ATLANTA – A prescription for the design, construction and operation of high performance health care facilities would be provided through a proposed standard from ASHRAE and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE).

ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 189.3P, Standard for the Design, Construction and Operation of Sustainable High-Performance Health Care Facilities is open for public comment from Dec. 7, 2012-Jan. 21, 2013.  Visit www.ashrae.org/publicreviews for more  information.

“Healthcare facilities are often the largest and most energy intensive buildings in a community,” Standard 189.3 committee chair Michael Sheerin said. “In today’s competitive and regulated market, these facilities are challenged to provide capital for increasingly complex new buildings that meet sustainability objectives as they experience decreasing finances for life-sustaining services. In addition, health care facilities are home to services that require energy use for patient safety.”

Proposed Standard 189.3 would help facilities in meeting those multiple needs by providing the procedures, methods and documentation requirements for the design, construction and operation of high performance sustainable health care buildings. It would apply to patient care areas and related support areas within health care facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes and licensed outpatient facilities.

The standard covers key topical areas of site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources. Additionally the standard has a special section to address the emissions, effluents and pollution that is commonly discharged from these facilities.

Proposed Standard 189.3 provides guidance to achieve improved energy efficiency for the selection of materials and furnishings and for utilizing green facility operating processes.

The standard builds upon the guidance for creating high performance buildings addressed in a parallel standard, ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, while accommodating the unique factors that impact health care facilities.

Specific ventilation requirements for health care facilities are addressed in ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities.