Plumbing Design for Health Care Facilities
Plumbing Systems and Design 22006; Vol. 5: No. 2
This continuing education article covers a myriad of topics that pertain to the design of plumbing systems for health care facilities, laboratories, and research facilities. Major topics include plumbing fixtures and related equipment, laboratory waste and vent systems, the water supply system, and pure-water systems. Regardless of the system under consideration, one necessary task is repeated time and again: consultation. Consult with the architect; consult and meet with the facility staff and professionals; consult with the equipment manufacturers authorized representative; consult with local administrative authorities. Health-care facilities may be exempt from certain codes, but subject to standards that do not apply to other types of buildings. The article begins with general requirements, which is a laundry list of standards that apply to plumbing systems in health care facilities. Fixtures and related equipment are then discussed relative to specific areas of the health-care facility including general use and public areas, patient rooms, ward rooms, nurseries, emergency rooms, intensive-care rooms, examination rooms, treatment rooms, physical therapy rooms, other facilities for the treatment of patients. Within the context of each of these specific areas, there is a discussion of the various plumbing fixtures that are required, the need for particular materials, and specialized requirements that may apply. Fixture types are listed by medical-care area in a lengthy table. Important considerations for kitchens and laundries in health-care facilities include equipment utility requirements. Rough-in drawings of equipment in these areas are usually provided by the architect or consultant. Laboratory rooms can require a variety of sinks, washing equipment, service outlets for laboratory air and gas, and emergency showers and eye-wash stations. The usual location of equipment within a laboratory room or series of rooms is detailed. A small section of the article is devoted to plumbing needs of specialized equipment such as dialysis machines, electron microscopes, stills for producing distilled water, sterilizers, film processing equipment, dental equipment, etc. The next major section covers laboratories, which in addition to sanitary drainage, require specialized drainage systems for the removal of corrosive waste. Conditions under which special waste and vent systems are required are detailed. The costs and benefits of different types of corrosive waste system piping are discussed and include borosilicate glass, polypropylene, double-containment piping, and high-silicon cast iron. Sizing should take into consideration both future expansion and cleaning. As with waste piping, vent piping must be made of approved corrosion-resistant material. Neutralization tanks are often necessary to treat acid waste prior to disposal into a public sewer. A tank sizing table is presented. Acid-waste solids interceptors are discussed, as is acid-waste metering that is required by some local authorities. Laboratory sinks are provided with p-traps, drum traps, or centrifugal drum traps. The final topic is water supply systems for medical and health-care facilities. Specifically, potable, non-potable, and pure water systems are discussed. General considerations include dual domestic water services, water-conservation provisions, use of supply tanks to ameliorate fluctuating supply and unusual demand, diversity factors for sizing the system, and protection of potable water from contamination. Cold and hot water, chilled water, controlled-temperature water, and hot water recirculation are all discussed under the heading of potable water systems. Pure-water systems include distillation, deionization, and reverse osmosis. Pure-water systems have particular piping requirements and the costs and benefits of a number of types are presented. Non-potable water systems are touched upon.
Available at : ASPE Publications