8.1.4.2 Prepare pre-functional checklists. 1.2-8.1.4.3 Undertake functional performance tests.

A1.2-8 Commissioning b. Commissioning should be performed by an entity that is independent from the installing contractor.

The Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities provides guidance on good practice and emerging trends in the design and construction of health care facilities, recommending minimum program, space, and equipment needs for clinical and support areas of hospitals, ambulatory care facilities, rehabilitation facilities, and nursing and other residential care facilities. The document also addresses minimum engineering design criteria for plumbing, electrical, and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. The Joint Commission, many federal agencies, and authorities in 42 states use the Guidelines either as a code or a reference standard when reviewing, approving, and financing plans; surveying, licensing, certifying, or accrediting newly constructed facilities; or developing their own codes.

Tidbit 10/08/12

Rectangular duct systems can leak up to twice as much as round and flat oval systems.

Tidbit 10/01/12

NFPA 90.1 – 2010 Edition

Beware!!  Further energy cost reduction in lighting loads and contribution by daylighting are required, plus reduction of “plug” load will be a focus in the 2010 edition, and even more of a focus in the 2013 edition.

Tidbit 09/17/12

2010 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities

6.3.2 Exhaust Discharges. Exhaust discharge outlets that discharge air from AII rooms(infectious isolation rooms), bronchoscopy rooms, emergency department waiting rooms, nuclear medicine laboratories, radiology waiting, and laboratory chemical fume hoods shall discharge in a vertical direction at least 10 ft (3 m) above roof level.

Tidbit 08/20/12

Guidelines for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities – Light and Views

Section A1.2-2.2.2.5(1) of the 2010 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilites specifies that natural light, views of nature, and access to the outdoors should be considered in the design of the physical environment wherever possible.

Subsection (a) provides: Access to natural light should be provided no farther than 50 feet from any patient activity area, visitor space, or staff work area. To the highest extent possible, the source of such natural light should also provide opportunities for exterior views.

Tidbit 08/06/12

The International Mechanical Code, 304.11 – Guards.

Guards shall be provided where appliances, equipment, fans or other components that require service and roof hatch openings are located within 10 feet of a roof edge or open side of a walking surface and such edge or open side is located more than 30 inches above the floor, roof, or grade below.