An architect’s guide to X-ray room requirements

The Architect’s Guide to X-ray Room Design Requirements for Radiology / Imaging Rooms in Hospitals

Radiology and Radiography are both important aspects of the healthcare industry in terms of diagnosing patients and providing medical care. Radiology is important as it provides a 3D view of internal organs and tissue, whereas radiography is used for X-ray scans which can help detect certain aberrations in tissues and bones. An X-ray room will require specific features in order to provide these services safely and efficiently.Modular Fixed X-Ray Screens - Raybloc X-Ray Protection

What is an X-ray Room for Imaging and Radiology?

Also called a “Radiology room” or “Radiographic Imaging room”, an X-ray room is a designated space for various X-ray procedures. It must provide the appropriate space for radiographers to perform procedures while remaining a safe space for patients and staff. As the space is designated for specific procedures, most X-ray rooms are as small as possible to save space for other medical departments. Therefore, architects must utilise the space effectively without sacrificing the quality of care or application of procedures.

What is the Minimum Radiology Room Requirement for Radiation Shielding?

There is no simple answer to this as the requirements for radiation shielding depend on a multitude of factors, including the distance from the shielding area to the radiation source, the duration the machine is active, and the frequency of which it is used. However, as a minimum, the lowest equivalence of lead that Raybloc will manufacture on our panelling and doors is code 3; equivalent to 1.32mm of lead. It is only in dental and veterinary X ray rooms where the lead shielding required is ever less than 1mm of lead; in this instance, Knauf Safeboard is often used as an alternative to lead-lined panels as this features a lead equivalence of 0.5mm.

X-ray rooms for hospitals such as those used for radiology and radiography procedures generally require more within the range of 1.8mm Pb to 2.65mm Pb, the equivalent of code 4 to code 6. To find out the exact lead shielding required for your X-ray room, an expert medical physicist known as a Radiation Protection Adviser will be required to calculate the requirements and to ensure radiation exposure is kept to a minimum.

The Optimal Medical X-ray Room Layout

At Raybloc, we recommend X-ray rooms be placed in the lowest part of a building to reduce the possibility of radiation travelling through the floor. If you have no choice but to locate the X-ray room on an upper level of the building you may require lead lining to the floor area – An RPA report will be required to determine the levels of protection and location of the lead lining.

Secondly, the most crucial area of the X-ray/CT room is the control area. From here, the radiologist should have sight of the patient through the screen and operate the equipment. This area must remain protected with lead-lined screens, windows, walls, and doors. This is particularly essential if the radiologist performs tests regularly.

Space is another factor to consider. The X-ray room must be attributed to the system itself and include the following components:

  • A power generator
  • X-ray tube
  • Collimator
  • Tube stand
  • Radiograph
  • Radiographic table

Always ensure the room dimensions are approximately 16 meters squared. But if the room is to host unique processes, then consider it on the individual basis of its purpose and requirements. Lastly, we recommend doors have 1.5 meters of clearing access unless you install sliding doors.

X-ray Room Doors

X-ray room doors should be lead-lined with BS EN 12588 standards. In keeping with these standards, the doors will contain a certain thickness of lead, this level will vary dependent on the application. The higher the dosage of radiation the thicker the lead.

Raybloc manufactures bespoke X-ray protective lead-lined door sets. Our doors are constructed to the latest hygiene regulations (NHS HTM 58) in infection control and are suitable for use across medical, veterinary, and radioactive environments. Our radiation-protective doorsets are fire tested to both FD30 and FD60 regulations, this includes our PVC encapsulated/post-formed doors and flush-mounted warning lights. Custom features can be included with exact dimensions while maintaining the doors meet the existing interior.

X-ray Room Walls

The level of shielding required in the walls is determined by an RPA and will differ dependent upon the usage of the room. For example, dental X-ray rooms will generally use Code 3 lead whereas a CT room could be between Code 5 – 7. For applications which require over 9mm of lead sheet, we construct these walls using lead chevron bricks.

If you’re unable to afford lead-lining within all aspects of the room protection, the recommended concrete equivalent is between four and six inches of thickness. Raybloc offers lead-lined panels, including 12.5mm lead-backed plasterboard, plywood and MDF.

The standard sizes for our lead lined boards are 2400 x 600mm to effectively support the weight of the lead sheet. These can be cut down on-site to the required dimensions for the wall or ceiling.

X-ray Windows/Operator Screens

The vital window is the internal screen between the control room and the imaging room. It must be large enough for radiographers to have sight of the patient and machinery during procedures. We can provide X-ray Protective Viewing Windows, specially designed to shield radiation with leaded glass and built to NHS HTM standards. It is the ideal solution for control rooms.

We also recommend shielding glass made from radiation glass solution with 1.8mm to 3.5mm thickness. Our leaded radiation shielding glass can be layered to specific lead equivalence. All our products can be manufactured and designed on-site and customised to your preferred specifications.

We also offer a Frameless Fixed Operator X-ray Screen with protective leaded glass and laminated bottom panels. All our X-ray screens are approved by RPA (Radiation Protection Advisors) and will be fitted to precision by professionally trained Raybloc carpenters.

Contact an Industry Leader in X-Ray Room Design and Construction Requirements

Since 2002, Raybloc has been working with architects to design and build radiation departments. Getting the design right is the first and all-important stage of ensuring X-ray rooms stay safe and operate effectively.

Architects must account for the ideal lead lined specifications when designing X-ray rooms, CT rooms and industrial radiation areas. Key considerations involve size limitations, materials, RPA regulations and safe lead coverage methods.

So, if you’re designing an X-ray room, get in touch with Raybloc. One of our specialist advisors will ensure you make the correct investments and meet regulations.


Do X-ray rooms need to be lead lined?

This depends on the existing wall/ceiling make-up of the room. If the X-ray room is already encased in thick concrete walls, there is a strong chance that the radiation will already be attenuated by the concrete, however, as we know this is not usually the case. To find out whether your walls, floors, and ceilings require lead lining, contact a Radiation Protection Advisor who can provide you with this information remotely.

How do you set up an X-ray room?

You can’t have an X-ray room without an X-ray generator, and you can’t have an X-ray generator without effective radiation shielding to prevent the ionising X-rays from travelling where they shouldn’t. X-ray rooms should be sufficiently lead lined across the walls, ceiling, and structural openings to ensure that there is no leakage out of the facility.

What are X-ray rooms called?

X-ray rooms may also be commonly referred to as radiology rooms, radiography rooms, or imaging rooms. Radiology rooms are used for medical imaging to diagnose and treat diseases or injuries from within the body, where the radiographer would be the person taking the image. The radiologist would be the person interpreting the information from these images to conclude the results of the scan.

To find out more about our X-ray protection products, download our eBook today.

Lead Lined Wall Panelling

Do not skip corners when it comes to radiation protection. It is what shields you, your staff, and your patients from harmful radiation. There is no compromise when it comes to people’s lives. Call today to speak to one of our x-ray protection experts on 01902 633383 or email Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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