Many hospitals around the world have started taking measures to build sustainable facilities. These facilities aim to serve the purpose of functioning with minimal environmental impact. Constructing and maintaining a sustainable building is not that hard a task provided you put extra time and effort in the project. Here are some tips hospitals can follow to create a more sustainable facility for patients as well as the environment.
Selective Heat Reduction
The integration of room based sensors with the hospital’s central HVAC system and individual patient records would allow one to control the temperature in individual rooms separately. Thus, the system would automatically adjust ventilation settings to minimum in empty rooms, while allowing patients to choose the temperature they want from the TV using a remote.
A rooftop garden can help reduce utility costs by nearly 40%. It not only provides better insulation for the entire building, but reduces storm water runoff largely as well. Studies have also related rooftop gardens to quick healing of diseases in patients.
Many hospitals have started installing rainwater and grey water harvesting systems to collect and store every spare droplet of water they can. They can use this water for several purposes like laundry, flushing toilets and irrigation, thus reducing the demand for clean water supply.
A sustainable hospital can also make use of a part or the whole of its roof as a power generation unit with the help of solar panels. These panels can produce enough energy for the entire hospital during the day and can use surplus energy during the night or on rainy days. This would also reduce pressure on the grid and decrease utility costs.
Some examples of Sustainable Hospitals around the world
Pasang Lhamu – Nicolle Niquille Hospital, Switzerland
The PLNN Hospital has its own solar power system and micro hydro plant, and it is completely energy independent from the local Lukla grid. In addition to utilize the power derived from these sources, the hospital also supplies power to the grid to provide energy to the surrounding villages without any interruption.
Hospital Universitaire de Mirebalais, Haiti
Deemed the biggest solar powered hospital in the world, the Hospital Universitaire de Mirebalais features a rooftop equipped with over 1800 solar panels covering an area of 205000 square feet. The solar panels produce 139 megawatts of electricity that is more than enough for the hospital’s needs. The hospital supplies the surplus energy to the national grid.
Clinic in a Can
This innovative hospital built inside a solar powered shipping container is a self-sustainable hospital. Fitted with photovoltaic panels that store solar power derived electricity in high intensity batteries, the clinic features three rooms equipped with lighting, air conditioning and medical equipment.
Sustainable hospitals are cropping up all over the world these days. A hospital can become sustainable and eco-friendly with a few simple steps like rainwater harvesting, rooftop garden or self-produced power.