TAB Journal Spring 2018 - 5
As contractors, Test and Balance Agencies are asked to perform
work in a multitude of varying on-site conditions with certifiable and
repeatable results. These may range from existing system and room
certifications to new, ground-up construction or renovations.
n healthcare facilities and laboratory settings, remodels can
have an adverse effect on the overall balance of a system
over a period of years, with the potential to result in a total
cascade failure of pressure-dependent spaces, even without
them being directly involved in the scope of work. Attention to
detail and precautions need to be taken by both the design team
and the balance contractor before any demo work is started.
It is common for various areas of a healthcare facility or a
hospital to be renovated frequently as the demand for space
usage changes and as tenants change. This usually involves
a mechanical engineer and the facility sitting down during
the design phase to discuss the end use of the area and the
comfort needs of the occupants and staff, along with any
special requests or parameters the end user would like to see
maintained after construction.
Starting at this phase, not much consideration is given to areas
outside of the space to be remodeled other than monitoring
highly sensitive areas like Sterile Processing Departments,
Operating Rooms, etc. that may be served by the same air and
water systems as the space to be remodeled and areas that must
maintain a specific air change requirement or positive/negative
room pressure. It is during these discussions that possible prechecks on fans and pumps for current operating conditions and
available BHP may be discussed.
Variable volume supply systems with Variable Frequency Drives
(VFD) are normally self-sufficient as long as there is enough
capacity in the air handling unit (AHU) to handle any additional
connected load that may be added. Conversely, any connected
load that may be removed from the system will simply cause the
VFD to operate at a lower percentage. The same cannot be said
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TAB Journal Spring 2018