Figure: 25 TAC §133.169(c)


Area Designation Air
to adjacent
air changes
of outdoor
air per
total air
per hour4
All air
directly to
by means of
room units6
temperature 8
(degrees F)
cystoscopic rooms 9,16
Out 4 20 ---- No 30-60 68-73 17
Airborne infection isolation
surgical rooms
In 4 15 Yes No 30-60 68-73
Isolation anteroom (surgery) In/Out 20 ---- 10 Yes No ---- ----
Delivery room 9 Out 3 15 ---- No 30-60 68-73
Recovery room 9 ---- 2 6 ---- No 30-60 70-75
Critical and intensive care ---- 2 6 ---- No 30-60 70-75
Treatment room 10 ---- ---- 6 ---- ---- ---- 75
Trauma room 10 Out 3 15 ---- No 30-60 70-75
Anesthesia gas storage In ---- 8 Yes ---- ---- ----
Endoscopy Out 2 6 ---- No 30-60 68-73
Bronchoscopy In 2 12 Yes No 30-60 68-73
Intermediate care ---- 2 6 18 ---- No 30-60 70-75
Newborn intensive care ---- 2 6 ---- No 30-60 72-78
Emergency suite waiting In 2 12 Yes 19 ---- ---- 70-75
Triage In 2 12 Yes 19 ---- ---- 70-75
Radiology waiting In 2 12 Yes 19 ---- ---- 70-75
Procedure room Out 4 20 ---- No 30-60 70-75
Laser eye room Out 4 20 ---- No 30-60 70-75
X-ray (Surgical/Critical
care, catheterization)
Out 3 15 ---- No 30-60 70-75
Patient room ---- 2 6 18 ---- ---- ---- 70-75
Toilet room In ---- 10 Yes ---- ---- 70-75
Newborn nursery suite ---- 2 6 ---- No 30-60 72-78
Protective environment
room 11
Out 2 12 ---- No ---- 70-75
Protective environment
anteroom 11
In/In 21 ---- 10 ---- No ---- ----
Airborne infection isolation
room 12
In 2 12 Yes No ---- 70-75
Isolation alcove or
anteroom 12
In/Out 20 ---- 10 Yes No ---- ----
Labor, delivery, recovery
---- 2 6 18 ---- ---- ---- 70-75
Labor, delivery, recovery,
---- 2 6 18 ---- ---- ---- 70-75
Patient corridor ---- ---- 2 ---- ---- ---- ----
Radiology 13
X-ray (diagnostic and
---- ---- 6 ---- ---- ---- 75
Darkroom In ---- 10 Yes No ---- ----
Fluoroscopy In 2 6 ---- ---- ---- 75
Laboratory General 13 ---- 2 6 ---- ---- ---- 75
Bacteriology In 2 6 Yes No ---- 75
Biochemistry 13 In 2 6 Yes No ---- 75
Cytology In 2 6 Yes No ---- 75
Glass washing In ---- 10 Yes ---- ---- 75
Histology In 2 6 Yes No ---- 75
Microbiology 13 In 2 6 Yes No ---- 75
Nuclear medicine In 2 6 Yes No ---- 75
Pathology In 2 6 Yes No ---- 75
Serology In 2 6 Yes No ---- 75
Sterilizing In ---- 10 Yes No ---- 75
Media transfer Out 2 4 ---- ---- ---- ----
Autopsy room In ---- 12 Yes No ---- ----
Nonrefrigerated body-
holding room
In ---- 10 Yes ---- ---- 70
Pharmacy Out ---- 4 ---- ---- ---- 75
Preparation/anteroom Out 2 6 ---- No ---- 75
IV hood room Out 2 6 ---- No ---- 75
Chemotherapy room-fume
In 2 6 Yes No ---- 75
Examination room ---- ---- 6 ---- ---- ---- 75
Medication room Out ---- 4 ---- ---- ---- 75
Treatment room ---- ---- 6 ---- ---- ---- 75
Physical therapy and
In ---- 6 ---- ---- ---- 75
Soiled workroom or holding In ---- 10 Yes No ---- ----
Clean workroom or holding Out ---- 4 ---- ---- ---- ----
EO sterilizer room 15 In ---- 10 Yes No 30-60 75
Sterilizer equipment room 2 In ---- 10 Yes No ---- ----
Central medical and
surgical supply
Soiled or decontamination
In ---- 6 Yes No ---- 68-73
Clean workroom Out ---- 4 ---- No 30-60 75
Sterile storage Out ---- 4 ---- ---- 70 Max ----
Equipment storage ---- ---- 2 ---- ---- ---- ----
Food preparation center 14 ---- ---- 10 ---- No ---- ----
Ware washing In ---- 10 Yes No ---- ----
Dietary day storage In ---- 2 ---- ---- ---- ----
Laundry, general ---- ---- 10 Yes ---- ---- ----
Soiled linen (sorting and
In ---- 10 Yes No ---- ----
Clean linen storage Out ---- 2 ---- ---- ---- ----
Soiled linen and trash
chute room
In ---- 10 Yes No ---- ----
Bedpan room In ---- 10 Yes ---- ---- ----
Bathroom In ---- 10 Yes ---- ---- 75
Janitor’s closet In ---- 10 Yes No ---- ----
Administrative and
support service
---- ---- 2 ---- ---- 30 Min 68-73

Notes applicable to Table 3:
“Ventilation Requirements for Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities”

1 The ventilation rates in this table cover ventilation for comfort, as well as for asepsis and odor control in areas of acute care hospitals that directly affect patient care and are determined based on health care facilities being predominantly "No Smoking" facilities. Where smoking may be allowed, ventilation rates will need adjustment. Areas where specific ventilation rates are not given in the table shall be ventilated in accordance with American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62.1, 2004 edition, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, and American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Handbook of Applications, 2003 edition. Specialized patient care areas, including organ transplant units, burn units, specialty procedure rooms, etc. shall have additional ventilation provisions for air quality control as may be appropriate. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and/or National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) criteria require special ventilation requirements or employee health and safety within health care facilities.

2 Design of the ventilation system shall provide air movement which is generally from clean to less clean areas. If any form of variable air volume or load shedding system is used for energy conservation, it must not compromise the corridor-to-room pressure balancing relationships or the minimum air changes required by the table. Except where specifically permitted by exit corridor plenum provisions of NFPA 90A, 2002 edition, the volume of infiltration or exfiltration shall be the volume necessary to maintain a minimum of 0.01 inch water gauge.

3 To satisfy exhaust needs, replacement air from the outside is necessary. Table 3 does not attempt to describe specific amounts of outside air to be supplied to individual spaces except for certain areas such as those listed. Distribution of the outside air, added to the system to balance required exhaust, shall be as required by good engineering practice. Minimum outside air quantities shall remain constant while the system is in operation. In variable volume systems, the minimum outside air setting on the air handling unit shall be calculated using the ASHRAE Standard 62.1, 2004 edition.

4 Number of air changes may be reduced when the room is unoccupied if provisions are made to ensure that the number of air changes indicated is reestablished any time the space is being utilized. Adjustments shall include provisions so that the direction of air movement shall remain the same when the number of air changes is reduced. Areas not indicated as having continuous directional control may have ventilation systems shut down when space is unoccupied and ventilation is not otherwise needed, if the maximum infiltration or exfiltration permitted in Note 2 is not exceeded and if adjacent pressure balancing relationships are not compromised. Air quantity calculations must account for filter loading such that the indicated air change rates are provided up until the time of filter change-out. The minimum total air change requirements shall be based on the supply air quantity in positive pressure rooms and the exhaust air quantity in negative pressure rooms. Air change requirements indicated are minimum values. Higher values shall be used when required to maintain indicated room conditions (temperature and humidity, based on the cooling load of the space: lights, equipment, people, exterior walls and windows, etc.).

5 Air from areas with contamination and/or odor problems shall be exhausted to the outside and not recirculated to other areas. Note that individual circumstances may require special consideration for air exhaust to the outside, e.g. in intensive care units in which patients with pulmonary infection are treated, and rooms for burn patients.

6 Recirculating room heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) units refers to those local units that are used primarily for heating and cooling of air, and not disinfection of air. Because of cleaning difficulty and potential for buildup of contamination, recirculating room units shall not be used in areas marked "No." However, for airborne infection control, air may be recirculated within individual isolation rooms if filters with a maximum efficiency rating value of 17 or higher are used. The maximum efficiency rating value (MERV) is a standard of ASHRAE, Standard 52.2, 1999 edition. Isolation and intensive care unit rooms may be ventilated by reheat induction units in which only the primary air supplied from a central system passes through the reheat unit. Gravity-type heating or cooling units such as radiators or convectors shall not be used in operating rooms and other special care areas. Recirculating devices with 99.97% efficiency filters may have potential uses in existing facilities as interim, supplemental environmental controls to meet requirements for the control of airborne infectious agents. Limitations in design must be recognized. The design of either portable or fixed systems should prevent stagnation and short circuiting of airflow. The supply and exhaust locations should direct clean air to areas where health care workers are likely to work, across the infectious source, and then to the exhaust, so the health care worker is not in a position between the infectious source and the exhaust location. The design of such systems should also allow for easy access for scheduled preventive maintenance and cleaning.

7 The ranges listed are the minimum and maximum limits where control is specifically needed. The maximum and minimum limits are not intended to be independent of a space’s associated temperature. The relative humidity is expected to be at the lower end of the range when the temperature is at the higher end, and vice versa.

8 Where temperature ranges are indicated, the systems shall be capable of maintaining the rooms at any point within the range. A single figure indicates a heating or cooling capacity of at least the indicated temperature. This is usually applicable when patients may be undressed and require a warmer environment. Additional heating may be required in these areas to maintain temperature range. Nothing in these rules shall be construed as precluding the use of temperatures lower than those noted when the patients' comfort and medical conditions make lower temperatures desirable. Unoccupied areas such as storage rooms shall have temperatures appropriate for the function intended.

9 NIOSH Criteria Documents regarding Occupational Exposure to Waste Anesthetic Gases and Vapors, and Control of Occupational Exposure to Nitrous Oxide indicate a need for both local exhaust (scavenging) systems and general ventilation of the areas in which the respective gases are utilized.

10 The term trauma room as used here is the operating room space in the emergency department or other trauma reception area that is used for emergency surgery. The first aid room and/or "emergency room" used for initial treatment of accident victims may be ventilated as noted for the "treatment room." Treatment rooms used for bronchoscopy shall be treated as bronchoscopy rooms. Treatment rooms used for cryosurgery procedures with nitrous oxide shall contain provisions for exhausting waste gases.

11 The protective environment airflow design specifications protect the patient from common environmental airborne infectious microbes (i.e., Aspergillus spores). These special ventilation areas shall be designed to provide directed airflow from the cleanest patient care area to less clean areas. These rooms shall be protected with filters with a MERV rating of 17 or higher in the supply airstream. These interrupting filters protect patient rooms from maintenance-derived release of environmental microbes from the ventilation system components. Recirculation 99.97% efficiency filters can be used to increase the equivalent room air exchanges. Constant volume airflow is required for consistent ventilation for the protected environment. If the facility determines that airborne infection isolation is necessary for protective environment patients, an anteroom shall be provided. Rooms with reversible airflow provisions for the purpose of switching between protective environment and airborne infection isolation functions are not acceptable.

12 The infectious disease isolation room described here is to be used for isolating the airborne spread of infectious diseases, such as measles, varicella, or tuberculosis. The design of airborne infection isolation rooms should include the provision for normal patient care during periods not requiring isolation precautions. Supplemental recirculating devices may be used in the patient room, to increase the equivalent room air exchanges; however, such recirculating devices do not provide the outside air requirements. Air may be recirculated within individual isolation rooms if filters with a MERV rating of 17 or higher are used. Exhaust systems for infectious isolation rooms shall exhaust no other areas or rooms. Rooms with reversible airflow provisions for the purpose of switching between protective environment and AII functions are not acceptable.

13 When required, appropriate hoods and exhaust devices for the removal of noxious gases or chemical vapors shall be provided. Laboratory hoods shall meet the following general standards.
     1. Have an average face velocity of at least 75 feet per minute.
     2. Be connected to an exhaust system to the outside which is separate from the building exhaust system.
     3. Have an exhaust fan located at the discharge end of the system.
     4. Have an exhaust duct system of noncombustible corrosion-resistant material as needed to meet the planned usage of the hood.

Laboratory hoods shall meet the following special standards:

1. Fume hoods and their associated equipment in the air stream, intended for use with perchloric acid and other strong oxidants, shall be constructed of stainless steel or other material consistent with special exposures, and be provided with a water wash and drain system to permit periodic flushing of duct and hood. Electrical equipment intended for installation within the duct shall be designed and constructed to resist penetration by water. Lubricants and seals shall not contain organic materials. When perchloric acid or other strong oxidants are only transferred from one container to another, standard laboratory fume hoods and associated equipment may be used in lieu of stainless steel construction. Fume hood intended for use with radioactive isotopes shall be constructed of stainless steel or other material suitable for the particular exposure and shall comply with National Fire Protection Association 801, Facilities for Handling Radioactive Materials, 2003 edition (NFPA 801).


2. In new installations and construction or major renovation work, each hood used to process infectious or radioactive materials shall have a minimum face velocity of 150 feet per minute with suitable static pressure operated dampers and alarms to alert staff of fan shutdown. Each hood shall have filters with an efficiency of 99.97% (based on the dioctyl-phtalate test method) in the exhaust stream, and be designed and equipped to permit the removal, disposal, and replacement of contaminated filters. Filters shall be as close to the hood as practical to minimize duct contamination. Hoods that process radioactive materials shall meet the requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency.

14 Food preparation centers shall have ventilation systems whose air supply mechanisms are interfaced appropriately with exhaust hood controls or relief vents so that exfiltration or infiltration to or from exit corridors does not compromise the exit corridor restrictions of NFPA 90A, 2002 edition, the pressure requirements of NFPA 96, 2001 edition, or the maximum defined in the table. The number of air changes may be reduced or varied to any extent required for odor control when the space is not in use.

15 The space that houses ethylene oxide (EO) sterilizers shall be designed to:

1. provide a dedicated local exhaust system with adequate capture velocity of 200 feet per minute to allow for the most effective installation of an air handling system, i.e., exhaust over sterilizer door, atmospheric exhaust vent for safety valve, exhaust at sterilizer, drain and exhaust for the aerator, and multiple load station;
2. provide exhaust in EO source areas such as service/aeration areas;
3. ensure that general airflow is away from sterilizer operator(s);
4. provide a dedicated exhaust duct system for EO. The exhaust outlet to the atmosphere should be at least 25 feet away from any air intake; and
5. meet OSHA requirements.

16 Differential pressure shall be a minimum of 0.01 inch water gauge. If alarms are installed, allowances shall be made to prevent nuisance alarms of monitoring devices.

17 Some surgeons may require room temperatures that are outside of the indicated range. All operating room design conditions shall be developed in consultation with surgeons, anesthesiologists, infection control and nursing staff.

18 Total air changes per room for patient rooms, intermediate care, labor/delivery/recovery rooms, and labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum rooms may be reduced to four when supplemental heating and/or cooling systems (radiant heating and cooling, baseboard heating, etc.) are used.

19 In a ventilation system that recirculates air, filters with a MERV rating of 17 or higher can be used in lieu of exhausting the air from these spaces to the outside. In this application, the return air shall be passed through the HEPA filters before it is introduced into any other space.

20 Air movement shall be IN to the isolation anteroom from the adjacent corridor and OUT from the anteroom to the adjacent isolation room.

21 Air movement shall be IN to the protective environment anteroom from the adjacent corridor and IN to the anteroom from the adjacent protective environment room.