Healthcare Design - January/February 2016 - 28
Getting to net zero
A hospital's goal to achieve net-zero energy
use isn't impossible, but it's an effort that
requires a combination of active and passive
systems and community partnerships. That
was the message from session presenters
Kim Shinn, principal and "senior sustainability
wizard" at TLC Engineering for Architecture;
Brandon Bardowsky, director of facilities at
Martin Health Systems; and Roy Gunsolus,
principal at HKS Architects.
To come to that conclusion, the panelists
shared how they took two LEED-certified
healthcare projects and asked, "How would the
designs have differed if the owners' original intent had been to achieve net-zero energy use?"
The two projects-Texas Health Presbyterian
Hospital in Flower Mound, Texas, and Tradition
Medical Center in Port St. Lucie, Fla.-had
already hit some impressive numbers as part
of their LEED design efforts. For example,
Texas Health's 184,000-square-foot facility had
reduced energy consumption by 15 percent
using efficient HVAC and lighting systems.
Tradition Medical Center had set a goal of 150
kBtu per square foot per year as part of its
energy budget and achieved 149 kBtu.
One of the ways the team sought to
further push the envelope was looking at
energy consumption by end use. One of
the biggest findings was the amount of
energy used by each hospital for reheating: 69 percent at Texas Health's facility
and 37 percent at Tradition Medical Center.
"Reheating is our enemy," Shinn said.
"That's what we want to attack when we're
going after energy reduction in hospitals."
The team shared a number of energy
conservation measures that can be used to
reduce reheat and pinpointed a few for their
effectiveness, including better control strategies for air flow in occupied and unoccupied spaces, heating hot water temperature
reset, active chilled beams, water-side heat
recovery, and air-side heat recovery.
By implementing some of these strategies on the two projects, the team proposed new energy use intensity projections
that saw 62 percent energy savings at
Texas Health and 46 percent at Tradition
Medical Center. "This is nothing that we
can't do with our current tool kit," Shinn
FROM OUR KEYNOTES
"Has the amount of evidence grown to the
point where research knowledge could one day
dominate most design decisions in healthcare
projects? Certainly not."
-Roger S. Ulrich, pioneer in evidence-based design and The Center for Health Design's
2015 Changemaker Award winner. Ulrich urged attendees to help facilitate more research
regarding healthcare environments, including another comprehensive literature review.