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CCTV monitoring. This is supplemented by a physical security presence operating 24 hours/ day. However more than providing a physical presence the guards also provides guidance and direction to visitors and patients. The safety of patients is paramount, none

more so than newborn babies, who shortly after delivery are fitted with an armband matching one that the mother wears. In the event that the mother and baby become separated for a determined period of time an audible alarm will sound, alerting staff, whilst at the same time all access doors in the vicinity will lock and elevators will not move from the floor until such time that the system is reset by nursing staff. A unique innovation in the American

initiatives and control of infection within the hospital environment.

Managing the facilities in this environment brings its own set of unique challenges. There are a multitude of services and systems within a hospital that are not required in a residential or commercial property. Apart from managing this kind of system or functionality, the service provider in a hospital setting is also required to deal with complex gas and vacuum systems as well as radiological or laser emitting equipment and devices. As a consequence of operating these complex services, the hospital is not only registered with the Dubai Municipality and Department of Health, it is also registered and audited by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) with regard to compliance in the operation of radiation emitting devices.

 Passive management Safety and security for patients, visitors and staff is paramount. This however must not be achieved by locking the hospital down or by introducing draconian security measures. To achieve this passive monitoring, extensive use is made of designated access control and

Hospital, and one that allows new mothers to rest, is the ability to place their baby in the nursery and watch them via CCTV from their bedside. In keeping with passive management, a state-of-the-art Building Management System (BMS) has been installed which continually monitors over 13000 parameters. This system is linked to the vendors energy management system in Zurich and gives real time information on system operations and allows HVAC engineers to fine tune building operation. The BMS system is linked to the fire detection system and in the event of a fire in a particular zoned area will shutdown the supply air to that area, whilst simultaneously increasing the air supply to the surrounding areas, thereby stopping the spread of smoke in the effected area. Extensive work has been undertaken by hospital engineering staff, and the BMS vendor, to maximise the utilisation of this technology, as it is quite common for BMS to achieve less than 30% utilisation.

 sustainaBility and energy conservation The recent increase in utility charges by DEWA has meant that sustainability and energy conservation must be investigated for feasibility and return on investment. It was surprising to find that there is a

limited number of energy saving companies who fully understand the technology or market in the region. As a consequence of this a considerable amount of in house resource was used in prequalifying suppliers and solutions to reduce energy costs. It was found that energy-saving lamps had

the longest return on investment period, in the region of 6-8 years. This coincides with the life span of the lamps and would therefore never 

Hospital Build Issue 4 2011 21


■ The American Hospital is acknowledged as a benchmark for healthcare excellence in the Middle East

■ Three main challenges affecting hospital operators in this region are accreditation, infection control and cost saving initiatives

■ Infection control is an issue that requires the input of all hospital staff at all levels; it is not just within the remit of the housekeeping department

Plant room at American Hospital Dubai

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