MEP Aspects Must Not Be Overlooked When Building Or Renovating A Veterinary Teaching Hopital
Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing are extremely important when designing and constructing a veterinary teaching hospital (VTH) facility.
From a mechanical standpoint, managing air flow and pressurization are vital for cleanliness, odor control and mitigation of infectious airborne diseases. For example, we have found 100% outside air with 12 to 15 air changes per hour is a best practice for animal holding areas to prevent contamination and minimize odors. Further in procedure areas and critical spaces, it is essential that both during construction and into the commissioning phases, proper differential pressures are monitored and maintained to ensure patient health.
Typically, healthcare facilities require a significant amount of electrical power. Veterinary teaching hospitals are no different in that regard. The bottom line is the type and amount of equipment in each area of the hospital drives this aspect of design and construction as certain instruments require dedicated circuits to ensure operational efficiency. Addressing normal power, equipment power and emergency power requirements are especially critical. Just like in a human hospital, there are areas, systems, and equipment within VTHs that must maintain power without interruption.
When it comes to plumbing systems, understanding where water is needed, where it is coming from and where it is going to is a must. Coordination of the supply and controls for hose reels, wet tables, tubs, and sinks are often overlooked during final coordination leading to big problems. Understanding the intricacies around floor drains, trench drains, floor slopes and their potential impact to the usability of the room are an absolute necessity when planning and constructing these specialized spaces.
The bottom line is that mechanical, electrical, and plumbing must not be afterthoughts when renovating or building a veterinary teaching hospital. Their potential impact on the cost, longevity and functionality of the facility cannot be understated.