Clean Construction, Healthy Healing: Prioritizing Hygiene in Hospital Building Projects

Clean Construction, Healthy Healing: Prioritizing Hygiene in Hospital Building Projects

Posted by Todd Gillman on Mar 26th 2024

In an increasingly mindful construction landscape, projects are continuously on the lookout for ways to “do good.” This includes implementing sustainable design principles and creating structures that enhance the health and well-being of occupants. These concepts are put under the microscope even further during hospital building projects, as the construction site is often in close proximity to patients and other highly sensitive environments. Therefore, it is critical that projects employ some of the cleanest construction processes available. With this in mind, keep reading for a detailed breakdown of some ways that hygiene is at the forefront of modern hospital building projects.

Air Quality Controls

One of the most important concepts for maintaining hygiene in a hospital while construction is underway is through air quality controls. Construction dust is not only a threat to those actively working in the construction area, but it has the potential to permeate the rest of the facility and pose a risk for patients. Some means for improving air quality during construction include:

  • Adequate ventilation via doors and windows
  • Backdraft and control dampers in HVAC ducts to promote the correct flow of conditioned air
  • Portable air scrubbers in and around the construction area to eliminate airborne toxins

By adhering to the highest air quality standards, project managers can minimize the risk of asthma, allergies, and other types of respiratory infections for workers and patrons.

Waste Removal

Having a meticulous waste removal infrastructure is critical for creating a hygienic construction site. Piles of trash that sit around for days create a haven for bacteria growth and pest incubation. When planning the project, it is important to have residential dumpsters for large-scale waste removal. Include clearly marked recycling and compost bins for increased sustainability. Schedule regular pickups to guarantee that waste backlogs do not stall the project.

Avoid Mold and Mildew

When performing any type of construction project, the “bones” of the structure are exposed to the elements in ways they are not used to. As such, moisture has the chance to infiltrate key foundational components, leading to an increased risk of mold and mildew spread throughout the facility. Some safeguards to reduce the likelihood of mold and mildew formation include the use of building wrap for the structure’s walls and commercial pipe insulation for any exposed plumbing.

Eliminate Safety Hazards

Accidents are catastrophic for construction projects. Not only do they delay completion timelines and result in unexpected costs, but they jeopardize the health and well-being of those involved. This is especially relevant in hospital settings, where construction projects are in close proximity to immune-compromised and mobility-handicapped people. As such, it is critical that the site is regularly inspected for any potential safety hazards. Remove any sharp objects from the floor, identify any wet areas, and keep an eye out for fire risks. Have clearly marked access to first aid and restroom facilities so workers can promptly clean up from any minor cuts or abrasions.

Prioritize a Sterile Environment

Another important aspect of enhancing hygiene during a hospital construction project is to prioritize a sterile environment in the hospital anteroom. An anteroom in hospital facilities is a small, enclosed space that serves as a transition between one area of the hospital to another, such as between an operating room and hallway. Its primary function is to prevent the spread of contaminants into more sensitive areas of the hospital, thus improving the building’s sterility and operational integrity. Some of the most common contaminants found in anterooms include infections/pathogens, construction noise, extreme temperatures, and limited accessibility. As such, one of the best ways to create a more functional and sterile hospital anteroom is through the selection of modular hospital walls. Modular walls are fabricated off-site and transported to the hospital, greatly reducing the dust and noise pollution associated with traditional wall framing and dry-walling. This can help reduce extended construction timelines and create a safe, sterile anteroom environment that does not inhibit normal operations while projects are underway.

Establish a Cleaning Schedule

When renovating a hospital, it is critical that the construction area is regularly disinfected to reduce the risk of pathogens spreading, as the high volume of construction traffic in and out of the facility can put the hospital at greater risk than normal. Wipe down all countertops, sanitize all glass railing system components, clean the floors, and spray with a non-toxic aerosol to keep the construction area as safe and sanitary as possible. This should be established as part of the daily routine and not strictly on an “as-needed” basis.

The Cleanest Practices in Hospital Construction

Due to their close proximity to highly sensitive environments, hospital construction projects are under intense scrutiny to ensure a spotless work environment. From implementing the proper air quality controls to establishing a routine cleaning schedule, construction sites can guarantee that nothing from their site disrupts the sanctity of the hospital’s healing environment. For more of the latest trends in the modern healthcare landscape, explore the resources at Omnimed for the latest insights in the industry!

Author Bio:

Todd Gillman is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on residential and commercial real estate. He lives in Land O’ Lakes, Florida where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching real estate trends in his free time. Todd’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.