Healthcare

Changes to PA UCC Code: Electrical Code Changes to the IBC and NEC

As has been discussed in previous editions of “Insights”, Pennsylvania has recently updated their baseline building codes from the 2009 International Codes to the 2015 International Codes. Along with that change comes not only revisions contained in the International Codes themselves, but also updated references to other standards including the 2014 National Electrical Code (previously … Read more

Changes to PA UCC Code: Plumbing Code Changes 2009 vs 2015 IECC/IPC

Change. Whether good, bad, or somewhere in between, we must accept change and constantly adapt in order to move forward, grow and even improve. Changes in the International Plumbing and Energy Conservation Codes are no exception. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, except for the City of Philadelphia, adopted the 2015 International Codes the past October, superseding … Read more

Changes to PA UCC Code: Mechanical Code Changes 2009 vs 2015 IECC/IMC

The change from the 2009 International Codes to the 2015 International codes in Pennsylvania, except for the City of Philadelphia, ushered in many substantial changes when it comes to mechanical system design, construction and operation. Similar to other code updates, the hike toward sustainable design and operation continues in these common areas: increased equipment efficiency … Read more

Changes to Pennsylvania UCC Code: The Overview

The Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC) first began being enforced in April 2004. Fourteen years later, Act 35 of 2017 updated the code requirements to the 2015 International Codes. Application of this new standard began for all projects without a signed construction contract on October 1, 2018. The grace period for permit application for projects … Read more

Access is Key: Emergency Plumbing Fixtures

There seems to be a misunderstanding among facility owners and operators these days about requirements for emergency fixtures (eyewashes and drench showers). Plumbing codes do not prescribe when or where to locate eyewash fixtures. Rather, they address the installation of these emergency fixtures if or when they are required. The Owner is responsible for knowing … Read more

Understanding Legionella – Designing to Reduce Risk

Pontiac Fever. It’s got nothing to do with cars, and everything to do with Legionellosis, the disease caused by a pathogenic bacterium called Legionella pneumophila. Legionellosis or Legionnaire’s Disease preys on the elderly, the young and anyone with weakened immune systems. The subsequent fallout can also be catastrophic to a facility and owner because the … Read more

Cover Your Assets: Why You Need Surge Protection

Electronic devices are everywhere – in our pockets, on our desks, in our homes, in our cars, and in our facilities. Technological advances that make our lives simpler and more productive are made possible by countless electronic devices. The water, gas, electricity, air, and even the information that flows in and out of our buildings … Read more

Forget the Clorox™, Turn on the Lights!

Healthcare Acquired Infections, or HAIs, can result in up to $147 Billion worth of medical expenses per year, with surgical site infections accounting for approximately 33% of these HAI’s. To combat this statistic, Hospitals are doing everything they can to eliminate the causes of these infections by not only performing a “terminal” cleaning at the … Read more

Did You Ask the Right Questions?

When undertaking a renovation or new construction project as an owner do you know what questions to ask regarding the design of the MEP/FP systems? What is different about this project that was not on the last one that no one was expecting? The advantage of an experienced MEP engineer is that we have seen … Read more

Is Your Lighting WELL?

For many years now, the design community has been laser-focused on creating ‘green’ buildings that use less energy and have a smaller impact on their surrounding environments. That is until recently. Due to growing concern amongst the healthcare community that Americans are spending too much of their days indoors coupled with the scientific community’s increasing … Read more

Choosing the Right Contractor – It’s a Matter of Success or Failure

Your project has gone through a comprehensive planning and design process to ensure that the project design objectives and goals are fully captured in the documents. You are ready to start work. Now what? The successful implementation of your project requires one more, extremely important step, selecting the right construction partner. How can you do … Read more

Who Is Deciding What Goes Into Your Facilities?

Managing the construction of new facilities or renovation and maintenance of existing facilities with multiple design and construction firms can be a daunting task even for the most experienced owner. One way to help eliminate miscommunication and set expectations of all project stakeholders is to have written design and construction standards. If you own, operate … Read more

Hybrid – A Mixture of Functions

When used as an adjective, “hybrid” is defined as something “of mixed character, composed of mixed parts”. In today’s society, the term is regularly used to describe cars, genetically modified plants, dog breeds, or any combination of two distinct styles. In the healthcare industry, the word hybrid is generally used to describe a mixture of … Read more

Calm Before the Storm – Is Your Hospital Prepared?

The severity of recent natural disasters across the nation, along with the Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2016, has made emergency preparedness a point of emphasis for healthcare facility managers across the nation. On November 15, 2017, participating … Read more

Our Surgeons Want What Temperature in Their Operating Rooms?!

Does this question sound familiar? Every facility manager has probably muttered, or at least thought, this question at some point. With surgeons performing longer and more complex surgeries, requests for colder operating room temperatures has increased and it is not uncommon for surgeons to request room conditions that are outside of “normal” parameters. The question … Read more

Understanding Building Energy Usage

Fall is almost here and winter isn’t too far behind, so let’s make sure your building and wallet is ready for it! It’s important to understand how your monthly energy use is broken down by your building systems. Below represents a pretty typical breakdown for a building: System Type % of Total Energy Consumption HVAC … Read more

Will your Pharmacy be USP 800 Ready?

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) Chapter 800 related to handling of hazardous drugs in healthcare settings will officially take effect on December 1, 2019. Chapter 800 will supersede the current Chapter 797 requirements for compounding of hazardous drugs. Several of the requirements in Chapter 800 may prove challenging to meet for facilities with aging mechanical infrastructures. … Read more

Exterior Lighting Upgrades

Since 2009, the lighting industry has made remarkable improvements in LED technology for exterior lighting. Manufacturers have been able to significantly increase light output, improve the color quality and reduce electrical usage all while lowering upfront costs. These advancements have made upgrading to exterior lighting to LED sources a viable way to create a positive, … Read more

HVAC System Selection Considerations

When designing a building, there are some things that are pretty straightforward: plumbing fixtures need water supply and drain; you need lighting to see; power for that lighting and other equipment; and you may also want some telecommunications and life safety/security systems – the things that Make Buildings Work. The fixture types that you choose … Read more