The pandemic truly highlighted the importance of healthcare facilities and how essential it is for them to operate 100% accurately for better human health and safety. As a part of the fundamental and enhanced commissioning services of a healthcare facility, the Baumann team commissioned medical equipment such as the nurse call station and the medical gas systems. It was crucial to verify that each system was operating as specified in the Owner Project Requirements (OPR), especially systems that serve critical areas. During our on-site performance verification tests, we discovered that one of the critical spaces failed to maintain positive pressurization and was instead negatively pressurized. Positive pressurization creates an air infiltration barrier into critical rooms mitigating the transfer of pathogens into these spaces, whereas negative pressurization can have a negative effect on air transfer to critical spaces from the surrounding environment. This issue was identified in the Building Management System which indicated that a lower air volume was supplied to the space compared to how much air volume was exhausted from it. This was also confirmed by field measurement via a manometer. We also identified a defective module with one of the nurse call systems. Unresolved, this could have led to delayed communication between patients and medical staff.
Pro tip: Pay extra attention to even the smallest of details during the commissioning process for healthcare or critical care facilities.