Many hospitals have undertaken significant expansion and renovation projects as they prepare for an uptick in patient volumes in the coming years. In 2016, the top five expansion and renovation projects totaled costs over $6 billion.*
No matter the project value, the three mistakes below could end up costing time, money or stopping your project entirely.
Believing the age of the building gives you a pass
Regardless of the age of a building, the EPA National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) requires a comprehensive asbestos inspection to be performed before any renovations can happen. Building owners and contractors working at the facility can be held liable if renovations occur without an inspection. It only takes a single complaint to warrant an inspection from the state and, potentially, citations and fines, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Waiting to perform the asbestos survey
Plan to conduct asbestos surveys up front. If you skip this step, or wait until right before renovations begin, and discover asbestos containing materials during the course of renovations, not only will the project schedule be negatively affected, project costs will increase.
Forgetting air monitoring
If you’ve found asbestos and are getting it removed, don’t forget air monitoring. When removing friable asbestos, a contractor must build a negative pressure containment or enclosure. Good air quality is essential in hospitals and healthcare facilities, so getting clearance sampling done after removal activities are completed is key. Only after clearance sampling meets State of Michigan requirements, can staff, patients and/or other trades return to the area. Any complaint can trigger inspections, so the best way to eliminate liability is documentation demonstrating sampling was conducted properly.
Despite the recent decline in new use, enormous amounts of asbestos remain in buildings throughout the United States. Being mindful of how it can affect your future renovation and expansion projects will save you time and money.
* Source: Becker Hospital Review, 2016