Infection control experts have put together guidelines on hospital HVAC system filtration, temperature, humidity, air change, pressurization and exhaust. Unlike, for a typical building HVAC system which is maintained for comfort, a hospital HVAC system's job is to improve indoor air quality, mitigate airborne transmission of diseases, and in general providing superior patient care, according to an article on the Health Facilities Management magazine.
The new, second edition of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' (ASHRAE) "HVAC Design Manual for Hospitals and Clinics" includes this healthcare-specific data into a guide for HVAC engineers who are designing systems that meet infection control criteria.
The second edition of the manual reflects major changes in health care engineering since the first edition was published in 2003. One change was the 2008 publication of the "ASHRAE Standard 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities." "Standard 170" set the minimum standards for health care ventilation, air changes, temperature, humidity, filtration and design. When it was adopted by the Facilities Guidelines Institute as part of the "2010 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities," it became the minimum code adopted by more than 40 states and influenced codes throughout the world, according to the article
One chapter in the updated guide deals with designing various types of critical rooms and areas within hospitals, such as operating rooms, isolation rooms, pharmacies, labs and imaging suites, and includes new data on energy use by various types of imaging systems. Another chapter is devoted to designing renovations with emphasis on system upgrades and infection control during construction.
Read the article.