Hospitals have unique ventilation requirements. Lee Jenkins-Skinner, CIAT’s AHU specialist, highlights updated guidance on the subject.
Effective ventilation is vital to ensure safe, comfortable, and efficient indoor environments. For hospitals and healthcare facilities in particular, ventilation is a critical component in a building’s life-support system. There are a number of reasons that specifications for hospital ventilation systems are significantly more stringent than for typical commercial buildings. Use of healthcare premises is particularly intensive, with high power requirements and high occupancy and traffic levels due to the constant flux of patients, staff, and visitors. Patients may be highly susceptible to airborne infection risks, and their medical conditions may require close control of the indoor environment
Healthcare is a significant contributor to the UK’s climate footprint. Health Care Without Harm1 reports that in 2019, hospitals and related buildings were estimated to account for around 5.4% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Given the wide range of equipment and HVAC systems needed to maintain an optimum indoor environment, the legal and technical requirements applying to ventilation for healthcare premises are complex.
Useful guidance is provided by the Health Technical Memoranda (HTM)2 reference series, produced by (NHS) estate specialists and expert cross-industry panels. Guidance on hospital ventilation is explained in HTM 03-01. Published in 2021, it provides updated guidance drawing on the healthcare-specific aspects of current standards and best practices.
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