Construction and remodeling projects at hospitals and other healthcare facilities open the doors to a wide variety of challenges in maintaining indoor air quality, especially if the project is adjacent to occupied areas. With some additional oversight, you can ensure the quality of the environment for occupants and workers, reduce the likelihood of problems, and meet regulatory requirements. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Use an Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) matrix to determine the Patient Risk Classification of your proposed project. Based on the classification, design and install appropriate barriers and negative pressure systems prior to the start of construction to block the transmission of contaminants, dust, and odors.
- Be vigilant about identifying and eliminating problems due to odors, noise, and dust, which can cause or aggravate medical conditions, such as asthma and allergies. Maintaining proper pressure relationships between the construction zone and occupied areas is of critical importance.
- Protect and monitor air handling equipment during the project and clean any contamination that might occur.
- Require regular housekeeping of the construction site and prohibit the tracking of dust, materials, and other contaminants from the site into occupied areas. The use and frequent changing of tack mats at the entrances to the construction zone will go a long way in minimizing dust exposure.
- After the area is occupied, monitor and maintain optimal air quality and immediately address any complaints from the occupants, such as lingering odors, eye irritations, and other allergy symptoms.
We would be pleased to consult with you before your next healthcare construction project begins to help ensure a clean and safe environment for construction contractors, medical staff, and patients. If you have problems with an ongoing construction or renovation, contact us for a consultation. For some of our other writing on the subject of healthcare construction projects, please click here and here and here.
We offer a range of services to help you meet and exceed federal and state requirements. We also are committed to sustainability and can work with you to improve the environment of your facility while contributing to a sustainable environment for everyone!