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Engineering guidelines for healthcare facilities released
Please note: As of 1 February 2021, the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA) became the Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA).
The 'Engineering guidelines for healthcare facilities' were released this week. They are a comprehensive guide that support best-practice engineering services in healthcare facilities.
But what are engineering services and why do they matter in healthcare facilities? And what benefits will the new guidelines bring?
Why are engineering services important?
Public hospitals are amongst the most intensively used public assets in the world and comprise some of the most sophisticated engineering systems. The engineering services of a facility are a crucial part of achieving better health outcomes.
‘A facility is just an empty box until the engineering services – HVAC, electrical and so on – bring the building to life.’
John Mihalinac, principal project officer of technical and engineering services, Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority
Simon Witts, principal engineer at LCI Consultants, worked with VHHSBA to create the new guidelines. He explains that engineering allows you to control the environment in a healthcare facility, improving patient wellbeing.
‘The engineering services allow clinicians to do what they need to do. They allow surgeons to do what they need to do. It allows the building to be used to make people better.’
Simon Witts, principal engineer, LCI Consultants
Why have the guidelines been updated?
Our engineering guidelines were first introduced in 2004. However, the industry has changed a lot over the past 15 years. Good environments have a range of benefits and hospitals need very specific designs to function well.
‘A hospital is a complex system and the performance of the buildings is integral to supporting patient care. The engineering services need to do different things to support different functions,’ adds Mr Mihalinac.
‘The new guidelines bring together latest the design principles, along with valuable lessons learnt from major hospital builds across Victoria, into a concise set of design guidelines.’
Last updated: 18 June 2020
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