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ANN VANDYCKE – ARCHITECT, MINTUS, BELGIUM TECHNOLOGY


Advancing innovative building technologies


Ann Vandycke, from Mintus, considers the latest innovations in building technologies, from renewable energy solutions and predictive control systems, to the use of sensor technologies to support efficient care. She argues that innovation in technology is vital to ensuring continued access to high quality care in countries where there is an ageing population, as well as ensuring sustainability.


In an ever-evolving society, technology cannot stand still. An ageing population forces us to rethink existing structures and processes and even to redefine them. Research has shown that technology in healthcare will be of paramount importance to keep healthcare accessible in countries, such as Belgium, which have an ageing population. It will have an important role in meeting the rapidly growing need for care in a labour market where staff are becoming scarce – ensuring both quality and efficiency. In short, technology creates effciencies, freeing time to focus on the core task of delivering care. Technology in care settings can be divided into four main categories: technology that supports clients/patients, technology that supports providers in their delivery of care, technology that supports processes, and technology that supports the building in terms of management, comfort and energy performance. Often these four categories are closely intertwined, however.


Advancing sustainability In recent years, Mintus has focused on innovative technologies that make maximum use of renewable energy. The challenge for building design is to minimise the use of external energy


An ageing population forces us to rethink existing structures and processes.


sources, while being able to deliver a comfortable environment for the occupants. A sustainable development, designed for larger buildings, is ‘GEOTABS’ – a combination of a Geothermal heat pump (GEO) and a ‘Thermally Activated Building System’ (TABS).


Ann Vandycke


Ann Vandycke graduated as an Architect (Gent, 1994), and is currently a member of the management team of Mintus and the head of


the technical department of the organisation. She specialises in the fields of: optimal and universal design, restoration of historical and public buildings, process and project management, and the use and implementation of sustainable materials and renewable energy systems. Ann Vandycke is a member of Prof, an organisation which provides information to various groups (end users and business


developers, as well as companies) on new ways of providing healthcare. She is also a member of Zorg.tech, a network of directors of technical departments of hospitals and other organisations in healthcare.


34 For this type of radiant heating and


cooling system, pipes are embedded in the building structure. Liquid flows through these pipes in order to activate the thermal mass of the surrounding concrete (Concrete Core Activation). The technology can work in three different modes: heating mode, passive and active cooling mode. As the ground temperature is mostly insufficient to obtain the required temperature for heating, a heat pump is necessary. For cooling, it is possible to only use a heat exchanger. However, often a reversible pump is installed, which can also help in the cooling mode to achieve higher capacities. In 2017, the company collaborated with 12 other European partners on a pilot project, as part of a study by KU Leuven, UGent and engineering firm Boydens. The project focused on: Model Predictive


IFHE DIGEST 2020


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