TuffWrap® Construction Dust Barriers and ICRA Standards
Can Temporary Walls be used to meet ICRA standards?
The short answer is YES.
TuffWrap®’s services become an option when there is a need for temporary dust barriers and ante-rooms. Contractors and facility managers will need to review the construction project carefully to understand what dust containment solution is required for their healthcare facility.
What is Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA)?
Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) refers to a procedure that all healthcare facilities must engage during any construction project within occupied spaces. This procedure helps to establish appropriate infection control measures based upon the nature of the project.
When someone first asked the question: can TuffWrap®’s temporary walls be used to meet ICRA standards? We weren’t sure how to answer. We hadn’t heard the term ICRA before, and we certainly didn’t want to promise something we couldn’t provide. We began to research what ICRA is, what it means, and how it relates to the dust and debris containment systems we provide. Here are the questions we researched and what we learned:
Does your healthcare construction project need to implement ICRA procedures?
All healthcare facilities have both obligation and freedom when it comes to the application of ICRA procedures during construction. Their obligation is to have a plan in place to systematically evaluate what kind of infection controls will be required for every project – large or small – and enforce them.
Yet, healthcare facilities also have freedom to make decisions on the specific infection controls they put in place and how often they update or revise them. This means that the procedure that works for infection control in one facility may not work in the exact same way for another facility. It is up to each facility to make its own decisions.
There are a lot of moving pieces involved in ICRA implementation, some best practices in healthcare construction include efficient investigation, planning, and communication prior to the project execution. All of which we can assist your team in implementing.
How does the ICRA evaluate a construction project?
The level of ICRA procedure ranges from Class I to Class IV.
- Class I ICRA is simply ensuring that the people involved in the construction project are aware of potential contamination and that they take the minor steps necessary to avoid it.
- Class II ICRA calls for a more careful analysis of infection risk concerns, necessitating more significant measures by facility staff and contractors.
- Class III and Class IV ICRA both involve extensive steps and procedures to manage the risk of infection/contamination during construction.
When does dust containment become important?
If a situation calls for Class III or IV ICRA, this is when there will be the need for temporary dust containment walls, HVAC alterations to ensure negative air pressure in the work areas, temporary ante-rooms to act as transition points between work and clean areas, and regular monitoring of dust, air quality, and overall compliance with safety and cleanliness standards.
How does TuffWrap help meet ICRA standards?
Most ICRA guidelines call for temporary barriers made of polyethylene sheeting and/or sheetrock. While a studded wall of sheetrock provides a barrier, TuffWrap’s C.O.R.E. Frameless Walls® and Hybrid Walls may also qualify for adequate ICRA Class III and IV expectations, pending approval by the contractors and facility managers involved with the project.
Temporary dust barriers need to be fully-sealed, impermeable, and able to withstand negative air pressure situations. Most people naturally think that a framed and hard-surfaced wall is the best solution. Yet, that’s not necessarily the case. Contact us to see how TuffWrap’s temporary walls can be just as tightly sealed (if not more fully so) and impermeable. As an extra incentive, TuffWrap’s temporary walls tend to be less expensive, cleaner, more flexible, and a customizable solution.