1.5T MRI Suite Size Requirements

Most people have more than a few questions right out of the gate as they consider an imaging project, especially when they're looking at an MRI scanner. When considered against all other modalities, MRI is one of the most involved in terms of logistical challenges, site planning, and technical knowledge. 

Part of being prepared for a project is about asking the right questions and fully understanding the answers. One of these questions should be (scratch that, MUST be): “How big of a room do I need for my MRI suite?” Keep reading for some basic tips and pointers that will help you build more accurate expectations for how much space you'll need, and how much it may cost to build it.

How Much Room Does My MRI Need?

MRI Facility vs. MRI Suite

First off, let's clarify. When we say "MRI suite", we mean the group of rooms that are related to the MRI itself, NOT the whole facility. The rooms in the MRI suite include:

1. Scan Room

This room is where the magnet and the table are. It's where patients are scanned, hence the name.

2. Equipment Room  

This space holds the cabinets of electronic equipment that connect to the magnet.

3. Control Room

The tech works from this room during a scan. It holds a desk, chair, and computer workstation.

4. Changing Room

This room is not required, but it's very common for facilities to add a small changing room for patients. This improves their experience and can also be a helpful place for you to store your QA phantoms, manuals, or other system accessories.

MRI Suite Dimensions

If you're building an MRI suite at your facility from the ground up, it is important to not only consider space for the MRI suite itself, but also for things like waiting areas, hallways, offices, etc. In this case, the space needed to start is around 800-850 square feet.


If you're adding an MRI suite to an existing facility with offices, hallways, and waiting areas already in place the space you'll need to reallocate or add on is around 650 square feet.


MRI Building Costs


The obvious follow up question to space is price, right? Although there are variables at play between location, materials, suppliers, and builders, a good benchmark for new construction is $400 per square foot.


The Takeaway

Firmer numbers for your specific project will begin to emerge as things get underway but, with these figures in mind, you can begin to form a better picture of what your MRI project will look like. Be sure to consult with your installer and/or your project manager to see which room layout will work best for patient comfort and staff workflow in the space you have available, or the space you intend to create.

If you have additional questions about planning your suite or any other aspect of your upcoming MRI project, check out our MRI Project Planning Checklist to become better acquainted with all the steps and moving parts that may come your way.

Picture of Steve Rentz

Steve Rentz

Steve Rentz is the Product Manager for MRI Scanners at Block Imaging. Steve's goal is to earn each customer's trust and business by specifically addressing the needs of their unique project. When Steve is not helping customers with their MRI needs, he enjoys running, swimming, and woodworking.