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DOE Guide to Help Hospitals Achieve 50% Energy Savings

LED surgery lights, HVAC systems and improved facility design, among other technologies, can cut large hospitals’ energy costs in half, according to a Department of Energy Guide.

The Advanced Energy Design Guide for Large Hospitals, the fourth and final publication in the AEDG series, is designed to help 100,0000-square feet or larger medical centers achieve 50 percent energy savings.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, American Institute of Architects, US Green Building Council, Illuminating Engineering Society and DOE developed the recommendations, which include:

  • Use of shape and form to give access to daylighting in spaces that usually have no windows;
  • Daylighting of staff areas and public spaces while at the same time specifying proper glazing to control solar gain;
  • Elimination of reheat, which is the largest energy saver from HVAC systems. Other HVAC savings comes from the de-coupling of ventilation air treatment and space conditioning, and the elimination of steam boilers;
  • Recommendations to reduce and control plug and process loads including commercial kitchen equipment;
  • Reductions in interior and exterior lighting;
  • LED surgery lights, which have the added benefit of allowing surgeons to set the thermostat higher in operating rooms;
  • Measurement and verification recommendations to demonstrate savings are being realized, with the added benefit of helping solve operational issues.

The publication covers conference, lobby, lounge and office areas; reception/waiting areas; examination and treatment rooms; clean and soiled workrooms; nurse stations, nurseries, patient rooms; operating rooms, procedure and recovery rooms; sterilizer equipment areas; pharmacies and laboratories; triage, trauma and emergency rooms; physical therapy and radiology/imaging rooms; and storage, receiving and mechanical/electrical/telecom rooms.

The AEDG for Large Hospitals, along with the rest of the series, is available for free download on the ASHRAE website. Other books in the 50 percent savings series provide recommendations for small to medium office buildings, K-12 schools and medium to big-box retail buildings.

The goal is to help building contractors and designers achieve net-zero energy buildings.

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