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Pandemic-Ready Patient Rooms

Posted by Price Industries on March 17, 2021 at 10:28 AM
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Easily Change From Normal Operation to Isolation Mode

The new pandemic-ready patient room solution from Price Critical Environments and Antec Controls provides operational flexibility, allowing the user to easily change from normal operation of a patient room to isolation mode.

Pandemic ready patient room showing airflow into and out of unit above patient's bed

The Price CARES as part of a Pandemic-Ready Patient Room Solution

Traditionally, hospitals are built with few negative pressure isolation rooms as these spaces are seldom used and are more expensive to build and operate than standard patient rooms. During a pandemic, with a surge in infectious patients, the demand for isolation spaces increases dramatically.

The pandemic-ready patient room solution allows a hospital to build one room that can be used for standard patient care or converted to a negative pressure isolation room at the touch of a button. Quick isolation of patients infected with airborne infectious diseases is essential in reducing the spread of those diseases throughout the hospital. The pandemic-ready patient room solution provides fast conversion of a standard patient room to a negative pressure isolation room, eliminating the need for time consuming and unsightly field modifications in response to increased demand for isolation spaces – a feature that may be sought-after post COVID-191.


Room Requirements

ASHRAE Standard 170:2018 for Ventilation of Health Care Facilities2,3 dictates the following requirements for standard patient rooms and airborne infectious isolation rooms. In the below pandemic-ready patient room solutions “Normal Operation” aligns with the ASHRAE Standard 170 requirements for “Standard Patient Rooms” while “Isolation Mode” aligns with the operational requirements of an “Airborne Infectious Isolation Room”.

  Standard Patient Room
(normal operation)
 Airborne Infectious Isolation Room
(isolation mode)
Airflow - Outdoor 2 ACH 2 ACH
Airflow - Total 4 ACH 12 ACH
Pressure Differential No requirement -0.01 in wg pressure monitor required
Exhaust Washroom Exhaust Washroom exhaust and room exhaust located near the patient's head
Return Room return grille located near door Return not allowed
Recirculation Allowed Only allowed if room air is recirculated locally through a HEPA filter
Supply Diffuser Not specified Air moves from clean to less clean

With these guidelines in mind, Price has designed pandemic-ready patient room solutions that meet the needs of both standard patient rooms and negative pressure isolation rooms by creating 0.1 in. w.g. negative pressure and by increasing from 4 to 12 air changes per hour (ACH) in isolation mode. This is accomplished through the strategic placement of a Puraflo specialized exhaust flow Fan Filter Unit that exhausts air to create negative pressure and locally recirculates HEPA-filtered air to increase the air change rate.

ASHRAE 170 also requires a permanently installed pressure-monitoring device that indicates if the pressure differential drops below required levels. The Room Pressure Monitor (PMT) is designed to satisfy the ASHRAE 170 standard with the added features of displaying room temperature, room humidity and air change rate through the BACnet MS/TP connection.

Pandemic-ready patient room solutions can satisfy both retrofit and new construction projects.


Retrofit Applications

A standard patient room can be converted to a pandemic-ready patient room with the addition of a dual-outlet exhaust and recirculating flow Puraflo unit placed directly above the patient to draw air from the relatively clean outer reaches of the room toward the contaminated zone around the patient. Air is drawn in through the face of the unit and passed through a MERV 8 pre-filter and HEPA filter to remove 99.99% of contaminants.

One outlet exhausts filtered air to the outdoors, per the ASHRAE 170 requirements for AIIRs, to maintain negative room pressure while the second outlet recirculates filtered air to the space through a standard ceiling diffuser with airflow directed away from the patient to minimize entrainment of contaminated air.

This layout is ideal for retrofit applications as it allows existing ductwork to remain largely in tact.

RoomRenderswithCallouts_v002_RetrofitPandemic-Ready Patient Room for Retrofit Applications


New Construction

Our premium pandemic-ready patient room solution features the new Critical Area Recirculation/Exhaust System (CARES). The CARES is a single 48 by 48 in. airflow device that combines the capabilities of the exhaust flow FFU with a one-way Flush Face Radial Flow Diffuser  and is installed directly over the patient bed.

Critical Area Recirculation/Exhause System
Airflow through the CARES device
(red arrows indicate contaminated room air, purple arrows indicate filtered air, and blue arrows indicate supply air)

Contaminated room air is drawn in through the face of the FFU and is passed through a MERV 8 pre-filter and HEPA filter before a portion of the airflow is exhausted to maintain room pressure. The remainder of the filtered air is recirculated to the space through the integrated flush-face radial flow diffuser. The integral flush-face radial flow diffuser is also used to distribute fresh air from the air handler such that this single device manages the airflow for the entire patient room. The CARES is a multipurpose unit that greatly simplifies the planning and construction of a pandemic-ready patient room.


Pandemic-Ready Patient Room for New Construction, featuring the Price CARES


For more information on pandemic-ready patient room solutions, view our full brochure, watch our pandemic preparedness webinar, or contact our applications team at


1. Dudt, James, and Mark Stefanak. “Healthcare Building Codes and Design After COVID-19.” Karpinski Engineering, June 2020,
2. ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2017, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), 2017,
3. “ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Addendum S for Standard 170-2017.” ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2017, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Oct. 2020,

Collage of critical environment products over an image of an operating room

Topics: hvac, engineering, Design Engineering, Engineering Update, Critical Environments, ASHRAE 170, Filtration, Airborne pathogens

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