Evolution of energy costs in hospitals. A reflection on regulatory environmental and HVAC conditions

Hospitals built in the last decade are characterised by a substantial increase in the ratios of constructed surface area for the same portfolio of services and hospital beds. Moreover, they have been designed and built using the latest technologies and, in architectural terms, in some cases have applied bioclimatic design criteria, implementing passive design measures, enclosures providing greater protection, etc., all of which measures aim to achieve a reduction in the energy consumption

Along these same lines and from the engineering standpoint, active systems can also be applied, in particular the installation of efficient energy production equipment and installations, low consumption lighting systems and the digital management of the entire facility, thus maximising the implementation of energy efficiency and saving measures. The scant or zero implementation of renewable energy should also be mentioned, except where required by the Technical Code regulations (solar thermal and photovoltaic).

A key aspect today concerns the sustainability of the building, which is understood as being both environmental and economic. As such, energy efficiency has to be considered in terms of sustainability.

However all the energy efficiency measures described do not manage to bring down the energy consumption of these hospitals. Indeed it is true to say that the energy consumption ratios increase in relation to the consumption per constructed surface area in kWh/m2 and year (kWh/m2 year). Read more…

José Luis López González
Engineer, Lucus Augusti Hospital (Lugo). Member of the Managing Board of the AEIH,
the Spanish Association of Hospital Engineering).
Master in Healthcare Architecture

Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2015