Health Building Note 00-10 Part B: Walls and ceilings outlines the policy and performance requirements for walls and ceilings used in healthcare facilities.
One of the most important issues affecting healthcare environments is the control of infection. All finishes used should therefore be chosen with cleaning in mind.
Materials and finishes should also be selected to minimise maintenance, and be compatible with their intended function and lifespan/duration of use.
Selecting a Compliant Wall Finish
The following guidelines apply to the selection of wall finishes:
- Smooth, hard, seamless and impervious surfaces are required in clinical areas, as they are easier to clean
- Wall finishes should not comprise materials that promote or sustain the growth of fungi and microorganisms
- Wall finishes are to meet the performance classifications given in Health Technical Memorandum 05-02*
- Wall finishes are to be durable, and able to withstand minor impacts without the need for additional wall protection
- Wall finishes are to be impermeable and easily wiped over if necessary, and not be physically affected or degraded by detergents and disinfectant
Protect Surfaces from Impact Damage
Where impact damage is expected, impact protection should be used on walls and partitions to help reduce the incidence and severity of damage, and maintain their performance. Protection fittings (e.g. handrails, crash/buffer rails, corner guards, protective plates and sheeting or bed buffers) should be positioned at the correct height to give the maximum defence against mobile equipment.
The type of material used should be suitable for its intended location (e.g. stainless steel in kitchens, hygienic surfaces in laboratories) and, where appropriate, materials and colours should comply with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
*Health Technical Memorandum 05-02: Guidance in support of functional provisions: Firecode (Fire safety in the design of healthcare premises)’ details fire resistance requirements which need to be achieved by wall and ceiling finishes that can be effectively tested for ‘surface spread of flame’. For surface finishes used in small rooms (less than 4m2) National classification Class 1 (or European class C-s3,d2) will suffice. For circulation spaces and other rooms, National classification Class 0 (or European class B-s3,d2) is required.
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