Locations: University of California San Francisco, Kaiser Permanente Mission Bay and University of California San Francisco – Neurosciences research building

Project launch: 2015-2019

Project : Freestanding RF shield packages

Seismic compliance and acceptance by California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) can be challenging for MRI shield vendors.

Coordination with the architect, state and user to adequately define the solution requires a significant investment in time and resources for all.  Since these projects involve structural review, it has been common for shield vendors to put this burden on the construction companies to provide and design a structure that met these requirements and then the shield vendor would use that structure for support and avoid a large majority of the seismic compliance responsibility.

Although this may have been able to keep the price of the MRI shield lower, it increased the price of the outside construction requirements. It also often created logistics issues for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) sub-contractors to ensure all the needed services for the MRI Scan room could enter and exit as required between these structural requirements.

Furthermore, it often would have an impact on the important acoustic noise reduction as special acoustic consultants would need to be brought in to find a way to minimize the amount of this noise that would travel through this structure to other areas of the hospital.

For a growing number of other California projects, IMEDCO has developed an OSHPD, structurally-compliant shield design that is essentially free-standing, requiring no structural support for the RF portion of the MRI shield and providing a remarkably effective acoustic noise reduction factor that compliments outside noise consultant models. 

In San Francisco alone over the past three years, IMEDCO has successfully designed and installed this concept for Kaiser Permanente Mission Bay Hospital, the UCSF Premier hospital and we are currently working on the UCSF Neurosciences project. 

This approach has also been successfully installed in other Seismic Design Categories Class C, D, E and F sites throughout the U.S. and Canada.