Historically used in smaller-load residential settings, electronically commutated mo-tor (ECM) technology is making the leap thanks to recent improvements and in-creased awareness among engineers. Start with the basics, proceed to advantages and caveats, and consider the ways ECM designs can streamline the economics of air movement.
Look at not only some nearly automatic benefits-in-waiting for your average hospital boiler retrofit, but also at some ideas for what to do if there isn’t budget for a full replacement. Meanwhile, a short laundry list of hospital-specific boiler considerations actually includes the laundry (but not how you might expect).
ASHRAE 170 is just the baseline for the fight against hospital acquired infections (HAIs). The ongoing human and financial tolls taken by these infections point to the need for engineers and facilities to raise their IAQ game wherever possible. Move beyond the minimum and get into the what, where, and how of HEPA filtration, ultraviolet technology, and catalytic air cleaners.
Air changes in some but not all spaces, duct liner here but not necessarily there, rooftop unit requirements … do the rounds and get a feel for the current condition of ASHRAE Standard 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities.
One of the worst things you can do is note the capacity and replace the chiller. Have the building loads and usage changed? What about motors and cooling towers? Consider these and your part-load realities to create real long-term improvements.
A Mississippi clinic needed above-average design on a budget. The equipment was nothing unusual. However, creativity and attention to detail uncovered opportunities to fine-tune the design and exceed ventilation benchmarks for less.
Engineers’ daily challenges include calculations for outside air, supply air, and return or exhaust air flows — all while balancing mandated code requirements with owners’ expectations for performance, equipment first-cost, and future energy costs.