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existing hospital with plenum return

Discussion in 'Institutional' started by Vlab20, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Vlab20

    Vlab20 Bronze Member

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    I have an old existing hospital in Wisconsin. IBC 2009 / NFPA 101 2000 edition / FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities 2010 edition.

    I have a 1-story building with plenum return.

    FGI Guidelines states: 2.1-8.2.4 HVAC Air Distribution / 2.1-8.2.4.1 Return air systems. For patient care areas, return air shall be via ducted systems.

    FGI definition of “patient care area”: An area used primarily for the provision of clinical care to patients. Such care includes monitoring, evaluation and treatment services.

    Is a Meds Room considered a “patient care area”???

    If I remodel an existing Meds Room and make it bigger he AHJ is asking for a ducted return. Yikes. I will be running a duct half way across the building. I might just run a roof ventilator straight up through the roof and call it a day. Question: Any one see an issue with this option???

    Second question: Client wants to provide a Automated Drug Dispensing Unit. FGI Guidelines says I can place it in an Alcove, a Clean Work Room or a Meds Room. Our current Meds Room is not big enough. Could I build a new Alcove and NOT have to provide any ducted return? Just looking for thoughts prior to discussig with AHJ.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Gregg Harris

    Gregg Harris Saw Horse

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    Your first idea would work if you redesigned the HVAC system, with a unit supplying the med room by itself and 100% outside fresh air.

    The ducted return system in a hospital serves a very specific purpose to help prevent the spread of air that is contaminated.
     
  3. Dr. J

    Dr. J Silver Member

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    Regarding if a Meds room needs to be ducted - yes. See ASHRAE 170, which is incorporated into 2010 FGI as Ch6. In 6.6.1, it states "Spaces listed inTable 7-1 that have required pressure relationships shall be served by fully ducted returns." t

    Table 7.1 requires a Meds room to be positive"

    Regarding puting the Pxyis in an alcove - be aware of security issues. The Hospital's Safety Committee may have a say in this. Be aware of corridor intrusion - is it fully withing an alcove?

    Regarding how to do a minor project without getting into a re-work of the entire HVAC system - Yeah, that's always tough. Work with the AHJ. Personally, I like the dedicated roof ventilator idea. (Don't need a dedicated 100% OA unit, just exhaust the air being supplied by the main air handler) The Pxyis belongs in a Meds room. A Meds room provides a private place to confirm medication orders, cross check patients vs meds, work witout disruption, provide proper lighting, etc. Don't compromise medication security for a few dollars in HVAC. In a year or two, "they" forget the cost savings and will wonder WTF the Pxyis is doing in the corridor.
     
  4. globe trekker

    globe trekker Registered User

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    Vlab20,

    I have seen the Meds. Cabinet located at/behind the Nurses Station area. It provides security

    and instant access to those that use it regularly. Suggest that you receive guidance from the

    medical facility decision makers on location. As "Dr. J." has stated, prevention of contaminated

    air blowing onto the Meds. Cabinet is an issue to be addressed before installation.

    .
     
  5. Gregg Harris

    Gregg Harris Saw Horse

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    Not isolating the med room and using just exhaust would probably lead the room to be negative instead of positive as required.
     
  6. Dr. J

    Dr. J Silver Member

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    250 CFM supply, 150 CFM exhaust = positive at the room level.

    Yes you will need to confirm that you can get the additional OA air through the AHU to make up for the additional exhaust, but I doubt the air quantity needed for a Meds room is a significant load on the AHU. It probably would not even be noticed.
     
  7. Vlab20

    Vlab20 Bronze Member

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    Thanks for the responses. It is entirely reasonable for any new work in the Meds Room would require new ducted return. No problem there. Going directly out the roof with a roof ventilator appears to be the easiest and less costly. Shouldn't be a big issue providing the positive pressure and ducted return via a roof ventilator. Placing the Pyxis in the Nurse Station or in an Alcove in the Nurse Station is a possibility as long as all the code requirements are met for a meds dispensing unit, ie security, lighting, etc. I will have to work with the AHJ if we decide to build an alcove.
     

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