Tom Green & Company Engineers, Inc. (TGCE) was commissioned to review design documents, constructed conditions, operating conditions, and related correspondence for two central Texas surgical centers. Both buildings, constructed circa 2004, are designated an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC). Both facilities are very similar and each one includes four operating rooms, two treatment rooms, pre-op, recovery, auxiliary patient care areas, and general administration and storage areas.
TGCE prepared a report summarizing our findings. The findings included: The overall system design was ill-advised for a surgery center application in the warm and humid climate of Central Texas. Cost reducing substitutions for two of the HVAC systems exacerbated the ill-advised system approach in that the substitution caused the buildings to operate under negative pressure in the occupied mode (rather than under an appropriately positive condition).
The facility designs provided for positive pressure operation only during occupied periods. Operation during unoccupied periods, per design, was negative. The facility operation provided for negative pressure conditions over brief or extended periods.
It was found by our team of experts that the existing system, despite its performance challenges, could be tuned or modified to achieve performance that appears to have been the originally intended value while also complying with applicable standards.