Healthcare Facility Standards: How can we influence for the better?
Walt Vernon, PE, LEED AP, EDAC, FASHE
Principal, Chief Executive Officer
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Abe Lincoln and many others have said some variation of this quote. Still applicable today, I would argue. What better way to do this, than to participate in change-making conversations and activities?!
My focus was on ASHRAE Standard 189.3, a proposed Green Healthcare Construction Code, and Standard 188, a Legionellosis Risk Management Standard for Building Water Systems.
Applying Standard 189 to Healthcare.
Standard 189 is now part of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), and, as such, is the go-to document for green construction codes in the US. At present, there is no separate code for healthcare or hospitals, so any jurisdiction applying the IGCC will apply it as-is to these facilities.
As the co-chair of Standard 189.3 committee, I know we substantially rely on the content of Standard 189. We are diligently working to create a healthcare specific set of provisions. These provisions recognize the competing priorities and opportunities available in health facilities and both amend and augment what is currently in 189.3. The result will be a set of requirements more appropriately suited for the unique imperatives of healthcare.
ASHRAE 189 has just published the 2014 edition, and we are rushing to catch up to that edition. If you have thoughts about the applicability of the new 189 standard to healthcare, I would love to hear your ideas. Comment below or contact me directly.
Customizing Standard 188 for Healthcare.
I also serve on the ASHRAE 188 committee. This committee has been working hard to finalize its document. We completed our 4th public review in November of 2014, and we have been working to resolve all comments since then. One of the major changes in this document has been a separate appendix for health care facilities. Again, as with 189.3, the committee has recognized that health care organizations and facilities have both unique challenges and unique opportunities and have crafted an appendix that, under certain circumstances, provides an alternate compliance path for these organizations and facilities. The committee will take a letter ballot on the draft in February, with a goal of publishing the document in June, 2015.
Want to get involved too?
Both of these documents will be very influential in the healthcare community, and I urge people to become familiar with them. You can learn more about these and other ASHRAE standards by going to www.ashrae.org/listserv. There, ASHRAE provides subscriptions to a variety of listserves, including one for Standard 188P, that enable interested parties to stay up to date with the latest news, publication offerings, and various other Society activities.
As always, Mazzetti people are working to make the world a better place through research and policy that leads to better environments. Thanks to others on this journey with us.