NFPA 99 Health Care Facilities Code 2015 Edition, Chapter 7 Information Technology and Communications Systems, Category 1 Systems, paragraph 22.214.171.124.3.4(D), requires the telecommunications room to be located a minimum of 3.66 m (12 ft) from any permanent source of electromagnetic interference such as medical imaging equipment, transformers, variable frequency drives etc.
ANSI/TIA 569-D-2015 Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces, paragraph 6.3.3, requires the telecommunications space to be located away from sources of electromagnetic interference or designed to mitigate the effects of this interference. Special attention shall be given to electrical power supply transformers, motors and generators, X-ray equipment, radio and radar transmitters, and induction sealing devices.
Currently, my office has a hospital project. The floor plans layout has the telecommunications room adjacent to the electrical room which houses the transformers. The separation between the telecommunications room and the transformers is less than 12 ft. Therefore, this is a violation of NFPA 99.
ANSI/TIA 569-D-2015 has no specific distance separation mandates from telecommunications space to sources of electromagnetic interference. It allows the Design of Record flexibility to mitigate the effects of the EMI.
The Design of Record recommends providing RF shielding of walls inside telecommunications room to contain radiated EMI. Since, this approach doesn't meet 12 foot separation requirement in NFPA 99. Is this an acceptable solution? Can I allow the ANSI/TIA 569-D as equivalent to the NFPA 99?
John Le, PE
Naval Facilities Engineering Command HQ/Medical Facilities Design Office
1322 Patterson Avenue SE, room 33-1095
Washington Navy Yard
Washington DC 20374-5065