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SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS

Asset Classes

Focus Area

Water

Topic

Water Hazards

Question #

W5.3 – Water Features in Healthcare

Question

Are the following strategies implemented to manage Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in laboratories?

Applicability

Applicable to Healthcare buildings

Answer

Select all that apply:

    • Water-saving sterilization processes or equipment are used (such as mechanical vacuum systems and/or water tempering devices)
    • Chemicals, chemical waste and liquid pharmaceutical waste stored in way that minimizes and contains spills
    • There a policy in place that specifically discourages the discharge of chemicals into the sanitary sewer while also explicitly prohibiting all discharges exceeding legal limits
    • There are documented procedures to ensure that glycol discharges from the flushing of cooling coils are minimized or eliminated
    • Measures are implemented to reduce contaminated storm water run-off from outdoor hazardous or biomedical waste storage areas

Description

Requirements

Demonstrate that the following is in place at the building:

    1. Water-saving sterilization processes or equipment are used (such as mechanical vacuum systems and/or water tempering devices)
    2. Chemicals, chemical waste and liquid pharmaceutical waste stored in way that minimizes and contains spills
    3. There a policy in place that specifically discourages the discharge of chemicals into the sanitary sewer while also explicitly prohibiting all discharges exceeding legal limits
    4. There are documented procedures to ensure that glycol discharges from the flushing of cooling coils are minimized or eliminated
    5. Measures are implemented to reduce contaminated storm water run-off from outdoor hazardous or biomedical waste storage areas

Documentation

    • Emails, memo, service agreements, photos or any other evidence which demonstrate Requirements are met

Adapted BB3 Question

Questions 2.M.8, 4.3.1, 4.3.M.1, 4.3.3.1

Suggested Lead

In-house, with third-party support

References

None

Crosswalk

TBD

Other Notes

Mechanical vacuum systems are applicable where the volume of equipment needing to be sterilized is high or where equipment needs to be sterilized quickly. A vacuum drawing on the chamber allows better contact with the steam. Water tempering reduces the amount of water needed to cool the hot condensate created during sterilization before it can be sent down the drain. A condensate tempering system monitors the temperature of the draining water and applies cold water only when needed – e.g. when the water from the sterilizer is hotter than 60°C (140°F).

At a minimum, there must be containment of chemicals and pharmaceutical used in building operations, for example, oils, solvents, rust inhibitors, biocides, pesticides and liquid pharmaceutical waste (such as the disinfectant (HDL) glutaraldehyde). This can consist of secondary containment with plastic trays to store the materials. Where there are no chemicals or pharmaceuticals in the building, mark “not applicable”.

This policy must explicitly identify all departments that are expected to comply (for example, pathology, research, printing, housekeeping, dentistry, etc.). Departments are expected to report their discharge activity to the staff member responsible for regulatory compliance.

Used glycol and water from cooling towers should be tested to ensure that they meet local sewer-use by-laws before being discharged into the drain system. Ethylene glycol, used as an anti-corrosion agent and in freezing point depressants in air conditioning systems, is toxic to humans and animals.

Storm water may contain effluent from outdoor hazardous and biomedical waste storage areas unless appropriate measures are taken to properly contain and protect these storage areas from dripping, spilling, and overflowing in rainstorms. Best management practices can be structural or operational. Structural measures include: installing a water-tight lid on the storage bin or placing a catchment container under the bin. Operational practices include: regular monitoring of these storage areas to ensure they are in good condition (no holes) and placing hazardous/biomedical waste storage bins outdoors only on collection days.

ASHRAE Standard (SPC188) Prevention of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems establishes absolute Requirements for the prevention of legionellosis associated with building water systems. The standard requires Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) risk management to be used to reduce the potential of legionellosis associated with buildings. Having point-of-use water heaters OR by maintaining water temperatures between 50 and 55°C and avoiding stratification and dead legs in water circulation systems may a simplest way of meeting the standard.

Scoring

1 Point per option, up to 3 Max Points

Verification