Considerations for Air Ventilation Systems in Hospitals

Each different type of building needs an adequate ventilation system, whether it is mechanical or a natural ventilation system. The reason for this is that air must be refreshed on a regular basis in order to remove toxic elements and replenish oxygen. They also important for reducing the impact of fire should a blaze break out in a particular property.

This last point is very valid in hospitals, where an adequate smoke ventilation system is of paramount importance to protect life. As it is very difficult to evacuate ill and injured patients and there is a lot of essential equipment being used in hospitals, the breakout of a fire can be absolutely devastating.

This is one of the most important considerations when designing a hospital ventilation system. Fire fighter access is paramount in hospital, as patient evacuation may not be the best initial option to implement. There is also the issue of open areas, atria, auditoriums and refractories, which might also require mechanical roof extraction and smoke curtains.

There are many different elements to these systems which may be necessary in hospitals, including BRE smoke shafts. These are generally used in buildings over eighteen metres tall and provide a smoke shaft adjacent to fire fighting shafts or stairwells.

Some of the equipment that is often used includes AOV roof vents, AOV louvres, extraction fans, fireproof cabling, smoke control panels and automatic opening doors. Roof ventilation may include AOV roof lights, smoke curtains and much more. Smoke curtains are used in order to isolate and channel the fire, smoke and heat and protect areas such as atria from their effects.

In addition to fire safety, it is also important to have efficient air ventilation systems in place, as they are essential in a hospital environment. This is because this particular type of building is prone to the development of and spread of diseases and infections.

In addition to human transfer of these diseases and infections, stagnant air can lead to the proliferation of bacteria and moisture, and the spread of contaminants including fungus, mould and bacteria can cause a number of health issues from minor infections right through to fatal ones.

There is also the need to restrict air movement between different departments in the hospital, and also there are numerous toxic and radioactive substances present in this kind of environment that need to be controlled. For this reason, ventilation systems often need to be quite sophisticated in their design and take into account number of factors.

For this reason a mix of natural and mechanical ventilation is often used in hospitals. Natural ventilation will ensure that a healthy air flow is present throughout the building which kills harmful bacteria unlike in artificially ventilated wards. In fact, natural ventilation will keep running costs down but make sure that bacteria has less chance to breathe and linger.

The mechanical aspect of hospital ventilation is specifically used in areas where there is a risk of contamination and the proliferation of disease by the spread of air flow between different departments. Again, mechanical ventilation is also absolutely essential in hospital fire strategies and for mechanical roof extraction in open areas.

These are just a few of the considerations to be taken into account when designing a hospital ventilation system that is effective and protects the health and lives of those in the premises.

From natural ventilation to ensure healthy air flow in wards, to mechanical ventilation to help in the case of a fire and smoke extraction, complex and well thought-out solutions are often required to ensure that these spaces remain as safe and healthy as possible.

Presenting: Chris Ronneseth – Adventure Travel Expert!

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Short Run CD Printing: Printing the Discs and Packaging

Printing the CDs for a Short Run CD Printing Project

There are 3 main methods that can be used to print a short run of CDs. If you’re doing them in-house then you will most likely be limited to the first option which is digital (inkjet) printing. A professional printing company will usually have screen printing and lithographic printing services on offer too. Each CD printing process has its strengths and weaknesses and we will go into more detail here:

Digitally printed CDs

A digital CD printing machine uses a similar printing method to your standard desktop inkjet printer. In fact, many modern home printers come with a CD tray that allows you to load an inkjet printable CD into it and run it through the same printing heads that would normally print onto paper. A professional digital CD printer is more of a dedicated machine that is set up to print only onto CDs and has an automated loading and unloading system for the discs. This system means that the machine can print up to 200 CDs unattended and, as printing with these machines tends to be quite slow, they can be left to print whilst others aspects of the project are attended to.

This CD printing process is only really suitable for small amounts of CDs as it is by far the slowest of the 3 main methods. The process speed is not helped by the fact that after the printing is completed, there is still a need for the application of a clear lacquer coating to protect the printed surface from moisture when handled. There are inkjet printable CDs on the market that claim to have a water resistant finish when printed but they are still not as effective and don’t look as good as a lacquered disc. On the plus side, this process can be used to print very high resolution images and the finished item can look fantastic when done right. There are also no fixed set up costs with digital CD printing which is great if you only need 50 discs.

Screen printing

CD screen printing is a very popular, widely used process for printing CDs. The process is an adaptation of the screen printing process used for many years to print onto paper products and, indeed, it has been adapted to allow printing onto all manner of surfaces to produce branded items such as mugs, t-shirts and USB memory sticks. As the name suggests, the process involves the manufacture of printing screens whereby each is used to print a different colour onto the disc. A CD screen printer has 5 printing stations and by using a disc that has been previously printed with a base colour, it is possible to produce a print with 6 different colours involved. The machine is basically a rotating platen and as each colour is applied at each station, the disc passes under a UV light which cures the ink before the next colour is applied.

This process can only be used to print areas of solid colour and is not ideal for printing photographic images or subtle colour gradients. Where artwork has been specifically designed to use this printing technique, though, the results can be truly outstanding especially with the availability of fluorescent and metallic UV sensitive inks. The use of super fine mesh screens means that the print is sharp, crisp and has an amazing texture to it. When set, the ink is very robust and waterproof and is not easily damaged through rough handling of the disc.

When it comes to short run CD printing and using the screen printing technique, there are fixed costs involved, namely the screens and the films used to make the screens. Therefore, it is not the ideal process to use for less than 100 discs if cost is an issue with the project. However, the more discs that are screen printed, the lower the unit cost gets, plus there’s the added bonus that once the screens are made they can be reused for reprints.

Lithographic (Offset) printing –

This is another very popular method for short run CD printing projects. A lithographic printing machine doesn’t have a revolving platform like the screen printer; instead it has revolving cylinders. The cylinder that applies the ink to the CD has a rubber blanket wrapped around it which rolls over the CD and transfers the ink onto the disc surface. The lithographic printing method is perfect for printing complex photographic images onto a disc and also for printing images that have subtle colour gradients, but it is not ideal for printing images with large areas of solid colour as attempting to maintain a consistent solid colour over a large area can result in a patchy appearance on the finished print.

As with screen printing, there are fixed costs involved with lithographic printing as printing plates need to be made up for each set of artwork used. Jobs requiring less than 100 discs can work out to be more expensive per unit than if the digital printing process was used instead. But, once more, as the job number increases, so the unit cost will fall and if a re-print of the job is required then the printing plates can be kept and re-used.

Printing the Paper Parts

When it comes to printing the paper parts for a short run CD printing project, if you take your time and do it carefully, it is possible to produce some very professional looking prints. The print quality of a relatively cheap desktop inkjet printer is usually excellent.

Printing CD Jewel Case Paper Parts

You can buy correctly sized templates online for making paper parts to go into CD jewel cases, or you can simply buy some high quality A4 size semi-gloss photo paper or inkjet printable silk paper stock at about 150gsm. The advantage with buying templates for the rear tray card are that the spine edges will be scored to make them easier to fold but this is something that you can do yourself if you’re careful. The front booklet can be a folded sheet printed on both sides to make up 4 pages and any more pages can be added if required and stapled along the spine. As long as you take your time with the cutting (using a guillotine and not scissors) and are careful with the stapling then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to come up with something very attractive.

There are a couple of things to be mindful of when printing paper parts for a CD jewel case, such as:

The front booklet can consist of 2 pages if you print on both sides of a single panel which is 120mm square, and 4 pages if you print on both sides of a double panel 240mm x 120mm which is then folded. After this, the booklet has to consist of multiples of 4 pages due to the way they are constructed. Take a look at a CD jewel case booklet from your CD collection where there are more than 4 pages and you will see why. One booklet sheet 240mm x 120mm folded in half, makes 4 pages, but to add another sheet where the spine is stapled, you must add another 4 pages. The content is generally designed with this requirement in mind.

The rear tray card can be printed on both sides but then you will need a clear CD holding tray in your case to be able to see the print on the inside. Also, the folded spine strips are very thin and it can be difficult to get a good quality folded edge without carefully scoring the inside first. Any text printed along the spine needs to be small enough to fit and centrally placed for the best quality appearance.

Printing CD Card Wallets

Once again, you can buy templates to make your own CD card wallets which can be printed and then “popped out” of the template as the edges are partially pre-cut for you. You can also print your own on 250 – 300 gsm silk or semi-gloss A4 size card. The tabs can be scored, folded and glued using a strong glue to produce perfectly good results.

This is all very well if you don’t have a tight deadline for the project, but printing, cutting out, folding and sticking can take a while and if you don’t have time to make a good job of it, get the professionals to do it instead. They will have automated processes for producing consistently high quality packaging, quickly.

Considerations to Make When Designing Car Park Ventilation Systems

There are many different types of ventilation systems including natural, mechanical and smoke ones. Each of these fulfils a different purpose and is necessary or desirable for particular types of structures. For car parks in particular, mechanical and smoke ventilation systems are both very important and fulfil important roles.

First of all, the installation of fire safety systems is very important. These of course include smoke ventilation systems and detection devices in order to allow any fires that have started in the building to be detected and extinguished in a swift manner. A smoke ventilation system will also make sure that the blaze is kept under control until the fire service has arrived.

A car park in its very nature is very risky area as there is very little natural ventilation in most cases. They are also enclosed which can pose a significant risk to human life and damage property or vehicles which are kept in the car park. This is where smoke ventilation plays a very important role.

Some of the systems that are put in place in a car park for the purpose of smoke ventilation are smoke clearance systems as they will help remove fumes caused by the fire in order to protect human life. They will also facilitate the task of fire services when they arrive to put out the blaze.

As there is little natural ventilation to help naturally draw the smoke out of the building there will often need to be a large number of smoke clearance systems in order to remove large volumes of the substance as quickly and efficiently as possible.

There have been issues in the past with only the most basic smoke ventilation systems being used as part of a complete car park ventilation system. Unfortunately their performance has been inadequate and has posed a risk to human life and the integrity of property kept in the building.

There is therefore an onus on car park owners in recent years to only choose installations by companies which ensure quality in their ventilation systems. It is not only necessary to adhere to health and safety laws in regards but also that any equipment used is efficient and delivers maximum protection of life and property.

Another aspect of designing a ventilation system is the installation of mechanical ventilation systems for everyday use. Car parks are busy environments that are full of toxic gases and exhaust fumes from the vehicles that are driving around in them. As there is a minimum of natural ventilation typically present this can be a threat to human health.

It is therefore important to make sure that an adequate system is put in place in order to remove all the exhaust fumes that are present in this kind of environment as quickly as possible. Considerations that also need to be made include designing tall ceilings in order to be able to fit large items of this equipment in order to remove and refresh the air in the building.

Examples of components in car parks include ventilation induction fans and impulse fans which will work together to push large volumes of air and exhaust fumes towards extraction smoke shafts.

There is also a commercial and financial concern over using certain types of equipment for car park ventilation, as the presence of excessive ducting can mean ceilings are much higher, limiting the use of space and therefore limiting profitability.

Using the likes of induction fans and smoke extraction smoke shafts will actually maximise use of space and therefore increase the commercial returns that any given car park makes.

These are just a few of the considerations that need to be kept in mind when installing an efficient car park ventilation system. Making sure that effective smoke ventilation systems are in place in order to adhere to legal requirements, right through to choosing the right equipment so there is as much space saved as possible, are essential to ensure safety, efficiency and good financial return.

Good Trade / Bad Trade – The Importance of Knowing the Difference

In business, money isn’t just traded for time, but also for leverage and opportunity. All our decisions involve some form of trade – be it good or bad. The question we have to ask ourselves it what is ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Trade?

In the business world, not all trade is created equal. There’s good trade… and there’s also bad.

Many explanations have been given on what these two definitions are, hopefully I can explain it to you to give you a better picture of what it truly is. I would define good trade as a decision that has a clear, long-term orientation towards a business objective or intent. In contrast, bad trades often focus on immediate gratification at the expense of the business. This is especially true when the business could use the resource to maintain operations that increase its success in the long term.

Bad Trade – A Helpful Example
Blackberry used to be one of the world’s leading mobile phone companies. BlackBerry made a decision to not introduce phones with touchscreen capabilities. At the time, they held a 20% share of phones shipped in quarter 2009, so perhaps they felt confident enough in their popularity to resist the growing trend for onscreen keypads.

They chose to maintain the ‘status quo’ by asserting that the corporate market would enable them to hold on to their market share in the future. In the short-term, it was a smart choice. They saved money through minimising additional R&D spend to develop new products. However, the long-term scenario proved to be very different.

The emerging younger generation of workers showed a distinct preference for onscreen keyboards and the common touch screen that is so popular today. Because of this, BlackBerry’s market share shrank from 20% to just 0.4% in 2015(1). It’s a classic example of a bad trade decision – in this instance of choosing not to innovate beyond the ‘comfort zone’. There may have been an initial benefit, but it was at the expense of the long-term profitability of the company.

Taking Risks in Business:
Sometimes, good trade requires both courage and an element of risk in order to see some sort of positive outcome. However, risk can be mitigated to an extent by taking proper strategic steps to address possible scenarios that may play out.