Hospitals: The Sustainability-Design-Energy Connection

By By Dan Hounsell
March 2, 2021

Hospitals are some of the most energy-intensive buildings on the planet. They must operate 24/7, and while this is essential, it results in higher energy use than a typical building. 

How can hospitals reduce energy use — as part of a holistic system of sustainable benefits — and stay operationally resilient, but still maintain solid, round-the-clock care? Design can help hospitals tackle these sustainability issues,according to Building Design+Construction. A holistic system of design strategies now make it possible to reduce the energy use of healthcare buildings by almost 70 percent.

One strategy to lower energy use and promote sustainable healthcare systems is implementing energy modeling as a design tool. In the same way that an institution begins a design and construction project with a budget, a project can benefit from an energy budget to steer energy performance design. An energy budget sets an energy target at the beginning of the project and deploys modeling tools to measure the impact of a building’s needs and design changes on iterative energy, in a similar way that construction estimates work to track the progress of the work and keep the project on track.

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