IHEEM Conference 2009
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IHEEM Conference 2009. Welcome. Health-Specific Building Services Specifications Utilising New Technology – The Way Forward. Introductions. Speaker : Ian Elmer Technical Services Manager AMTECH Group. Historical Approach.

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IHEEM Conference 2009


Health-Specific Building Services Specifications Utilising New Technology – The Way Forward


Speaker :

Ian Elmer

Technical Services Manager


Historical approach
Historical Approach

  • The Department of Health Estates and Facilities division produces guidance for NHS organisations and individuals with an interest in land, property, equipment and facilities.

  • This information can be used to support the effective management and utilisation of healthcare facilities and equipment and procurement of new buildings.

  • This takes the form of:

Historical approach1
Historical Approach

Health Building Notes (HBN) - advice to project teams designing and planning new buildings and adapting/extending existing buildings

Health Technical Memoranda (HTM) - guidance for the design, installation and running of specialised building service systems.

Historically, these were supported by....

The Model Engineering Specification (MES) – produced to define standards for building services for NHS projects

What was the mes
What was the MES?

  • The basic concept of the Model Engineering Specification was the provision of a set of documents which could be used to specify particular engineering applications found in NHS properties

  • The documents were intended to be quoted in contract documents in the same way that British and European standards are quoted.

  • They were read in conjunction with the relevant HTM and HBN documents

What was the mes1
What was the MES?

  • The various parts of the Model Engineering Specification covered all main aspects of a Building Services project, from general terms and conditions to technical sections for plant and equipment.

Historical approach2
Historical Approach

  • However, whilst the HTM and HBN documents have been revised periodically over the years, the MES was not and is currently archived as a working document:


The solution
The Solution

  • Although it is clear that the specific healthcare-based engineering elements covered in the old MES documents need reviewing and updating, it is not the intention to reproduce the Model Engineering Specification in its previous hard-copy format.

  • The Department of Health favour an ‘electronic’ approach to providing the new healthcare specific building services data.

  • Once completed, the new data will be available in two formats:

The solution1
The Solution

  • Option 1

  • Provide the healthcare specific clauses as an ‘add-on’ facility to an existing specification writing software application to ensure that healthcare projects produced are healthcare compatible and compliant.

  • Option 2

  • Provide an electronic ‘reference only’ version of the healthcare information, which NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts in England could view as a separate entity.

Option 1
Option 1

  • In order to incorporate the new healthcare clauses in electronic format, a suitable ‘host’ application needed to be found which had the correct infrastructure in place.

  • One such application is the National Engineering Specification (nes), which already has a large building services engineering database and existing sections that are ready to incorporate the new healthcare data:

Option 12
Option 1

  • Using an established specification writing tool to host the new healthcare information offers a number of advantages:

There is already an established infrastructure in place in which to easily slot in the new data.

2) A significant amount of the core engineering data required to create the healthcare specification is already available in the application.

3) There is the facility to set up master specifications once work is complete in order to save time on future projects.

4) There is an existing customer base of users who understand the way the product operates, reducing the learning curve for many.

Option 13
Option 1

  • The Department of Health have commissioned a consultancy to create the new healthcare content based on the original content of the MES and taking into account the information already available in the HTM and HBN documents.

  • This will then be combined with the core engineering elements already present in the nes database to produce a healthcare compliant specification.

  • This is best demonstrated by breaking down the MES into its component parts and correlating it with the content of the National Engineering Specification...

Option 14
Option 1

MES Part A – Standard General Conditions and Preliminary Clauses

  • Whilst historically the Model Engineering Specification had clauses for specifying standard general conditions and preliminaries contained in Part A of the document, it is considered that these are also out of date and can effectively be substituted by a companies own standard preliminary clauses.

  • However, if required, the ‘A’ sections present in the nes database can be used to specify general conditions and preliminaries...

Option 16
Option 1

MES Part B – General Clauses Common to Building Services Plant and Equipment

  • Part B of the Model Engineering Specification contained general building services clauses that were written to avoid having to repeat the same common services information several times in the specification

  • The National Engineering Specification takes a similar approach to specifying common clauses by containing them in one section...

Option 18
Option 1

MES Part C – Particular Technical Sections for Building Services Plant and Equipment

  • The Part C documents of the Model Engineering Specification covered specific service elements (e.g. Medical Gases, Generator Sets, Nurse Call Systems) and were used to set out the accepted basic standard of technical requirement for healthcare projects.

  • Part of this information already exists within the core engineering database of the National Engineering Specification, but where specific information is not included, additional clauses will be added to the database...

Option 19
Option 1

  • For example, Clause C05-02 of Model Engineering Specification Section C11 (Medical Gases) stated:

....Pipe sizes and manufacture to be to BS 2871 Part 1 Table X and to include the marking “DEG” or “degreased”, in addition to the marking requirements of BS 2871, to represent compliance with Element, 01 Clause 04.

Option 110
Option 1

  • nes contains clauses that cover the specification of copper pipework to BS EN 1057 (which has superseded BS 2871) in its existing database:

Option 111
Option 1

  • In instances where specific healthcare data is required that is not present in the existing nes database, it will be added as a new clause in the appropriate place.

  • For example, whilst the existing nes database includes a clause for specifying vacuum pumps, there is no clause for AGSS pumps.

  • A new nes clause will therefore be written and added to the database:

Option 113
Option 1

MES Part D – Detailed Description of the Works

  • Part D of the Model Engineering Specification contained detailed requirements and design descriptions that were not contained in the other parts of the specification. Typically it contained elements such as:

  • Scope of works for the project

  • Schedules of drawings

  • Performance and design requirements

  • Access to and description of site

  • Commissioning and acceptance requirements

  • Schedules of items and materials

Option 114
Option 1

MES Part D – Detailed Description of the Works contd\...

  • A large number of these Part D elements (such as site descriptions and commissioning requirements) are covered in the existing nes database.

  • For the elements that are not covered, there is facility within nes to input these as required...

Option 115
Option 1

  • Detailed design descriptions and scope can be inserted in Part 1 of each nes section under ‘System objectives’

Option 116
Option 1

  • The new healthcare clauses will contain additional references to the HTM documents

Option 117
Option 1

  • The equipment schedules present in the database can also be used to schedule items and materials

Option 118
Option 1

MES Designers Notes

  • For each MES section, a set of companion designers notes were provided for guidance purposes.

  • These designer notes are now covered by a combination of the enhanced designer information now given in the HTM’s and the on-screen guidance notes that accompany nes:

Option 119
Option 1

  • So... By adopting this methodology and applying it to the sections and schedules available in the nes database, you have the tools necessary to complete a healthcare compliant building services specification...

The solution2
The Solution

Health Building Notes (HBN)

nes core engineering clauses



Combined with

Health Technical Memoranda (HTM)

nes healthcare engineering clauses



Company standard general conditions and preliminary clauses


Option 2
Option 2

  • As an alternative to the incorporation of healthcare clauses into an existing specification writing tool, the Department of Health also expressed a desire to provide a ‘reference-only’ document, which the NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts could view separately from the fully editable specification package.

  • This option would be read-only, with no facility for editing, downloading or publishing the content but would act as an electronic library of requirements for the trusts to use as guidance for healthcare projects.

  • The chosen location for the read only content to be housed will be determined presently but among the options being considered are...

Option 21
Option 2

  • The Department of Health’s Knowledge Information Portal (KIP)

Option 22
Option 2

  • Using nes as the host, with a special read-only licence provided...


  • It is envisaged that roll-out of the healthcare information will commence in the first quarter of 2010.

  • The healthcare version of nes is planned to coincide with the release of the next generation of the software, which has been written to allow for the incorporation of industry specific content such as the healthcare compliant clauses and manufacturer’s data...

In summary
In Summary

  • The main aspects of the healthcare specification content work currently being completed are as follows:

The old MES documents are now considered out of date and have been archived by the DoH

2) The MES will now be replaced by new healthcare data, available in electronically in the following formats:

  • Healthcare engineering clauses hosted within the framework of a specification writing tool (nes) where it can be edited and published into specification format.

  • A ‘reference-only’ document, which the NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts could view separately from the fully editable specification package.


In summary1
In Summary

3) The core engineering and healthcare data, combined with the relevant HTM and HBN documents and company standard general conditions and preliminary clauses will allow users to produce healthcare compliant building services specifications.

4) These specifications can be set up as master documents for use in future projects.

5) It is planned to commence roll-out of the new healthcare clauses in the first quarter of 2010.


Thank you and questions