Guidelines & Policies
OHSU’s Design and Construction department is fully committed to maintaining a safe environment for all who may be involved or impacted by our work. In addition to the physical well-being of all personnel in our facilities, our definition of “safety” includes risk identification and prevention efforts that consider undesirable impacts to any of OHSU’s academic, research and healthcare operations. We require thorough pre-project planning to address all foreseeable risks to the teaching, healing and discovery process within our community, and we follow up our planning with clearly defined expectations and oversight.
Design and Construction makes use of two collaborative planning processes for safety: One is unique to healthcare environments, and the other is applied to academic and research environments. These planning tools are known as “Healthcare PECO” (Physical Environment Change Oversight) and “University PECO”, respectively. Both processes start with our project lead, who ensures the project scope, foreseeable impacts, and appropriate mitigation efforts are clearly defined and documented. This information is then distributed to a small network of community stakeholders for their review, editing and approval. The final product is then provided to contractors for implementation before they mobilize for work. After a project is underway, the PECO process continues whenever conditions change and plan revisions become necessary--Followed by additional stakeholder involvement and approval. The process is intended to prompt all participants to continuously think ahead, agree on a plan, and work to the plan.
Maintaining life safety provisions for building occupants figures prominently as we identify and address potential risks resulting from project work Of significant concern is the integrity of rated smoke and fire separations designed for occupant safety. Whether fire response in a given space is “defend in place” (inpatient healthcare), or “immediate evacuation” (all other occupancies), both strategies rely on design features to prevent the spread of smoke and fire into protected compartments or egress pathways. It is our intent to preserve the integrity of these rated walls and floors during our project work all the way to completion. Design and Construction requires the use of our Barrier Access Permit (BAP) program for any work that involves alteration to any smoke or fire barrier. Covered alterations include “new penetrations/joints/holes that are new or existing, used or not used, created for but not limited to the passage of utilities, cables, ducts, pipes and conduits or any other type of penetrations made during the course of construction.”
The permit program serves several purposes. It provides:
- Notification of upcoming work with known or potential impacts to rated walls and/or floors;
- An assessment of the barrier rating needed for the appropriate fire stop system installation;
- Documentation of the installed system; and
- Final inspection and Owner sign-off.Our BAP program is used extensively throughout our projects by all contractors and is paramount to the success of our rated barrier preservation efforts.