“Ensuring Proper Airflow: Best Practices for Hospital Air Balancing Planning & Coordination” by Miles Ryan, P.E. & Molly Meyer, P.E., Questions & Solutions Engineering, ACG Member was published in the Medical Construction & Design (MCD) Magazine, March/April 2021.
TAB is a critical healthcare project activity to ensure system performance criteria are met for a variety of systems such as HVAC, plumbing, etc. TAB is the process by which HVAC system and equipment performance is tested, water and airflows are adjusted to meet the system design requirements, and finally systems are balanced to meet the design intent. Optimum and reliable system performance is tied to successful completion of the TAB process. Outlined below are five best TAB practices to ensure successful project outcomes in existing hospitals:
- Perform existing conditions assessment prior to design
- Detail constraints, compliance requirements in design documentation
- Customize TAB specification to meet project needs. One way to specify a quality TAB process is to integrate third-party certification requirements and adherence to standards, such as the AABC National Standards for Total System Balance.
- Hold TAB integration meetings
- Provide consolidated, accurate as-built documentation
Case studies have confirmed the aforementioned best practices increase the probability for successful outcomes of TAB in hospital projects. Best practices include existing conditions assessment prior to design, design documentation detailing project constraints, customized TAB specification to meet the project needs, hold TAB integration meeting(s) and consolidated, accurate as-built documentation.
These best practices start at the beginning of the project. TAB should not be considered a singular activity that occurs at the end of the schedule, but as an integrated part of the entire design and construction process.
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