While hospitals and
health care facilities in the United States are some of the best in the world,
the chances of contracting an illness while a pateient in one of these facilities
is estimated around 10% of admissions. Several studies and reports estimate
that approximately 90,000 people died each year as a result of
hospital-acquired infections (HAI), also commonly called nosocomial infections.
While many of these nosocomial infections are acquired through other than the
airborne route, there is solid evidence that inhalation of bacteria and viruses
in hospital air can and does cause many additional patient problems.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.