Adult sleep areas: Rooms designated for parent or
staff sleep or rest.
Ambient Lighting: The continuous "background"
illumination for a specified area.
Ambient Temperature: Thermal measurement of the
generalized space around the neonate. Usually refers to room
Backsplash: A vertical, protective surface
located behind a sink or counter.
Biohazardous: Refers to human tissue, cells, body
fluids, or culture materials that may contain infectious or other
Brominated Flame Retardants: bromide compounds
that stop or diminish fire. Brominated flame retardants (BRFs) such
as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used in many products
including furniture, textiles, and electronic equipment to reduce
the risk of fire. When heated, BRFs produce dioxins and furans
(VOCs). BRFs are persistent bioaccumulative toxins and suspected
Cabinetry: Box-like furniture constructed for
storage; could consist of drawers, counters, or shelves.
Casework: The components that make up a
Clear floor space: The space available for
functional use that excludes other defined spaces (e.g., plumbing
fixtures, anterooms, vestibules, toilet rooms, closets, lockers,
wardrobes, fixed-based cabinets, and wall-hung counters).
Color rendering index (CRI)8: A
measure of the degree of color shift that objects undergo when
illuminated by a lamp, compared with those same objects when
illuminated by a reference source of comparable correlated color
temperature (CCT). A CRI of 100 represents the maximum value. A
lower CRI value indicates that some colors may appear unnatural when
illuminated by the lamp. Incandescent lamps have a CRI above 95. The
cool white fluorescent lamp has a CRI of 62; fluorescent lamps
containing rare-earth phosphors are available with CRI values of 80
Cubicle: Space enclosed on multiple sides with
full height or partial partitions with at least one opening without
External windows: Windows located on the exterior
skin of a building, looking outside the building or into
Flicker10: A relative measure of the
cyclic variation in output of a light source (percent modulation).
It is given by the expression 100% x [(A-B)/(A+B)] where A is the
maximum and B is the minimum output during a single cycle.
Gamut Area Index9: GAI represents the
relative separation of object colors illuminated by a light source;
the greater the GAI, the greater the apparent saturation or
vividness of the object colors.
Hands-Free Handwashing Station: An area that
provides a freestanding sink, meets all handwashing station
requirements described in Standard 11, such as space for cleaning
agents and drying capability, and in addition, is operable without
the use of hands.
Infant Bed: Furniture or equipment used to hold
Infant Room: Contains the infant space.
Infant Space: The area surrounding the infant bed
and containing all support equipment and furniture.
Luminaire: A complete lighting unit consisting of
a lamp or lamps and the parts designed to distribute the light, to
position and protect the lamp(s), and to connect the lamp(s) to the
power supply. (Also referred to as fixture.)
Non-Public Service Corridors: Designated traffic
pathways that are restricted to staff use for staff access and
patient or material transport.
Parent-Infant Rooms: Separate rooms in or
adjacent to the NICU designed for parents to room-in with their
infants during some portion of the NICU stay. These rooms include
infant care space, parent sleeping space, and facilities as
described in Standard 17.
Perfluorochemicals: Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are
a family of man-made chemicals used to make products that resist
heat, oil, stains, grease and water. Common uses include nonstick
cookware, stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, as components of
fire-fighting foam, and other industrial applications. Two chemicals
in the PFC group are perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS;
C8F17SO3) and perfluorooctanoic
acid (PFOA; C8F15O2H). The chemical
structures of PFOS and PFOA make them extremely resistant to
breakdown in the environment and they are considered to be PBTs and
Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins: Persistent
Bioaccumulative Toxins (PBTs) are substances that transfer easily
among air, water, and land, and are stored in fatty tissue. As a
consequence, they accumulate or magnify in the food chain, and also
span generations. Effects to human health range from eye, nose, and
throat irritation to organ and nervous system damage to cancer.
Phthalate Plasticizers: Phthalates currently are
not listed as PBTs because there is some evidence that fish and
mammals can break these down within 24 hours of entry; however,
phthalates are often volatile organic compounds and are pervasive in
our environments. Phthalates are a family of chemicals used to
soften plastics such as children's toys, adhesives, and floor and
wall covering. In healthcare, DEHP [Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate] is
most often used to soften PVC medical devices including IV bags and
tubing, catheters, and enteral nutrition feeding bags. Phthalates
also are used as fixatives in perfumes, as time-release coatings on
medications, and in nail polish, to make them more flexible. AKA
"plasticizers," they may be absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or
ingested. They are associated with reproductive and developmental
harm, suppression of the immune system, and damage to organs and the
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs): Polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs) are mixtures of organic chemicals that are
non-flammable, chemically stable, and have high insulating
qualities, making them ideal in industrial and commercial
applications including paints, plastics, and rubber products. PCBs
are considered to be PBT substances that build up in the food chain
and accumulate to levels that are harmful to environmental health
and carcinogenic to humans. PCBs also can be VOCs.
Positive distractions: Sensory experiences which
enable an individual to focus on psychologically supportive and
compelling stimuli. These stimuli are intended to divert attention
from negative experiences. Positive distractions should be
culturally- and age-appropriate and could range from nature and art
to video games and music.
Room: Space enclosed with full height partitions
or walls equipped with a door.
Single-family rooms: Rooms within the NICU
analogous to private patient rooms elsewhere in the hospital that
are designed to provide for the care of one or more infants from a
single family. These rooms have the usual provisions for infant care
as well as space for family members to stay at the bedside or in the
room for extended periods of time. A sleeping area for family
members is often provided within these rooms, but may also be
situated immediately adjacent to them, or elsewhere in the NICU or
Volatile Organic Compounds: Volatile Organic
Compounds (VOCs) are the primary source of indoor air pollution and
are measured as organic gases. VOCs such as formaldehyde and
urethane are released from products during use and often are found
in pressed wood products and household products including paint and
wood preservatives. Importantly, the EPA reports that levels of VOCs
average 2-5 times higher in indoor environments than outdoor. Health
effects are directly related to the amount of exposure, but range
from allergies to nervous system disorders to cancer.
Acoustic Terms (Disclaimer: The following terms
are defined in conceptually although not technically accurate
language. Technically precise definitions can be found in official
documents and professional textbooks.)
Allowable Sound Level Criteria, Noise Criteria (NC) and
Room Criteria (RC): Sound levels can be measured over the
entire spectrum of audible frequencies. For some technical purposes
(e.g., spaces in which verbal communication is important) the
spectrum can be divided into smaller frequency spans, such as
octaves or specific narrow band widths. Background noise within a
room is often measured in octave bands for comparison with a family
of smooth, balanced curves, called Noise Criteria (NC) or Room
Criteria (RC). This criteria system is used for design and
validation of building spaces because it is more descriptive than a
single number such as dB or dBA, which does not carry enough
information to distinguish between a pure tone, a balanced spectrum,
or sound dominated by lower or higher frequencies.
Areas in open acoustic communication: Areas
without a barrier wall or an operable door between them or areas
separated by a door that is intended to remain open most of the
Background or Facility Noise: Background noise
refers to the continuous ambient sound in a space due to the
mechanical and electrical systems of the facility or building itself
and to permanent equipment. Background noise is produced by sources
outside the building and by the building's own heating, ventilation,
and air-conditioning systems, vacuum tube systems, elevators,
plumbing, automatic doors, etc. Because occupant-generated noise
will add to the "noise floor" or background noise of the building,
allowable background level criteria are set low enough to prevent
annoyance, reduced speech intelligibility, sleep disturbance, or
other disturbance after the building is occupied.
CAC (Ceiling Articulation Class): Rates a
ceiling's efficiency as a barrier to airborne sound transmission
between adjacent closed offices [rooms]. Shown as a minimum value,
previously expressed as CSTC (Ceiling Sound Transmission Class). A
single-figure rating derived from the normalized ceiling attenuation
values in accordance with classification ASTM E 413, except that the
resultant rating shall be a designated ceiling attenuation class.
(Defined in ASTM E 1414). An acoustical unit with a high CAC may
have a low NRC. (cited from www.armstrong.com)
Ceiling plenum: The area between the finished
ceiling and the underside of the structure above, often used for
ductwork, electrical wiring, plumbing pipes, etc. as well as for
recessed ceiling lights.
Demising partitions: A "demising" assembly,
partition, floor, ceiling, etc. is one that separates the space of
one occupant or department from that of another, or from a corridor.
Partitions within an occupant or department space are non-demising
partitions. For example, the wall between two patient rooms is
demising, but the partition within a patient room that encloses the
bathroom for that room is non-demising. Likewise, the wall between
one office suite and another is a demising wall, but the walls
within the suite itself are non-demising. The wall between a
mechanical or electrical equipment room and any occupied space is a
demising wall. In a residential apartment building, the partition
between two units is demising, but the partitions between rooms
within the same apartment are not demising.
Facility vs. Operational Noise: Exterior sources
(e.g., street traffic and outdoor building mechanical equipment) and
interior sources (e.g., air conditioning and exhaust systems)
generate facility noise. It exists in the empty building as it is
constructed. The people and equipment that occupy the building
generate operational noise.
Operational Noise: Operational noise is generated
by people and equipment that occupy the building and are separable
from the building. A general rule of thumb states that occupants and
their equipment will add about 10 dBA to background noise. However,
this generalization does not apply to all room uses. For example,
two or three people in an office environment with 45 - 55 dBA
background might add about 10 dBA, but the same group in a quiet
conference room with a 35 - 45 dBA background might add 20 dBA. A
large group of people might add 40 dBA. In intensive care units with
hard surfaces, close spacing of patient beds, and large amounts of
staff and equipment the occupied room noise may be 20 dBA or more
above background with brief excursions well above that.
Occupant-Produced Noise: Occupant noise is not
under the control of architects and engineers but can be
incorporated as a design parameter through the use of a matching
architectural requirement (e.g., wall and ceiling absorption
criteria). Control of occupant-produced noise lies primarily in the
realm of quality assurance programs and hospital management.
Permanent Equipment: Large equipment that is
necessary for essential functions of the NICU and that is rarely
replaced. Such equipment includes refrigerators, freezers, ice
machines, mechanical / electrical storage systems for supplies and
medication. Permanent equipment is distinct from medical equipment
used for direct patient care.
Reflective and Absorptive Surfaces: Noise
Reduction Coefficient (NRC): Within any closed space, sound levels
are affected by reflections of sound waves from surfaces. When the
surfaces are predominantly hard, sound pressure builds up in the
space, increasing the original level with reverberation. Conversely,
when the surfaces are soft or acoustically absorptive, reflected
energy is reduced and sound pressure does not build up. Acoustically
absorptive surface materials are rated by a Noise Reduction
Coefficient (NRC), which is an average of absorption coefficients in
the middle range of the audible spectrum of sound frequencies.
Although an oversimplification, the NRC rating of a material can be
thought of as the percentage of sound energy absorbed. If the NRC of
a wall panel, for example, is 0.65, about 65% of the sound energy of
a source is absorbed and about 35% reflected back into the room.
Speech privacy: "Methods used to render speech
unintelligible to the casual listener." This definition embodies two
key concepts: (a) the measurement of
intelligibility/unintelligibility, which is a practice familiar to
five generations of acoustics professionals since the first work
done on the Articulation Index in the 1940's by Leo Beranek and
others; and (b) the viewpoint of the "casual listener." That is,
this definition of speech privacy does not cover intentional or
assisted listening (quoted from the webpage of the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI), and the Glossary of American National
Standard T.1-523-2001, a standard maintained by the U.S. Department
of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information
Administration, Information Security program (INFOSEC).)
Vibration: Vibration is perceptible to humans at
a certain magnitude or level and can cause discomfort or annoyance.
Larger magnitudes of vibration can cause rattling of lightweight
building elements, superficial cracking in partitions, or even
structural damage. Very small magnitudes of vibration not
perceptible to humans can disturb high magnification optical
microscopes or very sensitive electronic equipment. Sources of
vibration common in hospitals are helicopter flyovers and
landings/take-offs, magnetic resonance imagers, sound systems, and
heavy trucks. Buildings can be constructed to prevent the
propagation of vibration through the