SLD and Operamed Features Allow Hospitals to Retrofit Instead of New Construction

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An interview with Kevin Clare

Medical technologies are always changing.  While these changes often offer superior patient care, they also continually challenge hospital operation managers to adapt medical facilities to meet new needs.  Ideally, operations managers can reconfigure outdated spaces, but this approach often presents difficulties.  When working within the structural confines of existing buildings, construction crews and engineering must ensure there is enough space and an adequate number of access points for the complicated wiring and ductwork required for operating rooms, scan rooms, and radiology suites.

Hybrid Operating Rooms

Kevin Clare, Vice President at Life Science Modular, a sister company to Coward Environmental Systems, knows such challenges well.  Working with tight ceiling space is a recurring issue for hospitals and medical centers. “We recently worked on a project for MedStar Health.  A hospital needed more hybrid operating rooms, but the available space had relatively low ceilings.  As a result, it wasn’t possible to take a traditional approach to duct and diffuser types of construction.”

Kevin used a combination of systems from SLD Technologies and Operamed. “Because of the tight space above the ceiling,” Clare explains, “traditional access doors to products was just out of the question.  Using the SLD AirFRAME, we were able to make sure the converted space had all the capabilities of a hybrid ceiling mounted system, and still allow room for conduit and ductwork.”

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Easy Access

However, just installing an operating room system is not enough.  It’s also essential to provide access for maintenance. “We made sure we allowed one hundred percent access above the ceiling,” Clare notes.  “While a ceiling tile system is nothing new, these 24″x24″ Operamed tiles are inserted from the bottom.  Tiles are hermetically sealed to the T bar.  So, to meet the need for positive air pressure in the room, these Operamed tiles prevent leakage.  And when they need to do maintenance, the 24″ tiles allow for easy access.”

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Off-Site Construction

AirFRAME systems are constructed offsite, making installation quick and easy.  “These kinds of high-tech medical spaces used to require a multitude of trades; electrical trades, plumbing trades, and sheet metal trades,” Clare says.  “There’s lots of piping; drainage piping, piping conduit, and ductwork. It all has to come together in an extremely tight space.  But when the systems are built off-site, an operating room can come together in several hours, instead of weeks.”

No Need to Add Structural Steel

Before these kinds of solutions were available, new rooms required new construction.  “SLD eliminates the need for independent structural steel to support rail mounted imaging systems or boom mounts.  And it reduces the ductwork required to deliver air because the system is essentially a giant manifold.”  Clare emphasizes, “SLD Technology and Operamed solutions allow healthcare systems to create hybrid spaces, even with limited space above the ceiling.”

Want to Find Out More?

The experienced professionals at Coward Environmental Systems, Inc., and Life Sciences Modular represent the highest quality systems for healthcare and commercial IAQ. Our commitment to quality and customer service ensures you get the best results every time.

Life Science Modular represents SLD Technology in the Mid-Atlantic and Operamed throughout the United States.  Contact us today to discover how we can be a part of your next project.