Sizing Imaging and Procedure Rooms

Imaging and procedure rooms fall into several size categories — small procedure room, typical imaging room, or larger specialty imaging room. Diagnostic equipment has generally become more compact over the last decade. For example, equipment used for chest X-rays, mammography, ultrasound, and pulmonary and neurodiagnostic testing is compact and commonly mobile, requiring only a small procedure room. Most general radiographic and fluoroscopic equipment can be accommodated in a typical imaging room. Computed tomography (CT) units are also becoming more compact but require a contiguous control room. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and interventional procedure suites require a larger footprint that includes the procedure room, control room, and adjacent space for equipment components. Imaging equipment may also require lead shielding, enhanced floor loading capacity, and other unique design features.


Specific to imaging rooms, the Facilities Guidelines Institute (FGI) has a new classification system for 2018:

  • Class 1 (unrestricted area) for services that use a natural orifice entry and do not pierce or penetrate natural protective membranes — such as most diagnostic radiography, fluoroscopy, mammography, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, and ultrasound procedures.
  • Class 2 (semi-restricted area) for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures such as coronary, neurological, neurological, or peripheral angiography and electrophysiology procedures.
  • Class 3 (restricted area) for invasive procedures and any Class 2 procedure during which the patient will require physiological monitoring and is anticipated to require life support.

Class 2 and 3 rooms should have a physically separate control room and the sizes of all types of imaging rooms depend on minimum clearances around the equipment to be used in the room and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Some guidelines for sizing diagnostic imaging and other procedures rooms include:

  • Small procedure room at 120 to 160 NSF (11.2 to 14.9 NSM) — to accommodate a small, portable or fixed piece of equipment (with operator’s console/alcove) along with a chair for the operator, patient chair, and patient treatment bed or table. Mobile equipment can usually be accommodated in an amply-sized clinic exam or treatment room.
  • Typical imaging room at 180 to 280 NSF (16.7 to 26.0 NSM) — Class 1 — to accommodate fixed imaging equipment for general radiography (smaller room size) or fluoroscopy or nuclear medicine procedures (larger room size) along with an operator’s console (alcove) and a patient exam table. These modalities would require Class 1 imaging rooms (unrestricted areas) under the FGI classification system.
  • Large specialty procedure room at 280 to 400+ NSF (26.0 to 37.2+ NSM) — Class 1 — to accommodate fixed equipment for CT, positron emission tomography (PET), self-shielded MRI, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and other hybrid imaging equipment.
  • Interventional procedure room at 400 to 650 NSF (37.2 to 60.4 NSM) — Class 2 — to accommodate fixed imaging equipment for interventional procedures such as angioplasty, cardiac catheterization, and endovascular surgical neuroradiology.
  • Control room at 100 to 150+ NSF (9.3 to 13.9+ NSM) — to contain the operator’s console; contiguous with the procedure room with doors leading both into the procedure room and to the corridor; the size depends on the number of operator consoles and two procedure rooms may share a single control room.
  • Equipment (or system) component room at 120 to 150 NSF (11.2 to 13.9 NSM) — to house ancillary equipment components; generally contiguous with the procedure room with access via sliding doors; the size depends on vendor specifications.

Note: Net square feet/meters (NSF/NSM) represents the inside wall-to-wall dimensions of individual rooms. More detailed information can be found in the SpaceMed Guide.

See related post: Estimating Diagnostic Imaging Space Based on the Number of Procedure Rooms.

This article is an update of a previous post.