San Andreas. The fault line running through California that most Americans know — with much help from Hollywood — due to the horrific damage it has caused in modern history. Truth is, potentially damaging seismic activity is not isolated to the West coast. 74 percent of all states in the contiguous US are in moderate to high risk for seismic activity and over the past year there were 19,103 earthquakes recorded with a magnitude of 1.5 or greater. 

It appears that many Healthcare Architects are now starting to recommend that hospitals throughout the United States include seismic consideration within their structural requirements. This trend may be the result of changes in the categories the hospitals may fall in (such as disaster centers, critical care, university and research) or simply conservative designs that are intended to protect hospitals for “just in case” reasons.

Regardless, this trend is now affecting the RF shielding industry. It is forcing shield vendors to provide certifications that their designs will meet these requirements. These certifications include Professional Engineering review and site-specific structural analysis on the entire shield structure, inclusive of material selection. In order to acquire this certification, a full explanation of support methods (external or those that are made part of the shield or infra-structure) is required. These explanations often will require factoring into the lateral forces creating when the frame and/or any items attached to the frame during a seismic event are addressed. These items include but are not limited to MRI vendor components (cable trays and quench lines), full internal MEP requirements and the interior finishes.

IMEDCO follows state and local standards in addition to optimal design models predicated by the machine manufacturer requiring a clear understanding of existing or planned site conditions (including seismic), user needs, and constructability.  

From preliminary designs, to complete shielding specifications, the IMEDCO team is ready to support your efforts. Contact us today so we can help make your MRI installation successful, in compliance with regulatory statutes, and resilient to the effects of seismic events.