HVAC design for hospitals requires a good understanding of how spaces are used, the different services that will be provided, and building codes governing the facilities. The overall goal is to provide safe and comfortable spaces but unlike other facilities, hospitals face energy efficiency challenges of their equipment as well as providing strong ventilation and air quality control.

Hospitals consume much more energy than similar sized facilities. Proper ventilation requires a large quantity of outside air, and this presents higher energy costs. To help in the design of hospital HVAC systems Facilities Guidelines Institute (FGI) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning (ASHRAE) offer specific guidance on total air changes, outside air changes and how to fully exhaust spaces. The bottom line is that without a well-planned ventilation system hospitals leave themselves exposed to the spread of pathogens and potential patient infections.