Fabric ducting in healthcare settings
Our work at the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital in Dublin
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children is a healthcare institution known, loved, and respected around the world for the life-saving and ground-breaking medical treatment it dispenses to the very youngest and vulnerable in society. For many people in Ireland, the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, based in Dublin, is an equally beloved institution held in the highest of esteem – it’s an acute paediatric hospital responsible for the care of over 145,000 sick children every year.
And, for the team here at Prihoda, the work we’ve done for the hospital as part of our long-standing relationship with leading HVAC contractor Crossflow Air Conditioning is something we’re proud to have been involved with supplying.
In this article, we look at one of the most recent projects we’ve worked with the Hospital on. Our thanks to the team at the Hospital for allowing us to discuss our relationship with them and to our friends at Crossflow Air Conditioning for specifying Prihoda for this important work.
Our client – Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Dublin.
Founded in 1872 with just 8 beds, the Temple Street Children’s Hospital was an immediate success and its early years were marked by rapid expansion in both the number of children it could cater for and the conditions it could treat.
Fast forward to 2019 and the Hospital is a regional and national centre for childcare. Four fly-on-the-wall TV series have been made and broadcast into the medical work carried out within the hospital.
The major medical specialities on offer at Temple Street today include neonatal and paediatric surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, nephrology, orthopaedics, ENT and plastic surgery. There is a dedicated staff of 90 consultants, more than 950 nursing staff, a team of health and social care professionals, and countless other staff and volunteer working as a team to provide world-class care to the children being treated.
What was the problem?
The Temple Street Children’s University Hospital was originally a mansion in the centre of Dublin – when constructed, there was absolutely no intention of using it as anything else. Inside, it’s truly stunning – a beautiful, welcoming, aesthetically striking building full of period features and undoubted charm.
However, during warmer days in the Dublin summer, the upper floors of the building heated up quickly, so much so that it was uncomfortable for patients, staff, and visitors. The hospital had many numerous enquiries to various different companies on how to solve the issue, eventually choosing Crossflow Air Conditioning and Prihoda to design, install, and maintain a working solution.
How did we overcome it?
There were a number of important considerations to factor in for this solution. The most important of which was the need by the hospital to have the freedom to be flexible with the layouts of the rooms on the top floor. We couldn’t design something just for the rooms as they were now, the design had to be flexible to cope with any changes in layout on the affected floors, so that cool air was constantly and consistently circulated to patients, staff, and visitors. This meant providing additional protection from draughts too.
As our partner Padraig Hanvey at Crossflow described it, the challenge was that there were certain areas prone to “high heat gains” leading to quite wide ranges of temperatures between different parts of each floor and the rooms contained within them.
Fabric ducting in healthcare settings and the importance of air movement
The solution we chose was fabric ducting – a solution we’d successfully worked on with Prihoda at other installations. Fabric ducting offers many different advantages including quick installation time, energy efficiency, and the ability to operate well in reduced height areas meaning a much more uniform distribution of air in the targeted areas. It’s also very quiet making it ideal for hospitals.
Fabric ducting is made from a permeable material – with tiny 0.2m microperforations precisely cut all over the visible duct. These little holes allow for much more controlled delivery of air and prevents the occurrence of condensation. Delivery of the air in this fashion also prevents rapid build-up of dust on the inside of the duct meaning greater energy efficiency during operation.
Prioritising cleanliness and ease of cleaning
The duct itself can be easily removed and thoroughly cleaned in a standard domestic washing machine. The ducting material benefits from impregnated silver properties making it anti-bacterial and very hygienic, essential for a situation like the Temple Street Children’s Hospital.
Flame retardant properties
The Prihoda fabrics used in the ducting solution for the Temple Street Children’s Hospital have been certified in Europe and around the world for fire spread, smoke production, and moulten flaming droplet production. Test after test has confirmed that the fabric produces a very low amount of smoke and no flaming droplets whatsoever. The material is incredibly difficult to ignite and, once any flames have been extinguished, it self-extinguishes.
In addition, the material is ISO4 standard meaning that the ducting material itself does not shed any fibres for maximum compliance with accepted cleanroom standards.
Our ducting fabric on this project is made from 100% recycled used plastic water bottles (post-consumer recycled). No virgin material is used and there is a determined effort to reduce usage of water and energy and restrict to the greatest possible degree the production of greenhouse gases.
We calculated that the Temple Street Children’s Hospital’s ducting fabric saved 337 plastic water bottles from landfill.
To speak to our team about the range of fabric ducting materials we offer together with our additional services for end users and for specifiers, please call us on 0121 320 2496 or email email@example.com if you’re in the UK. Our ROI customers should call 01 961 0031 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.