HVAC – A sustainable answer to a healthier tomorrow

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Utmost hygiene and a clean environment have always been the top priority for every cleanroom. To maintain an absolutely sterile environment, a cleanroom workplace requires stringent workflows and strict procedures. And therefore, its set-up involves a whole range of equipment playing their own unique roles in removing pathogens and pollutants from the atmosphere.

One of the pivotal equipment in a cleanroom is the HVAC system. It controls heating, cooling, humidifying, dehumidifying, filtering, ventilating and air distribution. These functions aid in removing airborne particles and microorganisms that could potentially contaminate pharmaceutical products. 

According to the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), HVAC is an advanced air filtration system playing a critical role in maintaining the required temperature and humidity conditions for pharmaceutical manufacturing processes and storage. The ISPE also recommends that HVAC systems in pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities be designed to maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels within a tight tolerance range to ensure product quality and safety.

As a matter of fact, HVAC is a modern and more viable long-term alternative to traditional AC units for its ability to dehumidify only the outside air and combine it with return air, thereby effectively decreasing the energy consumption by ≈40% in cooling and up to 100% in reheating processes. Moreover, due to the air volume remaining unchanged within the system, there is also no overall impact on pressurisation.

HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration system in HVAC also aids pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in removing airborne particles. The system helps create controlled environments that are designed to minimise the risk of contamination. This includes maintaining positive air pressure in manufacturing areas, which further helps prevent contamination from outside air, and ensuring that temperature and humidity levels are maintained within the specified ranges. In addition, HEPA moves the inorganic dust suspended in the air and the microscopic organisms that may cause serious harm.

In view to enhancing HVAC’s performance, we incorporate more focused support systems like Fabtech’s Energy Recovery Wheel (ERW) and Variable Pumping System. While the former helps regulate air circulation in a commercial facility by recycling the useful features of air inside the building, the latter supports the operation of chillers and promises a better power supply than the traditional fixed pumping system.

Capability of Enhancing Healthcare

Many clinical trials have revealed that the Application of HVAC help to reduce the risk of contamination and ensure product safety, especially for critical medicines such as vaccines.

HVAC installation in hospitals and ICUs has shown positive signs in reducing cardiac stress, accelerating recuperation, and improving blood pressure and respiratory rate. It has also resulted in earlier mobility in patients and reduced mortality. Inpatients have notably benefited from the controlled room environment. The radiant cooling has also decreased hospital stay in some cases. There has also been an apparent reduction of mortality for heat illness patients, and patients with the respiratory disease have also shown positive results. All in all, it has benefitted patients’ overall well-being, improving physiologic parameters and greater mobility.

Infact, it can stated that inadequate HVAC systems can compromise the quality and safety of drugs and pharmaceutical products, thus seriously affecting patients’ conditions. For example, fluctuations in humidity can lead to drug degradation, contamination, and reduced efficacy, which can result in harmful side effects or ineffective treatments. In certain extreme cases, such as life-saving medications, quality issues of this kind could be a matter of life and death.

Moreover, compromised air quality due to inadequate HVAC systems can pose a health risk to workers in these manufacturing units. Poor air quality can contribute to respiratory problems and other health issues, which can affect the well-being of workers and potentially impact the quality of the products being manufactured.

Connection to Climate Change

Think of climate change, and the world is already grappling with inevitable challenges and extreme weather conditions. What we need is preparedness in our approach to dealing with climate change. This preparedness comes with extending greater support to the present healthcare system and the environment.

In this context, it is worth noting that HVAC technology supports hospital treatments and inpatient health during heat waves.  It is being regarded as quite a promising potential in addressing and combating climate change through effective heating and cooling solutions that increase energy efficiency. The technology enables a considerable reduction in carbon emissions and includes refrigerants that are environmentally safe and helps protect the ozone layer. It brings with it sustainability by using solar energy and other renewable solutions and contributes to a cleaner environment. The usage of renewable sources of energy significantly results in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable features of HVAC technology, i.e., various fan speeds, demand-response ventilation, automated capabilities, and smart controls, are the add-ons that help reduce the carbon footprint and in energy savings of around 25% to 50%.

Therefore, equipping hospital rooms with good HVAC systems is most essential for ensuring the quality, safety, and efficacy of drugs and pharmaceuticals, as well as for protecting the health and well-being of workers in these facilities. By addressing the impact of climate change on HVAC systems in pharma and drug manufacturing units, we can help ensure that patients receive safe and effective treatments and that workers are provided with a healthy and safe working environment. 

Infact, an improved and hi-tech HVAC system with sensors and monitoring systems can enable real-time monitoring of temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors, which can help ensure that conditions are maintained within specified ranges and provide early warning of any possible contamination.

We can be in this together!

With our HVAC system for cleanroom, we strive to introduce a sustainable technology into a cleanroom without compromising the safety of the equipment or staff members and contribute to global healthcare and to the environment alike. With innovative and adaptive approaches like these, we can strike a balance between the present health concerns and the climate change mitigation. Besides an energy-conserving technology like HVAC, our other actions to cope up with the health needs include modular cleanrooms, BSL 3 facilities and containment solutions. 

We also strive to join hands with organisations to design and implement green pharmaceutical facilities with eco-friendly infrastructural solutions.

Let us work together for a healthier tomorrow.

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