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ENERGY MANAGEMENT


PETER THOMAS - HEALTHCARE BUILDING SERVICES ASSOCIATE; SIÔN LEWIS – SENIOR ELECTRICAL ENGINEER; HYWYN JONES – SENIOR MECHANICAL ENGINEER, ARUP, UK


Clean and green: the all-electric hospital


There is a global shift underway towards electrification of traditionally fossil fuel- based heating systems in buildings to reduce carbon emissions and operational costs. Here, UK consultancy Arup presents the findings of a study on the cost and environmental benefits of replacing gas-fired boilers in hospital buildings with a variety of electric-based systems.


The healthcare sector - hospital, health services and medical supply chain – of OECD countries plus China and India constitutes around four per cent of total global carbon emissions.1


As reduced


carbon targets are being implemented to minimise climate change impacts, governments and healthcare organisations have a major role to play in reducing the world’s carbon emissions. Approaches to carbon reduction


are multi-faceted and the ‘lean, clean, green’ approach looks to minimise energy consumption through intelligent building design including form and orientation (lean), prior to implementing low carbon systems (clean) and offsetting


carbonised fuel sources through renewable technologies (green). The discussion here is associated


with the ‘clean’ stage of this process and discusses the opportunities for hospital building services to reduce carbon emissions. For our assessment, a thermal model for a notional 50,000 square metres general acute hospital was created and its profiles for system energy consumption were used to undertake a detailed review of heating systems. The conclusions give a quantified


understanding of the realities of the concept of an all-electric hospital and its implications with respect to financial, carbon and operational considerations.


Due to key factors such as air quality,


potential ability for zero operational carbon and long term diminishing kilowatt-hour (kWh) cost between electricity and gas, our study found there is a strong case that all heating solutions will gravitate towards an electrical solution over the coming years. The challenge to the construction and healthcare industry is to consider this now.


Drivers for electrification The Paris Agreement, signed in 2016, and now formally endorsed by 190 nations, represents a global commitment to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change by reducing carbon emissions. An increasing number of countries


are applying policies to implement carbon neutrality by or before 2050. In 2019, the UK government implemented legislation committing the UK to a legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050.2


Also in 2019, the NHS Peter Thomas Hywyn Jones Siôn Lewis


•Peter Thomas is an electrical engineer who has been working in the healthcare building services sector for over 15 years. Peter has worked on numerous hospitals across the UK and internationally and led the technical delivery of a number of multi-million pound hospitals with a focus on ensuring a long-term benefit of the hospital to the users through consideration of facilities management and sustainability in the design. •Hywyn Jones is an associate within the buildings engineering team at the Cardiff office of Arup. Hywyn has a range of experience on a range of healthcare projects, as well as other large-scale projects and infrastructure works. He has worked on several healthcare schemes both as the design lead as well as a client supervisor. Hywyn is committed to low carbon and sustainable design and has experience in developing electric solutions for healthcare schemes. •Siôn Lewis is an electrical engineer who has worked in building services for over 10 years. He has worked across several building sectors but has focused predominantly within the healthcare sector. Healthcare projects have involved both refurbishment and new build facilities. Recently completed projects include large critical care facilities and proton beam therapy centres. Recently his work has focused on several ‘all-electric’ buildings/campuses.


IFHE DIGEST 2021


made commitments to reduce carbon including a target of 51 per cent reduction of carbon emissions against 2007 levels by 2025 with key initiatives including phasing out coal and oil fuel for primary heating uses.3 The decarbonisation of the electricity


grid has recently been accelerated in many countries. In the UK, overall emissions have fallen by 40 per cent since 1990.4


The price/kWh of fuels is hard to


predict but the European Commission’s EU Reference Scenario 2016 Energy, transport and GHG emissions Trends to 2050 gives an indication of anticipated trends with gas and electricity prices expected to rise by in the order of 70 per cent and 6 per cent respectively, between 2020 and 2050. The costs of electricity and gas and


carbon content of electricity vary from country to country. The balance of cost between fuel sources and carbon content have a significant bearing on the financial


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