ccording to the Carbon Trust, the UK’s healthcare sector spends more than £400m a year on energy. Unfortunately, a significant portion of this is wasted, diverting money away from patient care.

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HVAC controls and energy eciency in healthcare A

timeout period. This can be achieved with occupancy sensors.

With budgets becoming ghter and the drive to become more energy ecient, the UK’s healthcare sector is increasingly looking towards energy controls as a means of ensuring building compliance and reducing operaonal expenditure. Neil Baldwin, of CP Electronics, examines what can be done to overcome energy waste from air condioning systems in hospitals.

At the same time, The Department of Health has set stringent energy targets to reduce the NHS’s contribution to carbon emissions by 2025, with many Trusts citing energy reduction as the first step towards achieving these goals. This provides electrical contractors with several opportunities to work with health organisations to install energy control technology. However, when working with such complex buildings as hospitals and surgeries, traditional solutions can be difficult to implement.

One challenge associated with controlling air conditioning units in hopitals is the that many buildings have multiple different units installed. Controlling disparate systems is not easy when you consider the requirements of individual thermal comfort zones. While server rooms require almost constant cooling, back-of-house rooms and wards will only require air conditioning at certain times.


The way occupants use a building also plays a role in how the air conditioning unit should perform. For example, meeting rooms and other areas in hospitals are not occupied all the time, resulting in unecessary energy use and cost. A more effective use of energy would be to have the air conditioning on only when the rooms are occupied, automatically switching off again as they leave or after an appropriate

BUILDING CONTROLS Striving towards excellence O

Malcolm Anson, President of the Building Controls Industry Associaon (BCIA), looks back on yet another successful year in the building controls sector and the connuous strive towards excellence.

ver the past year, I have discussed many key issues affecting the building controls industry, including the skills shortage that the nation collectively faces, along with raising the importance of wellbeing. What’s more, I’ve underlined the necessity of training due to the rewards that it brings to both an individual and the industry as a whole.

As many of you are aware, over our lifetime we spend around 90% of our time indoors. It’s vital to have a healthy indoor environment to maintain productivity and enhance the wellbeing of occupants. Therefore, wellbeing is something that needs to be embedded into our business culture and taken seriously going forward.

Building controls are a highly effective solution towards meeting the building performance challenge and improving wellbeing. Controls enable buildings to be sustainable, energy efficient and cost-effective throughout their entire lifetime. Due to the need for high

performing buildings, the controls sector must continue to evolve alongside the latest technology. But to achieve this, training is essential. Engineers, clients and other engineering disciplines must appreciate the true value of building controls and look towards the long- term vision of increasing energy efficiency and delivering a return on investment to the client.

Invesng in future training

An efficient Building Management System (BMS) can help tackle the growing wellbeing demands and improve the overall performance of our buildings, this we know. But for a BMS to operate to its optimum and meet the needs of occupants, we need to ensure that we have trained engineers in place to maximise and extract the full benefits of a BMS. Training will be critical to the buildings of tomorrow and the BCIA courses play a pivotal role in this, by developing the strengths and confidence of building professionals.


In 2017 alone, over 200 engineers successfully completed our wide range of building controls courses. This has allowed them to gain invaluable knowledge and experience in an industry which is becoming increasingly more sophisticated.

From January 2018, the BCIA is offering new and improved training courses. The upgraded BC1-BC6 courses cover a vast range of subjects such as Fundamentals of HVAC and Building Technology and Control of Cooling Systems which incorporate the latest technical information from the building controls sector. They are available to all levels of those on controls ladder.

Cerflcaon scheme

Something else to look forward to in 2018 will be the introduction of the new Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) card for building controls professionals. This card will be instantly recognisable and demonstrates the skills that have been earned by members of our industry. With this card, professionals

can prove their skills to current and prospective employers and be proud of their achievements. Rewinding back to May this year, we held our 11th BCIA Awards event and once again we had fantastic support from the industry. Each year, we take the opportunity to recognise and celebrate businesses and individuals for their innovation, product development, excellent training and project delivery.

The BCIA 2018 Awards will be held on 10 May and entries are now open. You can enter one or more of the eight categories to be in with a chance of being recognised for your sterling work and innovative contribution by your industry peers. Or perhaps you know of someone who deserves recognition? If so, let’s celebrate their achievements. On behalf of the BCIA, we would like to thank you all for your continued support and would like to wish everyone a safe, successful and prosperous new year. VISIT OUR WEBSITE:

Controlling air conditioning units with occupancy sensors is possible, but a professional electrical engineer is usually needed to install them. For hospitals with more than one type of system, this becomes even more complex.


When budgets are stretched and time is limited, the purchase and installation of several ocupancy sensors for multiple air conditioning units can become expensive and time- consuming. And when electrical installations take place in public spaces such as hospitals, large areas of the building may need isolating as work is carried out, creating disruption. To address this, CP Electronics’ new battery powered surface mounted air conditioning controller, minimises installation time. The GESM-AC learns the infrared code of an infrared enabled air conditioning unit and overrides the on/off commands to regulate the use based on room occupancy. This overcomes the challenge of integrating mulitiple disparate air conditioning unit systems as no wiring is required. It also ensures that air conditioning is only being powered when a room is occupied rather than running all day and wasting energy.

The new HVAC control can be installed with minimal tools and time, enabling contractors to complete more jobs, more quickly. This could be the start of more regulated air conditioning usage for UK hospitals, without the need for extended periods of installation work and rewiring on site. Facilities Managers will regularly carry out

uCP Electronics’ new baery powered surface mounted air condioning controller, the GESMAC.

maintenance on air conditioning systems to keep them running efficiently. Simple energy saving solutions make it easier for FMs to ensure a building is running efficiently. If the UK healthcare sector is to reduce its running costs and achieve carbon reductions, then a greater use of energy controls should be considered. By installing HVAC controls, not only can health organisations better meet sustainability targets, but contractors can manage several different systems with the same, single solution.

Controlling disparate systems is not easy when you consider the requirements of individual thermal comfort zones. While server rooms require almost constant cooling, backofhouse rooms and wards will only require air condioning at certain mes.

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