Our new hospital’s state-of-the-art heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system will provide maximum comfort for patients with minimal noise. Every inpatient room will have its own thermostat, allowing families to create a climate customized to their needs.

To provide the cleanest air possible, the hospital will employ high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration. HEPA filtration reduces the risk of infection to patients, staff, and visitors. That’s because air on all patient floors will be filtered to remove 99.9 percent of pollutants. This includes dust, pollen, mold spores, and bacteria. In addition, operating rooms and rooms for high-risk patients will be outfitted with additional filters at the vents.

The HVAC system is massive. Twenty-four air handling units of various sizes will circulate air throughout our new hospital. Two huge units located on level 12 serve levels 6 through 11. (These include four inpatient floors and two floors for future use.) Remarkably, the two units are the largest ever made by the manufacturer. How big are they? Picture a standard-size volleyball court with an 11-foot ceiling!

These enormous units are equipped with two large fan arrays. Each array consists of several fans, allowing the unit to operate at full capacity even if one fan fails. Large arrays eliminate the need to take the entire unit off-line in the event of a minor mechanical issue.

Despite the large number of fans, the HVAC system is very quiet. This is important because a quieter building creates a better environment for healing. To ensure the system will meet our patient and families’ needs, members of the construction team traveled to Oklahoma to test the fan arrays. Their goal was to ensure that the noise generated fell well below a certain level. As it turns out, the fans are so quiet that the tester did not realize they were in use when he first encountered them.