5 Containment Questions for Healthcare Project Pre-Planning

Our healthcare contractor customers have shared reams of notes from the field with us over the years. One thing is clear: healthcare contractors have ‘settled’ for traditional, often inferior, methods for containment challenges for far too long. Methods which can create as many problems as they solve, contributing to unnecessary safety risks, missed deadlines and budget overruns - and no one wants that. Addressing these five questions early will help you construct a containment plan which avoids those costly problems.

Never underestimate the value of “measure twice, cut once,” right?

How Many Project Phases Are Planned? 

When your answer to this question approaches two or more phases, it’s time to look seriously at how prefabricated modular wall systems reduce time, costs and dependencies. The speed and simplicity of modular wall systems benefit Project Managers and Supers in three key ways:

  • Reducing initial labor and material costs of multiple phases - and overtime labor when the project calls for scheduling outside normal hours
  • Minimizing uncertainties and scheduling conflicts with hospital staff or subcontractors
  • Creating a time buffer for other inevitable project unknowns - up to 15 days in a five-phase project.  STARC’s modular pre-fabricated temporary walls significantly reduce set up time compared to alternate solutions.


What Did Our Hazard Assessment Identify for Potential Contaminants, And Did We Include Drywall as a Potential Contaminant? 

If you answered “Yes,” to drywall as a potential contaminate you are ahead of the game. The National Institute of Health’s training program in Environmental Health Sciences estimated over 2 million incidences of Healthcare Associated Infections and 99,000+ deaths annually from ‘opportunistic pathogens’ a portion of which are directly related to hospital maintenance and renovation. One of those pathogens, Aspergillus, is ‘found naturally [in many things] including drywall, plaster, dust, and concrete powder.

Cheaper alternatives add additional risks, as our customer Peter Hauer explains: “With a conventional temporary wall installation like drywall, if you bumped into it you would have cuts and tears. There’s no infection control when there’s a breach in the wall that can lead to the potential of dust and contaminants. That’s not the case with STARC Systems.” - Peter Hauer, Field Superintendent at Mortenson

What’s more, dust and debris from drywall removal becomes an additional risk if not properly contained.

How Do Modular Wall Systems Help Achieve ICRA Negative Air Requirements?

You probably remember from ICRA training that particles released during renovation can be suspended for hours, days or even weeks. Air will naturally flow from areas with higher pressure to areas with lower pressure.  Negative air pressure allows air to flow into the isolation room and prevents air and particles from escaping the room.  Achieving negative air in a containment plan to prevent particle migration is an understandably heightened priority for today’s healthcare renovations. Read how our modular walls and panels and their pre-engineered components meet the grade - and put you in control.

Does our Containment Plan Address All ICRA Safety Issues?

The CDC requires healthcare facilities to perform an Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) before any renovation, construction or repair project.

ICRA Class IV designation states that hospitals must “construct barriers to prevent dust and dangerous pathogens from entering patient care areas and ensure that barriers are impermeable to fungal spores and in compliance with local fire codes.”  

Our containment system exceeds the ICRA Class IV requirements, the highest risk group assessment classification. Here’s a round up of what to know about ICRA in healthcare facilities.

How Close to Patient Caregiving and Employee Work Areas? 

Finally, a quiet and safe environment is paramount during occupied healthcare renovation. Heavy equipment, material movement, even extra foot traffic in most areas of a hospital can negatively impact patient recovery, wellbeing, and satisfaction - as well as caregiver productivity. Our RealWall modular wall systems are engineered with foam core panels which reduce up to 50% of excess renovation noise and eliminate disruption

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