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Emergency Power HVAC

by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Jun 17, 2020 1:00:00 AM

Q: Are healthcare facilities required to have the heating and cooling systems on the emergency back-up generators by code?

A: The answer is yes for some heating equipment, but no for cooling equipment. According to NFPA 99-2012, section 6.4.2.2.5.1, the emergency power Equipment branch shall be connected to the following devices and systems:

  • Central suction systems serving medical and surgical functions
  • Sump pumps and other equipment required to operate for the safety of major apparatus
  • Compressed air systems serving medical and surgical functions
  • Smoke control and stair pressurization systems
  • Kitchen hood supply or exhaust systems, if required to operate during a fire
  • Supply, return and exhaust ventilating equipment for:
    • Airborne infection/isolation rooms
    • Protective environment rooms
    • Exhaust fans for laboratory fume hoods
    • Nuclear medicine areas where radioactive material is used
    • Ethylene oxide evacuation
    • Anesthetic evacuation
  • Heating equipment used to provide heating for operating, delivery, labor, recovery, intensive care, coronary care, nurseries, infection/isolation rooms, emergency treatment spaces, and general patient rooms.
  • Pressure maintenance pumps for water-based fire protection systems
  • Elevators selected to provide service to patient, surgical, obstetrical, and ground floors during interruption of normal power
  • Supply, return and exhaust ventilating systems for surgical and obstetrical delivery suites, intensive care, coronary care, nurseries, and emergency treatment spaces
  • Hyperbaric facilities
  • Hypobaric facilities
  • Autoclaving equipment
  • Other selected equipment

It is important to understand that this list is the required devices on the ‘Equipment’ branch of the essential electrical system (i.e. emergency power). There are two other branches with requirements for devices and systems to be connected to the Life Safety branch and the Critical branch. For healthcare facilities located in the warmer climates, then cooling equipment could certainly be added to the Equipment branch, under the ‘other’ provision, but NFPA 99-2012 is not requiring it.

Topics:HVACEquipment (Life Safety Code)

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