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Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Healthcare: Electrification for Decarbonization

There is no question that it is difficult to operate a robust healthcare system in the current market environment. In concert with reducing current operations, a larger subset of the GHG reduction trend is an increasing desire for healthcare systems to transition away from fossil-fuel burning systems to accommodate the “green grid” of the future. […]

Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Healthcare: Reporting, Evaluation, and Reduction Planning

There is no question that it is difficult to operate a robust healthcare system in the current market environment. The healthcare sector continues to face unique challenges brought about by COVID-19: staff burnout, labor shortages, and fragile supply chains. Add existing obstacles such as difficult payor models and the ever-increasing bout of competition from insurance […]

SSR Announces Recent Promotions and New Roles

Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. (SSR), a leader among engineering firms in design, consulting, and planning projects, is pleased to announce that the following individuals were recently promoted or are taking on new roles: Kathleen Barber, Emerging Technology Project Manager, Nashville April Chesser, Plumbing Designer II, Denver Sally Dow, Mechanical Engineer I, Houston Cameron Eanes, Mechanical […]

IECC 2021 & Building Enclosures

Keeping up with energy codes is complicated. The adopted code can vary state-to-state and even cities may require different code adherence than the state they’re located in. It’s important to know which code the local jurisdiction your project is in is required to follow.    Code Adoption  The International Code Council (ICC) develops and publishes […]

The Future of Sports and Entertainment Venues: Smart Stadiums

The convergence of technology and sports has given rise to a new class of venues: smart stadiums. These digitally-enhanced and connected spaces are designed to revolutionize the fan experience, enhance safety, and optimize operational efficiency.     Ultimate Fan Experiences Smart stadiums prioritize fan engagement by providing personalized and memorable experiences:  Space Utilization: Fans are […]

TVA’s EnergyRight Healthcare Continuous Commissioning® Incentives

Hospitals are one of the largest commercial energy consumers and have the highest energy intensity of any large building type. To help combat this, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is currently offering two “pilot” incentives for healthcare facilities (in the TVA region) to improve their energy efficiency. The two TVA’s EnergyRight Healthcare Continuous Commissioning® Incentives […]

Compliance News: Are You an ASHE Member Yet?

Numerous engineers, contractors, designers, architects, facility managers, etc. that work for and support healthcare organizations have not yet joined the American Society for Healthcare Engineering. If you are not yet a member, do yourself a favor and investigate Once you are a member, you will be amazed at the huge amount of information and […]

SSR Now Offers Planning Services

Transportation Planning  Transportation planning plays a fundamental role in shaping a state, region, or community’s vision for its future. The overall goal is to devise a plan which incorporates safety, efficient energy use, reduced pollution, and considers alternative modes of transport that will enhance efficiency. These plans can incorporate streetscapes, traffic calming measures, new road […]

Working Past Ribbon Cutting: Bowling Green Water Treatment Plant

In October of 2023, Bowling Green (KY) Municipal Utilities (BGMU) hosted community members, city leaders, and industry partners as they celebrated the ribbon cutting to mark the completion of a 15MGD expansion to their water treatment plant. This was the culmination of a decade of work for SSR’s Civil/Water team who served as the Engineer of Record […]

A Day in the Life of a CEI Technician

Ever wondered what a construction engineering & inspection (CEI) technician does each day? One of our communications colleagues recently interviewed Patrick (Pat) Young, a CEI technician who has been with SSR for five years, to find out. Read along as he’s asked about his contributions to the project, what a typical day entails, and how […]

Compliance News: Value of Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE)

One of the least-known and incredibly important U.S. Government groups of available information for minimizing healthcare facility challenges is the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They have developed a healthcare emergency preparedness information gateway – the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information […]

Reflections on CES 2024

In January, two SSR colleagues — Zac Hillyard, RSM, SmartScore AP, Principal, and Ryan Young, Technology Innovation Consultant — attended the annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The week-long event is the most powerful tech event in the world — the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators. The 2024 theme – […]

Micropiles in Action!

SSR’s structural team previously published a blog post on  micropiles, where we explained what a micropile is, when they are ideal to use, and the benefits of a micropile foundation. This post will review recent, real-world applications of micropiles.  An existing client in Kentucky wanted to add a pedestrian bridge connecting two existing buildings that […]

A Day in the Life of a Resident Project Representative

Ever wondered what a resident project representative (RPR) does each day? One of our communications colleagues recently interviewed Jared Secondine, a RPR assigned to the North Clarksville Water Treatment Plant (NCWTP) project, to find out. Read along as he’s asked about his contributions to the project, what a typical day entails, and how he’s bringing […]

Our Hometown Stadium

SSR is thrilled to officially announce our role as the MEP/FP and Sustainability Design Engineer / Engineer of Record on the new Tennessee Titans stadium, still called Nissan Stadium, in downtown Nashville. The $2.1 billion enclosed stadium and support structures will sit on land already owned by Metro Nashville situated on the east side of […]

Choctaw Casino

Work is ending on two projects at the Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, OK. In 2020, SSR was engaged to provide mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and technology services on an interior refresh project for a guest tower and the build-out of a new food hall.    Grand Tower Patient Refresh  The 330-room Grand Tower was […]

Helping Arenas Navigate the NHL Greener Rinks Initiative

The NHL’s Greener Rinks Initiative has a mission to track and improve the environmental impact on the greater hockey community. The initiative is looking at several ways to improve hockey’s environmental footprint through technological innovations and new operations practices. As an engineering design firm with three decades of ice floor design experience, our team of […]

The SSR Way – Our Approach to a Successful Partnership and Project Execution

SSR established ourselves as a leader in the sports and entertainment market with engineering design work on projects for the Nashville Predators, Houston Rockets, and Orlando Magic. Year after year, we’ve continued to reinforce our reputation for engineering excellence and evolve our approach to serving our clients’ needs with new technologies and design processes.  From […]

Super Bowl Preparations at Allegiant Stadium

At SSR we pride ourselves on being a trusted advisor for all our projects, and that partnership extends to all phases of a building and is not exclusive to design and construction. We truly believe in providing an exceptional client experience, and know that just because a project has opened, does not mean that our […]

A Building Enclosure’s Impact on Isolation Space

Houston Methodist Continuing Care Hospital (HMCCH formally known as St. Catherine Hospital) was originally built in the mid 1990s and Houston Methodist acquired the facility in 2014. Given the proximity to Houston Methodist West, the intended plan was for HMCCH to become a long-term acute care and rehabilitation facility.   Shortly after the acquisition, one […]

Sustainability Efforts at the New Wynn Hospital

SSR has been working with Mohawk Valley Health System and NBBJ Architects to deliver a new 685,000 SF, 360-bed replacement hospital in Utica, NY. The new facility, Wynn Hospital, is a replacement for two aging hospitals that have been serving the area, St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth’s. Our multidisciplinary team is providing a range of […]

Mobile Charging Brings Flexibility

Gone are the days of clipboards and pens — technology is integrating increasingly into all aspects of healthcare. Everyone from doctors to nurses, support staff to facilities are dependent on mobile devices (tablets, laptops, smart phones). Managing these mobile devices can be a daunting task —inventory, storage, and charging.   After seeing charging stations and […]

Fitwel for Higher Education 

Fitwel is a healthy building certification system aimed at creating facilities that improve the health and well-being of occupants. We have previously explored the benefits of certification and provided a high-level overview of the certification process. This blog post is going to explore the value of certification for buildings located in a campus setting, specifically […]

Arc Flash 101

Working on a hot electrical panel, or one that still has power, is a serious situation and can be extremely dangerous. There are precautions to take that limit the frequency of working on hot equipment, but sometimes it is unavoidable. The purpose of this blog post is to provide basic education about what an arc […]

Becoming a Trusted Advisor

Over the past 18 months, SSR has engaged in a unique partnership with a large public utility providing water and wastewater services in Middle Tennessee. Since the retirement of their longstanding GIS (Geographic Information System – a spatial system that creates, manages, analyzes, visualizes, and maps all types of data) manager, SSR colleague Bryan Neely […]

Project Spotlight: Broadway Bridge Replacement

SSR recently wrapped up a CEI (Construction Engineering and Inspection) project for a replacement bridge in downtown Nashville, TN. The Broadway Bridge replacement project (also referred to as State Route 1 (US 70) Broadway Viaduct) was a TDOT Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) project and consisted of the replacement of a deteriorating bridge over five CSX […]

WPC is the Event of the Year!

The annual Kentucky/ Tennessee Water Professionals Conference is the event of the year for many of us at SSR! I wanted to take some time to reflect on the 2023 event and share my experience and memories.  At SSR, we pride ourselves on the commitment and dedication of our colleagues to contribute to the KY/TN […]

A Guide to Fitwel Certification

Fitwel is a healthy building certification system aimed at creating facilities that improve the health and well-being of occupants. If you’ve already read our blog post Fitwel: Building Health for All, this post will serve as a guide to Fitwel certification, including answering the following questions:  What does the certification process look like? How long […]

Fitwel: Building Health for All

Fitwel is a healthy building certification system aimed at creating facilities that improve the health and well-being of occupants. Based on evidence-based design strategies, Fitwel addresses a broad range of health behaviors and risks including physical activity, nutrition, mental health, and social engagement. Originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. […]

Project Spotlight: Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s LINK Building

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), in Nashville, Tennessee, has hired SSR to provide engineering design and consulting services on the largest expansion project to date on their main campus adult hospital, Vanderbilt University Hospital (VUH). The new LINK building is a 15-story, 460,000 SF tower that will house patient beds, surgical support, imaging transplant and […]

Designing a World-Class Teaching Hospital in Saudi Arabia

SSR recently entered a unique partnership with Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC), a non-profit higher education university consortium based in Austin, Texas. Contracted by TEIC, SSR is engaged to serve on the main steering committee for a new, world-class teaching hospital in Saudi Arabia. Colleagues Debbie Gregory and Zac Hillyard are the chair and co-chair […]

Solving for Positive Pressure

In February of 2022, Atrium Health opened their new greenfield hospital, Union West Hospital, just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. Just days before opening, the project’s design and construction team had an immediate sense of urgency to get the project open. The 40-bed, 150,000 SF facility was having difficulty getting positive pressure at the exterior […]

SSR’s Four Phase Approach to Existing Building Commissioning

Most facilities are designed to operate at a certain level of performance. Over time, a facility’s performance may diminish due to age, improper maintenance, or worn-out equipment. Existing building commissioning (EBCx) provides an owner with a means to improve performance of existing buildings by finding ways to optimize existing systems and even replace older equipment […]

What is Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx)?

Like commissioning a ship, commissioning a building ensures a facility’s systems operate as they should, and the building is set to perform at peak efficiency. A building can be commissioned as part of the construction process (new building commissioning) or after the facility is occupied, which is known as existing building commissioning (EBCx). A common […]

Houston Dynamo Stadium Renovation

In May, work concluded on a renovation project at Shell Energy Stadium (formally PNC Stadium), home to MLS team Houston Dynamo. The project included four renovated areas aimed at enhancing gameday and event experiences for patrons. Renovation work included a new 9,000 SF private club seating option on the East Sideline, an expansion of the […]

Progress Continues with Vandy United

Vandy United, the $300 million master planning effort focused on reimagining athletics at Vanderbilt University is well underway. Ongoing Work The first project to enter construction, the Basketball Operations Center and North End Zone, is progressing nicely with work also beginning on the South End Zone. The new building will feature a 130,000 SF building […]

2023 Water Professionals Conference

This year’s Kentucky Tennessee Water Professionals Conference (KY/TN WPC) will take place July 30 – August 2 at the Renasant Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee. SSR is thrilled to see many of our clients, friends, and industry partners at this event.  Hosted by the Clean Water Professionals of Kentucky & Tennessee (CWP-KT) and the Kentucky/Tennessee […]

Work Concludes on BGMU Water Treatment Plant

With the growth of Warren County and the aging plant’s reliability, Bowling Green Municipal Utilities (BGMU) proactively searched for options for long-term resiliency and reliability for their existing water treatment plant (WTP). SSR worked hand in hand with BGMU over the past several years to guide them through design of an expansion to the water […]

Recapping the 2023 Green Sports Alliance Summit

The 2023 Green Sports Alliance Summit took place from June 26th to June 28th, at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington. This event, hosted with Oak View Group, aimed to raise awareness about the impact of sports on our culture and the environment. As the leading global event for sustainability in sports, the conference attracted a […]

Work Concludes on (State Route 6) Franklin Road

Franklin Road is a major thoroughfare connecting Davidson and Williamson Counties in middle Tennessee. While much of the roadway has been widened to four or five lanes over the years, a section in Williamson County was still two lanes. As a road that sees increased traffic during rush-hour, especially when there is congestion on parallel […]

You Play a Role in Work Zone Safety

National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 17-21) is an annual week focused on encouraging safe driving through highway work zones. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones. Work zone safety needs your attention every time you get behind the wheel. Did you know that most people killed in work […]

Trending Now: PFAS

On March 14, 2023, the USEPA proposed a National Drinking Water Regulation to establish legally enforceable maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) in drinking water. EPA projects that regulation will be finalized in 2024. If finalized as planned, this rule will require drinking water utilities to comply within 3 years. SSR has been actively monitoring these developments […]

CMS Issues New Categorical Waiver Allowing Health Care Microgrid Systems for Emergency Power

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a new 7-page Categorical Waiver – Health Care Microgrid Systems (HCMSs) [Ref: QSO-23-11-LSC] on March 31, 2023. Although CMS continues to invoke the 2012 editions of NFPA 99 (Health Care Facilities Code) and NFPA 101 (Life Safety Code), this new Categorical Waiver also invokes specific […]

Commissioning a Golf Course

SSR’s commissioning group likes to work on facilities that have complex mechanical and electrical systems – typically hospitals, stadiums, and labs. Sometimes a facility type will be outside our usual markets but still meet those criteria of having complex systems or unique challenges. In recent years, we’ve provided new building commissioning services to a private […]

An All-Star Peer Review

In preparation for its 2023 All Star weekend, the NBA reached out to SSR to provide a structural peer review of a temporary structured cable bridge carrying television and audio cables into Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, UT. The bridge crossed a major, six-lane road that ran alongside the arena. The NBA sent our […]

Extending the Life of Your Venue

In today’s fast paced world, sporting venues are being replaced at an increased frequency to provide a better experience for fans and athletes, incorporate the latest trends and technology, and keep up with the competition. What does that mean for the current home venue while the shiny new stadium or arena is in design and […]

Vandy United Project Breaks Ground

On February 8, Vanderbilt University broke ground on the first Vandy United construction project. The event, for the new basketball operations center and north end zone project, was followed by a thrilling last second basketball victory by the Commodores over the University of Tennessee at Memorial Gym that reinforced the excitement for the future of […]

F&M Bank Arena Opens

The soft opening for F&M Bank Arena in Clarksville, TN occurred earlier this month and plans are being finalized for a grand opening later this summer. The community ice center is starting to host events and will open to the public in May and Austin Peay’s men’s and women’s basketball programs are enjoying their new […]

Compliance News: CMS Guidance for the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The healthcare field and others have been advised by the US government that the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) will end on May 11, 2023.  CMS has recently issued guidance (see the links below) for addressing the changes related to this process and its results. Many healthcare providers (hospitals and many others indicated in the […]

Project Spotlight: MLGW Emergency Parking Garage Repairs

This project was the ACEC Tennessee Engineering Excellence Awards Grand Award, Structural Systems, Small Projects winner in 2022. Nestled underground, adjacent to the Memphis Light Gas Water (MLGW) administration building, sits a concrete parking structure. Originally constructed in the late 1960s, the garage is a cast-in-place, two-way concrete slab. In February of 2021, a significant […]

Micropiles 101

In Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, rock is at a high elevation underground and may be used to the benefit of the construction project.  A popular solution to support heavy loading in the region is the use of micropiles. Read on for an introduction to micropiles. What is a micropile? A micropile is a small-diameter […]

Horizonal Program Restructuring

During the second half of 2022, SSR intentionally restructured our horizontal services into three distinct business units: civil, structural, and transportation. This organizational move was done with both our colleagues and clients in mind. From an internal perspective, these distinct business units will leverage unique expertise and relationships to grow efficiently, provide more opportunities for […]

Fun Facts about the Interstate System

When most individuals hop in their and travel long or short distances on any given interstate, I would venture to say that many do not know much about the roads they’re on. Here are some fun facts about the interstate system.   History In 1956, President Eisenhower signed into law the National Interstate and Defense […]

Progress on Old Brownsville Road

The City of Bartlett, Tennessee, is widening a two-mile section of Old Brownsville Road in an area of town that has seen growth over the past decade. The existing two-lane urban facility overburdened with traffic and congestion is a vital link connecting two major north/south corridors on either end. The route is scattered with neighborhoods, […]

Five Design Considerations for Plate Settlers in Water Treatment Plants

In recent years, SSR has retrofitted tube settler installations with plate settlers and designed new plate settlers for several local municipalities in the region. Utilities’ recent increase in interest of plates over tubes has primarily been charged to the need to increase settled water production without significant infrastructure changes. Compared to traditional settling and tubes, […]

Imagine A Day Without Water

There are many reasons why a community may find itself without potable water. Natural disasters, such as ice storms, heavy rains, flooding, drought, and other occurrences can temporarily cause issues with water distribution. Many water departments plan for these events and, while sometimes devastating and unavoidable, the water contamination or shortage is brief.  Infrastructure issues […]

Snapdragon Stadium Opens

On September 3, 2022, Snapdragon Stadium, the new home to San Diego State University’s (SDSU) football team, as well as the San Diego Wave FC, opened with much fanfare. The SDSU Aztecs hosted the Arizona Wildcats as a crowd of 35,000 kicked off the season and marked the beginning of a new era of growth […]

Rain Rock Casino Expansion

SSR is working on an expansion to Rain Rock Casino, a destination resort owned by the Karuk Tribe in Yreka, California. The expansion, designed to elevate Rain Rock to a must-see destination, includes a 43,000 SF hotel and 4,000 SF events center. The hotel will comprise 80 rooms, an additional eight cottages scattered across the […]

Finding Chiller Solutions in Time for the NHL Season

Project Highlights Designed an approximately 2,800 ton replacement chilled water plant for a 19,000-seat NHL Arena Employed a prefabricated modular chiller plant model to accommodate the tight construction window Completed in September 2022, ahead of the NHL season start, without interruption to building occupancy   SSR has had the privilege of working at Amalie Arena, […]

Got a Humidity Problem in Your Healthcare Facility?

How Temperature Influences Humidity and How Existing HVAC Systems Can Limit Operating Conditions Humidity control is one of the top mechanical issues our healthcare clients face. Working with approximately $2 billion in healthcare construction and renovation projects each year, we can attest to the prevalence of humidity issues among a range of healthcare facilities including […]

What is Intelligent Lighting?

Understanding The Future of Facility Lighting Systems Imagine lights being used for more than simply illumination—used to track orders in a warehouse, send coupon codes to passersby, or automatically change to match a guest’s favorite color when they enter a room. With the evolution of lighting controls, these concepts are becoming realities. Smart lighting is […]

Hospital Utility Equipment Risk Mitigation

The Joint Commission’s (TJC’s) July 1, 2022 Hospital Emergency Management (EM) Chapter changes added some interesting new content regarding utility equipment emergency management.  The current utility requirements can now be found in new Standard EM.12.02.11. The following summary does not include the full TJC language – readers should review the new requirements closely.  After the […]

Enhancing Memphis’ Riverfront Experience

The Mississippi River has always been integral to the City of Memphis. Founders of the city once dedicated the riverfront to the public “now and forever,” cementing the relationship between its people and the water. The Memphis riverfront landing was originally paved in cobblestones in the mid-19th century and has figured into shipping avenues, public […]

Project Spotlight: Brentwood EQ Facility

SSR is helping the City of Brentwood achieve its commitment to sanitary infrastructure rehabilitation and improvements through the construction of the Brentwood/Metro Nashville Equalization Pump Station and Storage Facility. By reducing sanitary sewer collection system overflows, this project will improve the management of wet weather peak flows and the quality of Tennessee’s natural waterways. During […]

2022 Water Professionals Conference

This year’s Kentucky Tennessee Water Professionals Conference (KY/TN WPC) will take place July 17-20 at the Central Bank Center in Lexington, Kentucky. After attending last year’s event in Chattanooga, SSR is thrilled to once again see many of our clients, friends, and industry partners. Hosted by the Clean Water Professionals of Kentucky & Tennessee (CWP-KT) […]

F&M Bank Arena Ice Floor Concrete Pour

The precision and accuracy when pouring concrete for an ice floor must be perfect in order to achieve a joint-free slab. Check out this time-lapse video of the concrete pour for the ice floor that took place in mid-June for F&M Bank Arena in Clarksville, Tennessee. Learn more about SSR’s role on the F&M Bank […]

Vanderbilt University Athletics

Nashville is a city known for music, entertainment, and sports. From professional sports teams ­­—like the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators—to college athletics—like the Vanderbilt Commodores—sports drive the camaraderie Nashvillians have shared across the city for decades. Located in the heart of the city, Vanderbilt University is undertaking one of its biggest investments in athletics […]

Getting Big Event Ready – Existing Facilities

Earlier this year, SSR released a blog post centered on design considerations for venues looking to host high profile sporting events. This post is a continuation, focused on existing facilities.  What began as an emergency response to a loss of cooling caused by a breaker failure in the electrical systems during Game 1 of the […]

Redesigning Plough Boulevard

The intersections of Winchester Road with Plough Blvd and Airways Blvd, just west of the Memphis International Airport (MEM), is an inefficient stretch of road that sees nearly 35,000 cars daily. A vital intersection to MEM, FedEx, and the larger Memphis community, the Plough/Airways/Winchester intersection has long been identified as an area in need of […]

SSR Announces Q1 Hires

Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. (SSR), a leader among engineering firms in designing, consulting, and commissioning projects, is pleased to announce that the following individuals joined the firm in February, March, and April: Justin Abramson, Plumbing Designer, Nashville Mike Borgelt, Building Enclosure Regional Manager, Denver Tom Boyce, Mechanical Senior Designer, Denver Robert Boyd, Medical Equipment Planner, […]

National Work Zone Awareness Week

This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), observed April 11-15, was themed “Work Zones are a Sign to Slow Down”.  NWZAW is an annual campaign held at the start of construction season that encourages safe driving through highway work zones. The public awareness campaign was launched 22 years ago to encourage drivers to use extra caution […]

Building Sustainability with Electric Vehicles

The rapid adoption of electric vehicles and the demand for charging stations is affecting many of the markets and projects that SSR serves. Eric Sheffer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, ISSP-SA, Sustainability Principal, provided insight to how owners, developers, and industry leaders are embracing electric vehicles and charging stations.   Widespread Adoption Interest in electric vehicle charging […]

Designing EV Charging Station Infrastructure

In Part 2 of the series, Design Considerations for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, we explored key considerations for a potential electric vehicle charging project. Now, after the green light to include EV charging on a project, we will dive into the main infrastructure design components necessary for a successful installation. At this point in a […]

Getting BIG EVENT Ready!

In the sporting world, many different events can be classified as “big events,” but there is none larger than the NFL’s Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is typically the world’s most watched annual sporting event. But what does it take to be Super Bowl or big event ready?   In addition to the Super Bowl, […]

2022 NHL Outdoor Games

As a consultant to the NHL, SSR is often asked to perform assessments of venues ahead of their special events, including outdoor games, playoffs, and Stanley Cup Finals. This past fall and winter, SSR was engaged to perform an assessment at all three venues hosting outdoor NHL games: Target Field in Minneapolis: Hosted the 2022 […]

F&M Bank Arena Tops Out

In January of this year, F&M Bank Arena, located in downtown Clarksville, TN, celebrated its topping out ceremony. The multi-purpose event center, owned by Montgomery County and operated by Sabertooth Sports & Entertainment (a division of the Nashville Predators), is working towards an opening in the first half of 2023. The multi-tenant venue will feature […]

48 All-Star Hours in Las Vegas

Work. Play. Sleep. Repeat. That was how I recently spent a busy 48 hours in Las Vegas with two of SSR’s clients: the NHL and Las Vegas Raiders. The NHL was hosting All-Star Weekend at T-Mobile Arena as the Las Vegas Raiders hosted the NFL Pro Bowl at Allegiant Stadium. Prior to the festivities, SSR […]

Snapdragon Stadium Update

As progress continues at San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Snapdragon Stadium, the SSR team has continued to make regular site visits, with the most recent trip taking place in late January. Permanent power was brought online in November and our team has been on site assessing the electrical systems being installed, performing field verifications, and […]

Sustainable Impacts for Architectural Design of Venues

Over the past 18 months, the SSR team has been engaged in numerous high-profile pursuits for the sports and entertainment market. Time after time, when an owner was asked what they valued most or what they really wanted the new venue to speak to, we consistently heard these areas of focus: fan experience, fan comfort, […]

Design Considerations for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

In Part 1 of our series on electric vehicle charging stations, Electric Vehicle Charging Stations 101, I set the foundation for the demand of electric vehicle charging stations. In this segment, I’ll explore five design considerations an owner or property manager should consider when installing charging stations on their site. These considerations apply to both […]

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations 101

Introduced more than 100 years ago, electric vehicles have seen a rise in popularity today for many of the same reasons they were first popular. Whether it’s a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric, the demand for electric drive vehicles has continued to climb as prices drop and consumers look for ways to save money at […]


We made it! Seven of SSR’s offices achieved WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). We achieved the minimum of 15 points required for certification for each of the project locations. Now, what did we learn?   Don’t Recreate the Wheel Once the project(s) are registered in […]

The Who, What, Where, When, Why, & How of Structural Assessments

Two stories that dominated the news cycle during the 2021 summer months were the Surfside condominium collapse and the crack discovered in the Hernando de Soto Bridge. Each of these events confirms the value and importance of structural assessments. A structural assessment is performed to ensure that a building or bridge meets all applicable codes […]

GIS Apps at SSR

Geographic Information Science (GIS), or spatial data science, is the scientific discipline of using location intelligence to explore spatial patterns and relationships, answer questions, and solve problems relating to a variety of different topics. At SSR, we help our colleagues and clients harness the power of location intelligence to make better decisions using geographic information […]

What is New in PFAS: The Nitty, The Gritty, and The Weird

PFAS are an emerging contaminant in the water industry, but there is still much debate on the severity of their presence and how to handle them. These chemicals come in thousands of forms but are all characterized by a highly durable fluoroalkyl chain. Some, such as PFAS, are dubbed “forever chemicals” for their longevity in the natural environment. The obvious culprits of PFAS water pollution are Teflon and firefighting foams, […]

A Crash Course in 3D Scanning

Technology continues to impact how we live, work, and perform our jobs. Over the years, sustained advancements in technologies have dramatically increased efficiency and productivity in our daily lives. In the AEC industry specifically, these developments have resulted in additional demands on building projects by increasing the pressure to expedite and accelerate project timelines.  One […]

Power Quality in Healthcare Facilities

A recently published comprehensive ASHE Health Facilities Management article “Ensuring facility power quality – Problems and solutions for today’s high-tech hospitals” addresses the causes and results of healthcare facility infrastructure issues related to power quality, along with recommendations for mitigating power quality problems. The most common types of power quality problems are voltage deviations such […]

The Future of Sports Facilities: A Recap

In October, several SSR colleagues attended a breakfast panel hosted by Turner Construction Company, The Nashville Sports Council, and ACEC Tennessee about “The Future of Sports Facilities.” This event was hosted in First Horizon Ballpark (an SSR-designed facility) and was a great forum to listen and discuss the trends shaping the future of our industry. […]

FTX Arena Structural Assessment

After the tragic Surfside condominium collapse outside of Miami earlier this year, SSR was engaged by the ownership team of FTX Arena to provide a structural assessment of the building with a major focus on the parking garage. Home to the NBA’s Miami Heat, the arena was required by local authorities to have an outside […]

Progress Continues at Snapdragon Stadium

Work on San Diego State University (SDSU) Snapdragon Stadium is progressing nicely and on track to host the 2022 season opener on September 3rd against the Arizona Wildcats. Recently in July, the stadium construction team reached a major milestone with the topping out ceremony with the last steel beam installed. Since then, the stadium has […]

Innovative Thinking for a Historic Hotel

Grand Hotel is often referred to as “America’s Summer Place.” Located on Northern Michigan’s Mackinac Island, the historic hotel is truly one-of-a-kind, and not because it has received the AAA Four Diamond Rating for 26 consecutive years. What sets Grand Hotel apart is the quaintness that comes with being located on an island that is […]

SSR WELL Health-Safety Rating Journey: Innovation

We are in the home stretch! Projects can achieve up to three points total in the Innovation category to help round out their score under any of the following options:   Option 1: Innovation Proposal A project can submit an innovation proposal that describes a feature that positively impacts project occupants by relating to acute […]

Thank You, Veterans

With great respect, honor, and gratitude, SSR would like to honor and thank all those that have served. Thank you, Veterans. Mark Arcenell, Medical Equipment Planner, Nashville Jerrye Barriger, CEI Technician, Crestview Jim Bice, Project Manager, Nashville Joshua Brown, CEI Technician, Nashville Rick Cook, CHFM, CxA, Commissioning Business Development Partner, Washington, DC William Deaton, CEI […]

Highlights from Straight from the Tap

The Summer/Fall issue of Straight from the Tap highlighted two SSR colleagues for their outstanding achievements. I’m proud of the contributions that our team makes to the water/wastewater profession and it’s important to recognize their commitment to the industry.   Luke Williams, PE, was recognized as the 2021 Water for People Kenneth J. Miller Award […]

The Future Impact of Electric Vehicles on Transportation Planning

While very few states have regulatory requirements around electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS), they are not ignoring the rise in popularity and the impact that fewer gas-powered cars on the road will have on transportation budgets.  David Donoho, PE, Transportation Principal, provided insight to the future impact of electric vehicles on transportation planning and DOTs. […]

Unidirectional Flushing Modeling

Communities (cities, utilities, authorities, etc.) across the US consistently utilize hydrant flushing methods to clear sediments from their water distribution system. Water system flushing has long been considered an effective method to remove unwanted tastes, odors, or discolorations of the water, and to improve chlorine residuals. When a community considers implementing a flushing plan into […]

SSR WELL Health-Safety Rating Journey: Let’s Talk About It

As mentioned in several previous posts, the key to a successful WELL Health-Safety project is communication with building occupants. One of the main drivers for projects to pursue the rating is to prioritize and promote the health and safety of their buildings and spaces. The following category for Stakeholder Engagement and Communication awards projects for […]

Imagine A Day Without Water

What would a day be like without water? Thursday, October 21st was the seventh annual Imagine a Day Without Water, a national education campaign that highlights how essential water is. SSR celebrated the week by highlighting the lesser known impact of water on projects across our many markets and service lines.   SPORTS VENUES AND […]

Imagine a Day without Water: Aging Infrastructure within Water and Wastewater Treatment

While modern plumbing systems are comparatively advanced in design, the pipes and equipment that make up water infrastructure were not meant to last forever. Richard Chappell, PE, BCEE is an environmental and civil engineer in SSR’s Infrastructure Program. He says many of the pipes that carry water and wastewater have been in the ground for […]

Imagine a Day without Water: Water Conservation and Sustainable Practices

As engineers, architects, and designers consider how to manage water usage for building development, there are several industry-wide rating systems in place that encourage water conservation. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is one rating system that places a high priority on water use reduction and conservation. Hannah Walter, […]

Imagine a Day without Water: Water as a Tool in Manufacturing

In addition to the obvious usage of water in the food manufacturing industry — as an ingredient, cleanser, etc. — water serves as a fundamental tool to transport and protect products throughout the manufacturing process. SSR has a longstanding relationship with a global food processing client which includes the recent design of a new processing […]

Joint Commission updates Emergency Management Chapter 2021 documentation requirements

The Joint Commission’s 2021 updates to the Hospital Accreditation (and some other) Emergency Management Chapter Standards include numerous cases where documentation (indicated by the new “D” icon) is now required whereas those icons were not indicated prior to the 2021 changes. The Emergency Management Elements of Performance with new “D” (documentation required) icons are: EM020101 […]

Imagine a Day without Water: Sports Venues and the Creative Use of Water

A sports and entertainment venue requires an abundance of resources to maintain and operate – especially one that hosts a top NBA team. Fortunately, the Chase Center in San Francisco, home of the Golden State Warriors, has several systems in place that efficiently and creatively minimize its environmental impact. SSR’s design consulting services within mechanical, […]

Case Study: Duct-mounted UV System

As a supplement to a recent Consulting Specifying Engineer article, our team of experts also produced a case study that showed the results of a test to the feasibility and effectiveness of a duct-mounted ultraviolet system.

SSR WELL Health-Safety Rating Journey: Air & Water Quality-Maintenance

This post is a continuation of our discussion on improving indoor air quality (IAQ) and water quality for projects pursuing the WELL Health-Safety Rating. The last post highlighted Features that required some technical expertise. The remaining Features in the Air and Water Quality Management category require regular maintenance or monitoring throughout the year if pursued. […]

SSR WELL Health-Safety Rating Journey: Air and Water Quality – Engineer Required

Improving indoor air quality is a significant driver for improved occupant health outcomes. This was known prior to COVID but has become more apparent since. The WELL Health-Safety Rating has put significant weight on improving the indoor air quality (IAQ) of buildings as part of achieving and maintaining the rating. The following Features are related […]

Welcome Back, Fans

We are ready for some football! And basketball! And hockey! Real, in-person sports! After a 2020 fall that saw capped attendance at sporting events across the country, we are thrilled to see stadiums and arenas safely return to full capacity. As we approach every project, delivering a memorable fan experience is often a top goal […]

Top 5 List of Design Considerations for an Owner

SSR has been providing engineering and consulting services to the sports and entertainment market for nearly three decades. Throughout that time, we’ve been privileged to work with dozens of owners with various degrees of experience with a major construction project. From these experiences, we’ve compiled our TOP 5 List of Design Considerations for an owner […]

The Art of Masonry Moisture Control: Considerations for Masonry Exteriors

Introduction to Masonry and Moisture Contrary to popular belief, masonry leaks. This includes brick, CMUs (concrete masonry units aka cinder blocks), and all forms of veneer. Often, it’s the mortar that is to blame and more specifically, its current state of absorption or consistency. In this two-part article, I will cover what happens when you […]

Covering the Spread: Kentucky Downs

As the Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs celebrates their first anniversary, we wanted to share some photos of the second phase of the project. At the conclusion of the 25,000 SF gaming hall addition, Kentucky Downs converted much of the old space into restaurants and other amenities for patrons to enjoy. SSR took great […]

IAVM 2021 Recap

Mike Rogers and Scott Terry recently attended the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) annual conference,  VenueConnect 2021, in Atlanta.  Representing public assembly venues (arenas, convention centers, amphitheaters, fairgrounds, performing arts centers, stadiums, universities, etc.) from around the world, the conference is an opportunity to bring all types of industry partners together for education, advocacy […]

Compliance News: Using Partial Discharge Predictive Maintenance Technologies to Assess Equipment Condition

Predictive Maintenance (PdM) or Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) technologies have been in use for some time to help facility professionals assess equipment condition.  This article will use PdM to reflect both approaches as discussed in an earlier companion article. This article discusses using real-time acoustic and ultrasonic monitoring for detecting air-borne or structure-borne sound waves associated […]

Compliance News: Predictive Maintenance and Condition-Based Maintenance

Predictive Maintenance (PdM) or Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) can help facility professionals solve problems they don’t even know about yet. Many health care facilities currently have ongoing Preventive Maintenance (PM) programs that consist of lists of activities to be performed at calendar-based intervals.  Sometimes those PMs are based upon past practices, and sometimes they are based […]

SSR Celebrates Professional Engineers Day

Today (August 4th) is Professional Engineers Day. The purpose of the day is to celebrate licensed professional engineers by raising awareness about what it means to be a PE, recognizing licensed PEs, and showing appreciation for the work they do every day. At SSR, we’d be nowhere without our engineers. To recognize the day, we […]

Rural by Nature

The Mississippi River floods in April and May 2011 were among the largest and most damaging recorded along the U.S. waterway in the past century. The City of Dyersburg, TN, located 79 miles northeast of Memphis, was hit particularly hard with most of the flooding occurring in the community of South Town, one of the […]

Repairing the Hernando DeSoto Bridge

In early May, a mechanical fracture was discovered during a routine inspection of the Interstate 40 bridge (Hernando DeSoto Bridge) over the Mississippi River. The bridge was closed to all traffic while the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) worked together evaluate the damage and determine the best solution for […]

2021 Water Professionals Conference

This year’s Kentucky Tennessee Water Professionals Conference (KY/TN WPC) will take place August 15-18 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. After skipping the 2020 event, SSR is thrilled to once again see many of our clients, friends, and industry partners. Hosted by the Clean Water Professionals of Kentucky & Tennessee (CWP-KT) and the Kentucky/Tennessee Section of […]

Water for Life 2021

Hi! I’m Kate MacIndoe, PE, Civil Engineer – Water/Wastewater, and this year’s Kentucky/Tennessee Section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Young Professionals (YP) Chair. Part of my responsibilities as KY/TN AWWA YP Chair are to help coordinate the Water for Life event that takes place Sunday afternoon of the Water Professionals Conference. I am […]

Compliance News: Don’t Forget Your Business Occupancies

Healthcare systems may be struggling to comply with the fact that the physical environments of their business occupancies are surveyable.  In many accredited healthcare systems, the quantity of business occupancies that are part of that entity’s CMS Certification Number is substantial. Although the potential for surveys of business occupancy physical environments has been there for […]

SSR WELL Health-Safety Rating Journey: Keeping Things Going

Reducing occupancy loads, adjusting seating assignments and circulation paths, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE! These are all protocols and procedures that facilities began analyzing and implementing in early 2020 to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The WELL Health-Safety Rating has multiple features related to keeping people safe while keeping business going to guide […]

From Coffee to Cocktails

SSR has been working on the whiskey bar at Choctaw Casino & Resort-Durant. The project is the reimagining of a former coffee shop into The Reserve, a new whiskey lounge and bar, as part of the resort’s capital improvement projects. SSR provided mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design for the new power, mechanical, lighting, and plumbing […]

Personal Experiences as Women in Healthcare

This blog originally appeared on the Women in Healthcare blog. You can learn more about the organization here. Women in Healthcare, as an organization, is “committed to providing women in the healthcare industry with the community and tools needed to prosper and to allow them to have a seat at the table they want to […]

Networked Lighting Controls – Design Considerations with Integration in Mind

Sports and entertainment facilities need some of the most versatile controls when considering integration and operation of a building.  Whether we’re talking about a stadium, arena, gaming space, or event space, controllability of lighting systems has many considerations when designing a new system or integrating into an existing one.   Today, energy codes provide a […]

A CMAR Success Story for Three Miles of Pipeline

In 2018, SSR began working with a utility district in Middle Tennessee on the addition of a new force main at one of their largest pump stations for increased flexibility during wet weather events. The goal was to install a new 24” ductile iron force main approximately three miles in length along very difficult terrain […]

Water Modeling Analyses

A hydraulic water model is a powerful tool that can aid in development impact assessment, master planning, fire flow analysis, and emergency response occurrences. Through the help of specialized software, such as InfoWater Pro, a community’s distribution system can be modeled as a network that includes many attributes such as diameter and length of pipes, […]

National Work Zone Awareness Week

This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), observed April 26-30, is themed “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.”  NWZAW is an annual campaign held at the start of construction season that encourages safe driving through highway work zones. The public awareness campaign was launched 21 years ago to encourage drivers to use extra caution […]

Return to Play

In late 2020, league officials from both the NBA and NHL were looking at ways to protect both the players and fans in their arenas. Ahead of their respective seasons, each league published return to play protocols that included recommended and required measures. These guidelines prioritized measures intended to reduce the risk of transmission of […]

San Diego State University Stadium & Mission Valley Master Plan

When the San Diego State University (SDSU) Aztec’s kick-off their 2022 season, they’ll be doing so in a brand new, state-of-the-art facility. The 35,000-seat stadium will be the first completed component of the redevelopment of the old Qualcomm Stadium, the former 135-acre home of the San Diego Chargers. Bashor Field at Aztec Stadium Located on […]

SSR Pursuing WELL Health-Safety Rating

We are excited to announce that, as of January 6, 2021, SSR is enrolled to pursue the WELL Health-Safety Rating for a portfolio of our offices through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). Office locations included in the Health-Safety Rating submission will cover the majority of our colleagues wherein we have sufficient control of building […]

Corrosion – An Attack on our Most Visual Assets

One of the most troublesome, yet often overlooked enemies of the water/wastewater industry is corrosion.   It is estimated that the direct cost of dealing with corrosion in the United States totals $276 billion annually, $36 billion of which is spent in the water/wastewater (W/WW) industry alone.  This estimate comes from a two-year study performed by […]

Benefits of a Water Model

As cities and communities around the country continue grow, many local water departments and utilities are faced with challenges, particularly as it relates to infrastructure. The challenge of significant growth will be most felt by those that are the sole water provider for an area. Fortunately, technology has continued to advance and water modeling software […]

Joint Commission updates Life Safety & Environment of Care Document List and Review Tool for 2021

Recent Joint Commission articles have indicated there will be additions to the LS/EOC Document List and Review Tool starting in early 2021.  The Joint Commission has finally released those long-awaited 2021 changes.  The updated Life Safety & Environment of Care Document List and Review Tool for 2021 is located on pages 102 through 116 of […]

Unique Systems Commissioned Over the Years

For the last two decades, SSRCx  has been providing commissioning services for different types of buildings and facilities across the United States and around the world. During our 20-plus years of experience, our team of seasoned project managers, engineers, and consultants  have encountered systems that are unique to a specific project. Read on to learn […]

Unique Buildings Commissioned Over the Years

Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.’s (SSR) commissioning division, SSRCx, has been providing consulting services to clients across the United States and around the world for over two decades. During that time we’ve had the privilege of commissioning thousands of facilities, from healthcare to higher education, corrections to community facilities. While no two projects are ever alike, […]

How COVID-19 May Reshape the Built Environment – LEED’s Response to Safe Re-opening

As we seek more information on the safest way to re-open our buildings during this pandemic, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has launched a set of pilot credits under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building rating system. These pilot credits provide sustainable best practices relative to disinfecting and cleaning, HVAC […]

The Joint Commission Proposes New Water Management Standard

In its October 7, 2020 issue of Joint Commission Online, The Joint Commission requested comments on its proposed new water management program standard, through a field review of the proposed new standard.  The Joint Commission field review is accepting comments through November 16, 2020. A Joint Commission speaker at the Virtual ASHE Annual Conference presentation […]

LEED GOLDen State Warriors

In July, the Chase Center officially achieved LEED Gold certification. It’s no easy feat for sports facilities to achieve certification; across the four major U.S. sports, just 31 venues have achieved a LEED certification and the Chase Center is one of five NBA arenas to be LEED Gold or higher certified. Arenas tend to excessively […]

Return to Operations: Part 4 — Air Cleaning and Treatment

While ventilation and filtration are the best and most proven means for HVAC systems to positively impact human health in building, air cleaning and treatment can be considered for possible enhancement of indoor air quality. There are several air cleaning and treatment technologies in the market today, and with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, […]

Doubling Down on A New Gaming Hall

In early September, the Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs, a 25,000 SF addition, opened to much fanfare. The premier gaming destination features 850 slot machines, a high stakes area, sophisticated central bar, and entertainment stage. SSR provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and technology design services for the project. Designing the mechanical system for […]

Vanderbilt Healthcare Design and Construction Symposium

Since 2007, the School of Engineering at Vanderbilt University has hosted their annual Healthcare Design & Construction Symposium. In a typical year, the highly sought-after event is attended by 150 healthcare professionals from across the country. This year, due to restrictions stemming from COVID-19, the symposium went virtual, presenting eight sessions over two days to […]

Evaluating Fabric vs Sheetmetal Ductwork

Iconic but future-proof, innovative with a community-focus. These are some of the expectations of new sports and entertainment venues being built around the world. Ownership teams are looking for jaw-dropping designs that appeal to fans, deliver a competitive advantage to the home team, and often anchor a massive entertainment district intended to revitalize a community. […]

Energy Efficiency Considerations for Operating Buildings Amid a Pandemic

As states, local governments, and companies across the U.S. plan for reopening based on a range of unique situations, facilities are beginning to plan for their employees or tenants to return to offices. Amidst the need to change how building mechanical systems operate to provide safe environment for occupants, opportunities exist to help mitigate potential […]

A Modern Masterpiece: Allegiant Stadium

In August, the doors to Allegiant Stadium will open to the public for the first time, unveiling arguably one of the most exciting entertainment venues in the world. Less than three years after the groundbreaking ceremony, all eyes will be on the new home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. The 65,000-seat, almost $2 billion […]

Re-developing Amon G. Carter Stadium

In 2009, Texas Christian University (TCU) decided to embark on a transformative project for Amon G. Carter Stadium, the historic home to the Horned Frogs football team. Originally built in the early 1930s, the stadium had been gradually expanded over the years, but the athletic department and administration recognized a need for more space, improved […]

Managing Healthcare Utility System Risks

| Dave Stymiest

During a global pandemic it may be difficult to consider beyond the next change, however facility infrastructure risks still need attention. A July 2020 Healthcare Facility Management (HFM) Magazine article entitled “A review of common hospital utility risks – Proactive assessment of hospital utilities can help to minimize risks and ensure safe and efficient operations” […]

Return to Operations: Part 1 — Bring your buildings back online

As the United States continues to open up, facilities across the country are beginning to plan for a return to occupancy. Careful consideration for the safety of those occupants, from employees to the general public, must be considered to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While not inclusive, SSR’s subject matter experts have compiled a list […]

Sports Lighting Around Reliable Electrical Systems

Unfortunately for the players of Super Bowl XLVII, any on-field action is probably the third-most memorable event for the casual viewer. The 2013 game is most known for either Beyoncé’s halftime show or for the lights going out early in the third quarter.  Parts of the stadium went dark for over thirty minutes, leaving fans […]

CMS Issues Some Physical Environment 1135 Blanket Waivers for ITM Deviations as well as Some Other New Life Safety Code Deviations

| Dave Stymiest

CMS issued some new physical environment blanket waivers on April 29, 2020 permitting certain CMS-mandated inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) activities to be adjusted during the federal emergency declaration. The previous broadly-distributed April 29th version included the ITM blanket waivers on page 23, but additional changes since then included some other CMS physical environment blanket […]

Strategies for High Energy Buildings – Part 2

PART 2 – MANUFACTURING FACILITIES Recall that in the Part 1 of this series (Defining and Identifying High Energy Buildings in the U.S.) we reviewed the current state of the U.S. energy use and environmental impact on a global scale and defined and identified high energy building categories. From that review we determined that manufacturing […]

Remember your CMS 1135 Waivers for Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance Deviations

| David Stymiest

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a link to the mandatory 1135 Waivers posted on their website for the Emergency Preparedness Rule (originally called the Emergency Preparedness Final Rule or EPFR). The  1135 Waivers link above provides the full 1135 Waivers requirements.  However, the purpose of this article is not to discuss the […]

COVID-19 Response Resources from ASHRAE and Others

ASHRAE has developed proactive guidance to help address coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) concerns with respect to the operation and maintenance of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems. The linked webpage below provides easily accessible resources from ASHRAE to building industry professionals. Interim Guidance from the CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond […]

CMS Issues COVID-19 Related Changes to Survey Activities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued Quality Safety & Oversight (OSQ) Memorandum QSO-20-12-All, Suspension of Survey Activities, on March 4, 2020.  In the QSO Memorandum background message, CMS stated that “Specifically, CMS is suspending non-emergency inspections across the country, allowing inspectors to turn their focus on the most serious health and safety […]

A new definition of sustainability in the built environment

Integrating occupant wellbeing with resource efficiency In recent years our firm has seen a shift where the green building industry is moving toward “human-centered design”, i.e. integrating occupant health and wellness with energy efficiency in buildings. Rating systems such as WELL™ and FITWEL® focus on improving occupant comfort, health, and productivity through operational and design […]

Health Technology Changes Affect Power Systems

| David Stymiest, PE, CHFM, CHSP, FASHE

A recent Health Facilities Management Magazine article entitled Powering up to meet today’s health technology demands discusses in detail the impacts of burgeoning health care technology on health care facility power systems. The consistently increasing technology changes are likely to ramp up even more throughout all health care facilities, not just in hospitals.  Clinical areas […]

USP Delays Chapters USP <795>, USP <797>, and USP <825>

| David Stymiest

The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) announced recently that it is postponing the official dates of pending revisions to the following three standards until further notice as a result of pending appeals to provisions on these standards: Revisions to: USP <795> Pharmaceutical Compounding – Nonsterile Preparations USP <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding – Sterile Preparations New chapter: USP […]

Strategies for High-Energy Buildings

Part 1: Defining and Identifying High Energy Buildings in the US The architectural and engineering community in the U.S. has engaged in designing energy-efficient buildings and helping building owners optimize energy performance in existing buildings since the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) introduced Standard 90.1 – Energy Efficient Design of New […]

Compliance News: CMS Updates EPFR State Operations Manual

| David Stymiest

CMS issued a February 1, 2019 update (Ref: QSO19-06-ALL) to the State Operations Manual (SOM) Appendix Z emergency preparedness interpretive guidance to clarify CMS requirements pertaining to alternate source power and emergency standby systems. The clarifications (in red) are easy to find within the 56-page document. In its Memorandum Summary, CMS stated “We are updating […]

Compliance News: CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule (EPFR) Impacts Generator Loading and Operation

| David Stymiest

The discussion below is an update to our more comprehensive previous analysis entitled CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule Could Require More Equipment on Generators.  The Emergency and Standby Power Systems portion of the CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule (CMS EPFR) discussed “specific compliance with NFPA 99, NFPA 101 and NFPA 110 for generator design, location, […]

Compliance News: ECRI Publishes List of Top Health Technology Hazards for 2019

ECRI Institute (ECRI) recently published its 2019 Top 10 list of health technology hazards. Healthcare organizations could consider this latest update of this list as one of many potential sources for identifying new safety risks or guiding due reconsideration of previously-identified safety risks. ECRI determines the content of the annual list, by considering adverse incidents, […]

Compliance News: CMS Requirements for AEM Inclusion Risk Assessments

| David Stymiest

CMS changed the rules for both inventories and equipment inspection, testing and maintenance (ITM) requirements in December 2013.  The CMS changes require that, where law and regulations do not stipulate ITM, manufacturer ITM recommendations must be followed unless the organization has a compliant AEM Program and uses a risk-based process to determine how and when […]

Compliance News: TJC Releases Newly Updated LS & EC Document List and Review Tool

| David Stymiest

TJC recently released its newly updated Life Safety & Environment of Care Document List and Review Tool, marked REVISED: 4/30/2018.  The individual pages of the list are each marked with a 3/13/2018 revision date, which correlates to the TJC speaker’s 3/27/2018 PDC Conference general session reference to those revisions. This is the list of documents […]

Compliance News: TJC Releases Newly Updated LS & EC Document List and Review Tool

| David Stymiest

TJC recently released its newly updated Life Safety & Environment of Care Document List and Review Tool, marked REVISED: 4/30/2018.  The individual pages of the list are each marked with a 3/13/2018 revision date, which correlates to the TJC speaker’s 3/27/2018 PDC Conference general session reference to those revisions. This is the list of documents […]

Compliance News: Survey Challenges

| David Stymiest

Surveyors often seem to find the violations you did not see before they arrived at your facility.  Why is that?  It may be because they have never seen your facility before, so they see everything with what professionals in the field call “fresh eyes.”  A major contributing factor is also the important fact that surveyors […]

Compliance News: Revisiting Utility Failure Procedures

| David Stymiest

Most hospitals have utility failure procedures for major utility systems or equipment.  However, existing utility failure procedures may have room for improvement, particularly in how they deal with common-mode failure potential within their utility systems and equipment.  Reliability professionals generally consider that multiple failures, including failures in otherwise redundant equipment, attributable to a common cause […]

Compliance News: TJC publishes final January 2018 EC Chapter EP revisions

| David Stymiest

TJC recently finalized the January 1, 2018 changes within its online Hospital Accreditation Standards Environment of Care (EC) and Life Safety (LS) chapters.  With a few exceptions, those changes were driven by the CMS September 2016 publication of the NFPA 101-2012 and NFPA 99-2012 K-Tags according to previous TJC announcements. This article discusses the major […]

Drone Technology

Perhaps the future of gathering information about projects is in the air. SSR is testing that theory. Drones came into the public consciousness a few years ago, mostly as novelty holiday gifts. The new age alternative to remote-controlled airplanes, drones offered something additional — they could hover and they included ample space to mount a […]

Compliance News: TJC publishes new 2018 EC Chapter EPs

| David Stymiest

TJC recently published the January 1, 2018 changes to its online Hospital Accreditation Standards Environment of Care (EC) and Life Safety (LS) chapters. With a few exceptions, those changes were driven by the CMS September 2016 publication of the NFPA 101-2012 and NFPA 99-2012 K-Tags according to previous TJC announcements. This article discusses only the […]

Sustainability in Sports Design

| Eric Sheffer Mike Rogers

Owners of sports and entertainment venues and design firms have long been focused on innovative design, comfort of their patrons, and facility performance. Over the past several years, the focus has shifted to include sustainability as a primary objective. As high-profile entertainment venues, sports facilities are in a unique position to showcase facility performance and […]

Compliance News: CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule Could Require More Equipment on Generators

| David Stymiest

The CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule (CMS EPFR) took effect on November 16, 2016, and compliance is expected by CMS starting November 16, 2017. Per the handout for CMS’ April 27, 2017 webinar, the new CMS-required all hazards approach “is an integrated approach to emergency preparedness planning that focuses on capacities and capabilities that are […]

Compliance News: CMS Strengthens Regulations against Legionella in Healthcare Facilities

| David Stymiest

The fight against Legionella bacteria within healthcare facilities has been a topic of healthcare industry discussions and concern for more than a decade. CMS substantially raised the bar in June 2017 when it issued a revised Survey & Certification Letter [S&C 17-30-Hospitals/CAHs/NHs REVISED 06.09.2017] PDF entitled “Requirement to Reduce Legionella Risk in Healthcare Facility Water […]

Compliance News: TJC publishes July 1, 2017 changes to EC and LS Chapters

| David Stymiest

TJC recently published the July 1, 2017 changes to its online Hospital Accreditation Standards Environment of Care (EC) and Life Safety (LS) chapters. Published changes include some clarifications and corrections to previously-issued changes, such as EC.02.05.01 Element of Performance 6 (EP-6) regarding inspection, testing and maintenance (ITM) for non-high-risk utility system components.  This change modified […]

Cx Monitor: How Can We Be More Efficient?

Every building owner has to ask themselves that question. It’s inevitable and a long, hard look at the answer can sometimes be what stands between them and significant cost savings. It comes at no surprise that the biggest energy and cost drain is the HVAC system. So, the next question is then, “How much will […]

Compliance News: Operating Room Fire Loss Prevention and Emergency Procedures

| David Stymiest

One important change in NFPA 99-2012 was the addition of Chapter 15, Features of Fire Protection.  Within that chapter is a new Section 15.13, entitled Fire Loss Prevention in Operating Rooms. Subsection 15.13.1, Hazard Assessment, requires an evaluation of FIRE hazards that could be encountered during surgical procedures, including “hazards associated with the properties of […]

Compliance News: More Pending Changes due to CMS 2012 Codes K-Tags

| David Stymiest

During his late afternoon March 14th session at the just-completed 2017 ASHE PDC Conference in Orlando, TJC speaker George Mills (Director of TJC’s Department of Engineering) announced upcoming additions and changes that will supplement the newly-released January 7th Elements of Performance (EPs) and the already-pending July 1st EP changes.  Mr. Mills stated that the required […]

Clinical Consulting: Hospital Construction Survey Affirms Rise in Clinical Voice: Designing for Efficiency and Staff Workflow

| Debbie Gregory

Every year, when Health Facilities Management and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering of the American Hospital Association release their Hospital Construction Survey results, I am always intrigued about what it will reveal. The 2017 report is out, and I’m happy to see the connection between designing healthcare facilities and the clinical workflow highlighted. Hospitals […]

Cx Monitor: Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx)

Building enclosure (or envelope) commissioning (BECx) is a process by which the performance of a facility is evaluated and verified against the specific quality requirements of the owner. The commissioning team in charge of BECx is involved throughout the entire project, from the pre-design phase through the operations and maintenance phase. From the start, the […]

Compliance News: Importance of Alternate Equipment Management/Maintenance (AEM) Risk Assessments

| David Stymiest

Many hospitals are still struggling with the AEM inclusion risk assessments required by both the CMS Survey & Certification Letter and Accrediting Organization (AO) requirements.  This newsletter revisits and updates a previous discussion of AEM risk assessment requirements. TJC-accredited hospitals, for example, now face an even more important reason for having an effective AEM-inclusion risk […]

Compliance News: Revisiting the Three-Year Four-Hour EPSS Load Test Requirements from NFPA 110-2010

| David Stymiest

Now that CMS has adopted the 2012 Life Safety Code™ and 2012 Health Care Facilities Code, CMS is surveying for compliance with NFPA 110-2010.  NFPA 110-2010 has very specific requirements for the 3-year 4-hour EPSS load test, and many hospitals may not be complying with those requirements. From NFPA 101-2012® Life Safety Code® [referencing NFPA […]

Compliance News: TJC Releases 2012 Codes Changes with Some Surprises

| David Stymiest

TJC released its long-awaited changes to its Life Safety (LS) and Environment of Care (EC) chapters Elements of Performance (EPs) on October 31, 2016.  These documents are entitled “Prepublication Standards – Standards Revisions Related to Life Safety Code Update” and cover six TJC accreditation programs.  The 49-page Hospital Prepublication Standards can be downloaded from that […]

Cx Monitor: Commissioning 101

The term “commissioning” is more and more frequently heard in every conversation about building construction, whether it’s new building construction or looking at the performance of an existing building. But what exactly is commissioning? The word has naval beginnings. A ship, especially in wartime, had to be commissioned before it was ready for active duty. […]

Compliance News: Compliance with the 2012 Codes

| David Stymiest

SSR’s May 2016 Compliance News article entitled CMS Adopts the 2012 Codes provided breaking news along with numerous hyperlinks to assist organizations in assessing the impact of CMS’ adoption of the 2012 codes. SSR’s June 2016 Compliance News article entitled CMS to survey 2012 codes starting November 1, 2016 passed along a few clarifications issued […]

Compliance News: Building Rehabilitation Chapter 43 – 2012 Life Safety Code® Required Reading

| David Stymiest

One of the significant changes resulting from CMS’ adoption of the 2012 Life Safety Code® is the impact of the NFPA 101-2012 Building Rehabilitation Chapter 43.  Chapter 43 is intended to apply to work that the owner or occupant has elected to perform within an existing building. In its final rule adopting the NFPA 101-2012 […]

Cx Monitor: ASHRAE Standard 209 – Energy Simulation Aided Design for Buildings

| Clark Denson

Building energy modeling has been used for many years to show compliance with local energy codes and to document energy performance-related points in beyond-code rating systems such as LEED® and Green Globes.  When used in this manner, energy modeling is typically seen as a necessary evil – just another box to check at the end […]

Compliance News: ASHE Addresses Historically Problematic Compliance Issues

| David Stymiest

The November 2015 Compliance News issue discussed the joint work that both ASHE and TJC had performed to that point in providing assistance on major physical environment compliance problem areas.  Last month’s Compliance News issue discussed TJC’s contributions to that initiative through July 2016.  This article reviews ASHE’s ongoing contributions to their joint program through […]

Compliance News: TJC Provides more Assistance with Problematic Compliance Issues

| David Stymiest

The November 2015 Compliance News issue discussed the joint work that both ASHE and TJC had performed in providing assistance on major physical environment compliance problem areas. The TJC Physical Environment Portal (TJC PE Portal) is still available at TJC’s website under the main TOPICS heading.  Interested parties can sign up at that location to […]

Compliance News: CMS to Survey 2012 Codes Starting November 1, 2016

| David Stymiest

SSR’s May 2016 Compliance News article entitled CMS Adopts the 2012 Codes  provided breaking news along with numerous hyperlinks to assist organizations in assessing the impact of CMS’ adoption of the 2012 codes. In its June 20, 2016 Survey & Certification Letter S&C 16-29-LSC, CMS advised that CMS will begin surveying to the 2012 Life […]

Clinical Consulting: Healthcare Planning – An Engineering Perspective

| Debbie Gregory

Many people consider it ironic that a nurse works at an engineering firm. The experience has turned out to be quite serendipitous for me. The growing role of the executive nurse as a true partner in healthcare strategy requires systems thinking and an engineering-based approach. During a keynote address, BYU professor Margaret J. Wheatley Ed. […]

Cx Monitor: Changes to LEED v2009

| Hannah Walter

As of April 8, 2016 all projects registered under the LEED v2009 BD+C for New Construction rating system will be required to achieve a minimum 18% reduction in energy cost over ASHRAE 90.1-2007. This is an 8% increase over the previous minimum requirement of 10%. Additional increased energy thresholds apply to other ratings systems as […]

Compliance News: New EPA Impact on Demand Response

| Tom Divine

Changes to EPA regulations will soon prohibit or severely restrict participation in “emergency demand response” programs for owners of standby generators.  The change will take effect on May 1, 2016.  A number of hospitals with significant investment in standby generation participate in these programs, generating substantial revenue.  Most will soon see their participation curtailed.  Demand […]

Clinical Consulting: The Intersection of Lean Thinking and Healthcare Technology Planning

| Debbie Gregory

As the landscape in healthcare is continually changing, increasing pressures for hospitals to perform leaner is becoming commonplace. By definition, lean thinking is the concept of finding value and eliminating waste in a process. Waste is anything that does not bring value to your “customer” or the end recipient of your service. Lean comes from […]

Compliance News: Best Practices for Reliable Power Systems

| David Stymiest

The March 2016 issue of Health Facilities Management Magazine discusses “Best practices for hospital power system reliability.”  The following highlights some of the topics contained within that detailed article, and we recommend that Compliance News readers review and share the hyperlinked HFM Magazine article within their organizations. Best practices can be undertaken throughout the life […]

Compliance News: Emergency Generator Starting Batteries

| David Stymiest

There continue to be questions regarding the use of maintenance-free generator starting batteries since they seem to be the preferred starting battery type of most generator set manufacturers.  This article discusses the original prohibition and when it was removed from NFPA 110. Within the NFPA 110-1999 edition presently enforced by CMS and its accrediting organizations, […]

Clinical Consulting: Clinical Leadership- Sorting Out Competing Priorities

| Debbie Gregory

The clinical voice is sometimes overshadowed by other “voices” that are slowly making an entry into clinical processes. I was struck recently by the fact that electronic health records dictated the workflow in one recent incident. In another situation a patient education/entertainment system was a driving force in workflow. Creating an organizational structure to accommodate […]

Compliance News: Compliance Challenges in 2016

| David Stymiest

2016 brings a host of ongoing compliance challenges along with a few new ones.  The ongoing challenges often revolve managing and mitigating the myriad risks within our facilities: general safety hazards, utility risks, fire safety risks, and life safety risks.  Of concern is the accelerating pace of changes combined with increasing complexity of the impact […]

Compliance News: ECRI Publishes List of Top Health Technology Hazards for 2016

| David Stymiest

ECRI recently published its 2016 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list.  Healthcare organizations could consider the latest update of this list as one of many potential sources for identifying new safety risks or ensuring due consideration of previously-identified safety risks. Element of Performance # 1 under TJC’s Standard EC.02.01.01 requires identifying safety and security risks […]


| Debbie Gregory

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010, there have been continuing transformations in hospital financial, technological, and clinical practices. These transformations have in some cases led to the establishment of competing priorities for hospital decision makers. Two of the biggest issues facing hospitals that cross financial, technological, and clinical lines […]

Compliance News: ASHE and TJC Provide Joint Assistance with Problematic Compliance Issues

| David Stymiest

Since ASHE and TJC announced their joint effort to address the most problematic physical environment issues at the July 2015 ASHE Annual Conference in Boston, both organizations have been making good on that promise. The TJC Physical Environment Portal (TJC PE Portal) is available at TJC’s website under the main TOPICS heading.  Interested parties can […]

Compliance News: Ongoing Challenges with HVAC Systems Addressed

| David Stymiest

ASHE and five other professional organizations issued an important Joint Interim Guidance statement in late September addressing the ongoing challenges with HVAC systems serving operating rooms and sterile processing departments.  The Joint Interim Guidance document was dated September 21, 2015 and issued shortly thereafter as a PDF file by the signatory organizations. The six signatory organizations […]

Compliance News: TJC Clarifies Life Safety Surveyors’ Survey Assessments

| David Stymiest

TJC Director of Engineering George Mills announced some July 2015 changes to the Life Safety Surveyor’s portion of hospital triennial surveys during his recent TJC Update session at the ASHE Annual Conference in Boston. Mr. Mills covered many important subjects during this presentation.  This SSR Compliance News issue discusses only some changes that directly affect […]

Compliance News: Evolution of Utility System Technology

| David Stymiest

Hospitals are dealing with the issues of utility system equipment technology failures and managing the need for ongoing technology upgrades as equipment designs evolve. Many hospitals have varying generations of utility system digital control technology built into major electrical, mechanical, vertical transportation, etc. operating components that were installed over the past few decades. Examples include […]

Compliance News: Utility Failure Procedures

| David Stymiest

Most hospitals have utility failure procedures for major utility systems or equipment.  However many utility failure plans have room for improvement, particularly in how they deal with common-mode failure potential within those utility systems. The HFM Magazine article How to Plan for Water Outages published in early 2015 referenced an excellent document published by the […]

Compliance News: Construction-Renovation Projects and Utility Inventories

| David Stymiest

A historical area of compliance challenges, related to hospital construction/renovation projects, may be getting worse.  Many organizations have struggled with obtaining timely receipt of details relating to new utility system components as well as manufacturer’s operating and maintenance manuals. The CMS December 2013 Alternate Equipment Management changes (related TJC July 2014 Alternate Equipment Maintenance changes), […]

Compliance News: Alternate Equipment Management/Maintenance (AEM) Risk Assessments

| David Stymiest

Many hospitals are struggling with the AEM risk assessments required by both the CMS Survey & Certification Letter and the TJC July 2nd revisions.  This newsletter discusses the AEM risk assessment requirements. Compliance News previously discussed the driving CMS 2014 Survey & Certification Letter S&C:14-07-Hospital and its enclosed Appendix A interpretive guidelines generally in our […]

Cx Monitor: Adding Greater Value to our Facilities: M&V and MBCx

| Eric Sheffer

Once a facility is built and fully operational, what assurances does the owner have that the building will perform as intended?  Operational energy performance is a priority for building owners, and as the old adage goes, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Without actionable, systems-level data on energy usage for our facilities, performance decay […]

Compliance News: Emergency Management Planning for Hospital Water Outages

| David Stymiest

An article just published in the February 2015 issue of Healthcare Facilities Management (HFM) Magazine discusses in detail many issues related to planning for hospital water outages.  The article is available online at the HFM Magazine website. Water outages are unfortunately a common cause or effect of cascading failures.  They can occur as a result […]

Cx Monitor: BECx and Energy Efficency

Modern building enclosures are designed and constructed using numerous complex systems and materials.  Combined with demands for quality, durability, schedule, and energy performance, it’s not surprising that the building enclosure represents the majority of building failures and construction defect claims.  Simply defined as a quality-based process implemented to evaluate and verify the owner’s project requirements […]

Compliance News: CMS Guidance for AEM Tracers

| David Stymiest

By now many hospital facility directors have reviewed the Hospital Equipment Maintenance Requirements contained within the current CMS Alternate Equipment Management (AEM) program rules being enforced by CMS and all of its deemed accrediting organizations.  We previously discussed the driving CMS 2014 Survey & Certification Letter S&C:14-07-Hospital and its enclosed Appendix A interpretive guidelines generally […]

Cx Monitor: System Documentation for Operations Grows in Breadth and Complexity

Facility owners are becoming more in tune with the fact that 90% of a building’s lifetime cost is tied to operating cost, while only about 10% is dedicated to construction. This realization is driving owners and building professional organizations to compile increasingly sophisticated levels of facility operation and maintenance documentation. The amount of documentation required […]

Compliance News: ECRI Institute Lists Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2015

| David Stymiest

Hospitals are expected to identify risks that can adversely affect the safety of patients and others.  As an example, under TJC’s Standard EC.02.01.01, Element of Performance 1 lists examples of both internal and external sources of information on probable risks.  The annually updated ECRI list of Top 10 Health Technology Hazards is not listed but […]

Compliance News: New ASHE Monograph Addresses Hospital Emergency Power Issues

| David Stymiest

ASHE just published a new 80+ page management monograph detailing a comprehensive program for managing hospital emergency power systems.  This document addresses recent lessons learned, best practices, and new regulatory issues.  Readers who have questions on the content of the monograph are invited to email the author at Entitled Managing Hospital Emergency Power Systems: […]

Clinical Consulting: Ebola: Designing Solutions for an International Crisis

| Debbie Gregory

Resources for information on Ebola Preparedness The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Ebola to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on August 8, 2014. This extraordinary event has created worldwide awareness and panic of the threat of such an epidemic. Generations of the past have been touched by such epidemics as yellow […]

Cx Monitor: Green Building Codes: A New Unifying Standard

| Eric Sheffer

The design and construction industry has made great strides in the past decade towards creating more sustainable and higher performing buildings. Building owners pursue green buildings for many reasons: operational cost effectiveness, marketing, ethics, occupant health, natural resource conservation, among others. Several industry organizations have formulated standards or rating systems to guide the development of […]

Compliance News: Alternate Equipment Management (AEM) Requirements Alter Existing Processes

| David Stymiest

The new AEM program requirements can represent a sea change in hospital utility system management. The new requirements can affect a multitude of existing processes as laid out in a hospital’s current Plans, Policies or Procedures (PPPs). This article briefly discusses a few of those processes. We previously discussed the driving CMS 2014 Survey & […]

Cx Monitor: Why Continuous Commissioning?

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare industry has evolved and will continue to for the foreseeable future. Hospitals have been tasked with becoming more efficient, with fewer resources, and adapt to the new marketplace. However, buildings are decaying, becoming more inefficient, and costing more to operate year-after-year. When buildings and equipment […]

Compliance News: TJC Discusses Equipment Inventories

| David Stymiest

In a new Clarifications and Expectations article entitled “Revised Equipment Maintenance Standards for Hospitals” published in the September 2014 issues of Environment of Care News and TJC Perspectives, TJC Director of Engineering George Mills provided guidance regarding the enhanced TJC equipment maintenance requirements that took effect on July 2, 2014. We previously discussed the driving […]

Cx Monitor: Working in the Cloud: Benefits of Building Start

In late spring 2012, SSRCx began utilizing a cloud based database, Building Start, to execute the commissioning process for all new construction projects. Building Start is mobile workflow management software that merges a cloud based project management platform with a mobile, offline workflow and audit trail system. This unique combination allows the assignment and sequencing […]

Compliance News: Additional Information on Relocatable Power Taps

| David Stymiest

There has been activity without many answers since TJC Director of Engineering George Mills announced a change in TJC’s approach to power strips in patient care areas on June 1, 2014 at the AAMI Conference. Although most facility managers call these devices power strips, both Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and CMS call them relocatable power taps […]

Compliance News: Changes to The Joint Commission’s Standards

| David Stymiest

The Joint Commission recently issued numerous changes to its Hospital Accreditation Standards (HAS) Environment of Care (EC) and Life Safety (LS) chapters. TJC accredited hospitals should closely review all changes within the HAS book itself. TJC’s Prepublication Requirements issued June 20, 2014 identified the below-listed EC chapter changes that took effect July 2, 2014. There […]

Cx Monitor: Effective Use of Building Enclosure Mock-ups within the Commissioning Process

The building enclosure (envelope, skin, etc.) represents one of the highest risk elements of construction. Water intrusion, air leakage, and increased energy consumption are common consequences of poorly designed and constructed building enclosure systems.  An effective building enclosure commissioning (BECx) and testing program can reduce these risks along with associated long term effects such as […]

Cx Monitor: LEED v4- Commissioning Changes in the USGBC’s Newest Green Building Rating System

Project teams pursuing certification under the LEED® v4 Building Design and Construction rating system should carefully examine their commissioning process and scope, as the updated rating system includes several new requirements and options for building commissioning. Following is a selection of significant changes in commissioning requirements, based on information currently available within the LEED v4 […]

Compliance News: TJC Announces CMS-driven Restrictions on Relocatable Power Taps

| David Stymiest

According to a new press release from AAMI, TJC Director of Engineering George Mills announced new restrictions on the use and application of Relocatable Power Taps during his speech at the AAMI 2014 Conference in Philadelphia on June 1, 2014. According to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) relocatable power taps, often also called outlet strips, are listed […]

Compliance News: TJC Clarifies Medical Gas Cylinder Storage Requirements

| David Stymiest

TJC Director of Engineering George Mills clarified TJC’s requirements for safe storage of medical gas cylinders in the February 2014 editions of both TJC Perspectives and EC News. The TJC articles, both entitled Maintaining Medical Gas Safety and located within the Clarifications and Expectations portion of each periodical, referred to NFPA 99-1999 section 4- Section […]

Compliance News: CMS Changes Hospital Equipment Maintenance Requirements

| David Stymiest

CMS recently issued Survey & Certification Letter S&C:14-07-Hospital, which changed the requirements for hospital equipment maintenance. The new requirements apply to utility systems equipment as well as medical equipment. The CMS letter can be found at, and hospital facility directors should obtain and review a copy of it. That letter also includes as Appendix […]


| David Stymiest

The 2014 TJC Hospital Accreditation Standards include wording changes in Standard EC.02.05.07, EP-4 (generator test intervals) and EP-6 (transfer switch test intervals) that tweak the required test intervals a little. The new 2014 test interval language in both EPs states “At least monthly, the hospital tests ….” This is a change from the 2013 TJC […]


| David Stymiest

Take a close look at your 2014 schedules for quarterly requirements such as fire safety system testing found in several elements of  performance (EPs) under Standard EC.02.03.05. The brand new 2014 TJC definition of QUARTERLY can be found on page EC-3 at the beginning of the EC Chapter in the 2014 Hospital Accreditation Standards. The […]

Compliance News Volume XIII, Issue III

| David Stymiest

In its Joint Commission Online article, dated June 26, 2013,( The Joint Commission announced a new 2014 National Patient Safety Goal NPSG .06.01.01 on clinical alarm safety for both hospitals and critical access hospitals. The July 2013 issue of Joint Commission Perspectives discusses the new NPSG in detail. The NPSG requirements include 4 elements of […]

Compliance News Volume XIII, Issue III

| David Stymiest

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a categorical Life Safety Code waiver permitting new and existing ventilation systems supplying hospital and critical access hospital (CAH) anesthetizing locations to operate with a relative humidity (RH) of ≥20%, instead of ≥35%. CMS is also recommending that RH not exceed 60% in these locations. CMS […]