A scoping review has been performed to identify the need for humidification in care facilities. The research question has an origin in arriving at more sustainable care facilities as humidification is an energy intensive activity in such facilities. The basis for minimum and maximum levels of relative humidity as currently applied was found to be lacking substantiation and seemed to rely more on past practical assumptions that have been kept since. This project had the intention to provide a more scientific basis by capturing information on the topic as available in literature. The option how to humidify in the most energy-efficient way was a project that ran in parallel. The scoping review addressed a wide range of topics, but all related to humidity. The analysis made a distinction in identifying the effect of humidity on micro-organisms and viruses, functioning of medical devices, human physiology and well-being and comfort. The analysis was done first by analyzing the title and abstract. In the last step the selected articles were read by two members of the team and scored with the help of a rubric. The outcome shows that the current basis for requiring relative humidity levels of around 50% in care facilities, as generally is the point-of-departure, has little to no support in the peer-reviewed scientific information that was analyzed. The research as available on this specific topic was found to be scarce, which further limits the options to provide for fixed values at which relative humidity levels should be kept. Based on the available information currently a minimum level of 30% is advised when the distinguished topics on which humidity may have an influence are taken into account. An upper level based on the available information cannot be provided, though in the context of active humidification this generally is less of an issue. For specific rooms more strict criteria may apply, e.g. in case of use of specific medical devices with specific humidity conditions defined by the manufacturer. Overall, it seems, with respect to relative humidity, humidification and sustainability can be better balanced than currently is the case.
|Translated title of the contribution||Humidification requirements in care facilities: knowledge base|
|Place of Publication||Delft|
|Publication status||Published - 18 May 2021|
- care facility
- literature review