HVAC Requirements for Clinic Supply Room
by Katrina Reed, on Mar 5, 2021 12:00:00 AM
Q: Are there any HVAC requirements for clean supply/storage rooms in business occupancies? I am working with contractors constructing a health care clinic and there seems to be some confusion on Temperature/Humidity and Pressure relations requirements. The clinic is new construction which consists of six (6) patient rooms and is approximately 4,000 sq. ft. We have been battling the heat load of the space due to medication refrigerators and freezers, the contractor has finally satisfied the temperature issue by exhausting the heat out, however the room now is very negative.
A: According to the 2014 FGI Guidelines, storage rooms are broken down into two basic categories:
- Clean/sterile rooms which are positive pressure
- Soiled/hazardous rooms which are negative pressure
You say your room is a clean supply room, so that would lead me to say the room needs to be positive pressure. It appears when the room was designed, the additional heat load of the refrigeration equipment was not considered and now you’re paying the price. You need to dump more treated air into the room if you continue to exhaust the heat to make the room comfortable. So, if you’re exhausting 500 cfm out of the room, you need to dump more than 500 cfm into the room in order to create a positive pressure relationship. The design temperature range is 72 – 78 degrees F, and there are no requirements for humidity.
If your Business Occupancy is accredited or you receive Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements for services rendered there, then compliance with the 2014 FGI Guidelines is required when there are no other state or local regulations to comply with.
Readers, here is one more thing to consider. If what you are storing inside the clean supply room is required to be maintained at a specific Relative Humidity range, then you would need to comply with that. Otherwise, the FGI Guidelines (which is actually the ASHRAE 170 standard on ventilation) says there are no requirements to maintain any specific humidity range.