HVAC design is not only performing heating and cooling load calculations, but it also includes selecting the right HVAC system type and equipment, and precise HVAC Engineering. HVAC designers also need to know the premises, the occupancy type and ASHRAE codes that govern the occupancy. Good HVAC engineering practices are required for proper design, ventilation rates, and temperature control aspects.
HVAC design goals
The goal of every HVAC designer is to efficiently provide safe, comfortable environments. However, for hospitals, the process needs to be more refined and must follow codes in effect, energy efficiency, occupant comfort, ventilation, and air quality. HVAC designs, parameters, guidelines, and governing codes have continued to evolve and develop with additional standards over the past several years for hospitals.
How to do HVAC Design for hospitals?
Additionally, hospitals require a higher level of life safety consideration which makes conditions more stringent for HVAC Design. It starts with planning and selecting the HVAC system and analyzing the architectural floor plan that has the appropriate space name and divisions as denoted by legends.
Also, the medical facilities administration team must work in conjunction with HVAC designers. Each of the zones in the hospital facility like OT, CT, X-Ray, OPD has different heating and cooling loads and air-change requirements. Each occupancy or room has a different type of specific minimum air change per hour (ACH) requirements for both total and outside air as per ASHRAE guidelines for hospital design and regulations. The ventilation rates provide comfort, odor control in areas of patient care and treatment. An HVAC Designer must think for fully ducted systems for future flexibility in expanding or changing space occupancy types.
HVAC Design & Varying Occupancy
The importance of the occupancy determination then identifies which additional codes must be used for the HVAC design criteria. Sometimes a physician office and clinic have equipment and staff that perform procedures similar to those in hospitals and outpatient occupancies. These could include endoscopic procedures, CT scans or cancer treatment functions. As long as the number of simultaneously treated patients is fewer than health care occupancy definitions, no additional code-related requirements are needed in the design. However, some consideration might be given to space temperature, airflow direction, pressure relationships, and filtration to enhance the comfort and care of the patient and health care providers. Prior to HVAC design, it is important to understand the space use, the procedures to be performed and the number of patients who will receive treatment at any given time. This information helps to determine the HVAC design parameters for the project.
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