MEP Considerations for Bariatric Patient Rooms

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are facing an increase in the number of bariatric patients. This reality has led to the need for specially-designed patient rooms that require the expertise of a professional design team.

Some of the special considerations required for bariatric patient rooms include:

  • Water closets should be floor mounted and designed to support patients weighing up to 1000 lbs.
  • Sinks and grab bars need to be properly supported and attached to reinforced walls. A handheld nozzle in the shower will also make it easier for nurses to assist patients.
  • A patient lift system is required to allow nurses to comfortably and safely assist patients moving to and from the bed. Lift systems typically require a power supply and significant structural sup­port which also impacts routing for ductwork and piping. It is important to identify the style and manufacturer of the lift system early in the design process to allow ample time for coordination with the MEP systems serving the room. Many rooms have a lift track that extends into the toilet room, which requires additional coordination efforts.
  • As with any patient room, independent control of space temperature is also critical to patient com­fort and should not be overlooked. Consider giving nurses the control to adjust space temperatures, within limits, to meet patient requests.

If your next project includes bariatric patient rooms and you would like more information on how to prop­erly plan for and design the MEP systems for these rooms, please contact Jon Slagel, PE at or (717) 845-7654.

Leave a Comment