The 2018 FGI Guidelines Are Here. Are You Ready?

The 2018 edition of the FGI Guidelines are available and ready for use. The Pennsylvania Department of Health is still allowing the option to have new projects reviewed under either the 2014 or 2018 editions through October. After November 1, 2018, however, all new projects submitted to PA DOH for approval will be reviewed under the 2018 FGI Guidelines.

With the 2018 edition, FGI has split the requirements into three separate documents: Hospitals; Outpatient Facilities; and Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities. Pennsylvania Division of Life Safety currently reviews acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities and outpatient practices that are under a hospital license against the applicable FGI Guidelines as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s “Rules and Regulations for Hospitals” and/or “Rules and Regulations for Ambulatory Surgical Facilities.” Senior living facilities are reviewed for compliance with the Pennsylvania’s “Long Term Care Nursing Facilities Licensure Regulations.”

As with all prior updates, the technical content of the FGI Guidelines has been updated to address the changing needs of patients and healthcare facilities. Some notable content revisions include:

  • The term “bariatric” has been replaced with “patients of size” to better address the needs of patients that do not fit the clinical definition of obese.
  • Expanded requirements for telemedicine services.
  • Space planning requirements for Technology Distribution Rooms (TDR) has been revised from a specific room size to minimum clearance for data racks.
  • Requirements for imaging rooms has been overhauled to now include a classification system that defines specific requirements based on the type of procedures performed in the space. This change is intended to provide greater flexibility in room design that can adapt to new medical technologies.
  • The 2017 edition of ASHRAE Standard 170, with all addenda approved through November 2017, is included in the documents. ASHRAE Standard 170 is still under a continuous maintenance process so designers must continue to reference new addenda as they are approved.

Similar to prior updates of the FGI Guidelines, the 2018 edition includes a significant amount of revisions. In order to ensure a smooth review and approval process for new projects, it is important for the design team and owner to have a thorough understanding of the 2018 FGI Guidelines.

If you would like to learn more about the new guidelines or have questions for your next project, please do not hesitate to contact Jonathan Slagel, PE, LEED AP, HFDP at (717) 845-7654 or