Henderson Engineers recently attended the 38th annual AHCA Seminar and Expo. Russ Carter, hospital practice director, Greg Johnson, business development director at Henderson Building Solutions, and Jeff Teel, acoustics technical manager returned from Orlando with the following takeaways regarding current trends and topics in healthcare design:
Emerging Energy Concepts for the Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities
A key takeaway from the symposium was that healthcare facilities account for approximately 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, which puts environmental sustainability and decarbonization of healthcare facilities at the forefront of the climate action conversation. Climate deadlines and calls to action dominate the evening news and legislative agendas.
The idea of decarbonizing the entire healthcare sector is more than a little overwhelming. Hospitals and health systems have a vested interest in the climate conversation not only because of the impact of climate change on public health and critical healthcare delivery infrastructure, but also because the complex energy and resource needs of hospitals and healthcare systems directly contribute to the industry’s carbon footprint.
Tactics that can be utilized for reducing scope one and two emissions include metering and fault detection, commissioning and retro-commissioning, green microgrid distributed generation power systems including photovoltaic and hydrogen fuel cell systems, energy storage systems, virtual power purchase agreements from green suppliers, and the creation of new efficient equipment specifications for hospitals to include geothermal water source heat pumps and chilled beam technologies where allowed.
FGI: Sound Vibration Guidelines for Healthcare Facilities
Jeff Teel provided a presentation on updates to the guidelines provided by the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) that serve as the industry standard document for healthcare design and construction, which includes design criteria for sound and vibration control. In the 2022 edition, the sound and vibration control guidelines were significantly expanded and impact building design across all three of FGI’s publications for 1) hospitals, 2) outpatient facilities, and 3) residential health, care, and support facilities.
Although the adoption of the guidelines is voluntary, most states do adopt and enforce at least some of them in their building codes, which makes design teams responsible for proper acoustics in healthcare facilities. Jeff’s presentation provided details into each of the following acoustical areas of concern: site exterior noise, sound isolation, acoustic finishes, speech privacy, room noise levels, and building vibration.
Henderson Knows Health
Henderson has been designing healthcare projects for more than 25 years and understands that each facility, campus, and project requires a unique approach. With that great responsibility comes the need to design solutions for patient safety, complex equipment, facility infrastructure, and resident comfort. Our experts are on the frontlines helping healthcare providers navigate new technology, complicated code requirements, and the emergence of neighborhood medtail clinics – all while taking patient care and safety as seriously as our clients do. To learn more about our Health Sector, click here.
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