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Medical Planning: Avoiding Costly Mistakes in Design & Construction

by Ira Chilton

The ProjX sheet A1.61 has always been my second favorite sheet in a set of architectural documents (second only to the LS1.01). Since architects are charged with the safety and welfare of the public as well as the design service to our clients (and of course aesthetics), you can understand my preference for these two sheets to be addressed thoroughly.


So what is it about the A1.61 sheet that makes it so important?

  • Healthcare buildings are more regulated than any other building because they must be survivable during disasters. They are where people go in emergencies. But unless the technology in these buildings are maintained in some working order the usefulness of the facility can be greatly compromised.

  • Health systems are rethinking facility design, workflow, and the use of space as care continues to evolve with technology:

o Adapting acute care hospitals for flexible use of space.

o Expanding ambulatory services/outpatient/home health.

o Integrating telehealth and digital medicine/security requirements.

o Improving the patient experience.

o Having a survivable building for the community/These buildings will be there

for quite a while as part of the community fabric.

  • What does an equipment planner do, and why must this work effort be integrated into our A1.61 sheet?

o Ensure equipment procured meets clinical standards and is within scope of

the funded project

o Develop medical equipment standards and present/review with the facility

users.

o Coordinate with architects, engineers, general contractors, medical

equipment vendors, and hospital personnel during design development and

construction phases of a project.

o Assemble/compile specifications for the equipment to be supplied,

including Owner furnished equipment brochures and vendor drawings (A/E

team must have these at least 3 weeks before final check set!)

o Be responsible for maintaining budget and medical equipment delivery

schedules.

o During the Construction Administration stage, review any

requested design changes that involve medical equipment to assure

conformity with standards.

o Provide budgets for medical equipment and furniture for proposed

construction projects.

o Procurement management of medical equipment during the construction

process, including purchase order issuance and confirmation of receipt with

the vendors.

o Manage equipment vendors required to install.

o Travel to be on-site to work with facility and design team as needed. This

includes rough-in reviews as well as move-in assistance.

The A1.61 Equipment Plan should indicate:

  • Where medical equipment size, weight, integration details, and utility requirements can be found – for both the Design Team and General Contractor to use.

  • Who is responsible for the specification; the procurement; the delivery; and the installation.

  • How the equipment is symbolized in the plans. Often the planner will have special number references that should be used.

  • Any special room finishes and/or utility requirements should be clearly noted.

  • Any special low voltage requirement could trigger a separate low-voltage plan as a supplement to the A1.61

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