Health-care facilities spend big on energy efficiency
September 7, 2018 - Global annual spending on energy-efficient building technologies for health-care facilities is forecast to reach US$6.4 billion by 2027, according to a new report.
By Peter Saunders
The report from Navigant Research, titled Energy Efficient Buildings – Healthcare, examines challenges and opportunities relating to the installation of efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, controls, water heating and building envelope systems, given health-care facilities’ strict requirements for energy and clean water, pressure to contain costs and need to ensure patient comfort.
Energy- and water-related disruptions can become life-threatening events in a health-care facility, but there are also concerns about how, according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the average hospital uses 2.5 times as much energy as a comparable commercial building. Hence the need for more efficient systems.
Such installations can also be integrated with ‘intelligent building’ technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT) and Software as a Service (SaaS), to further improve operational efficiency with a reasonable return on investment (ROI).
“Health-care facilities face some unique challenges compared to commercial buildings, from continuous operations to stringent environmental requirements,” says Tom Machinchick, principal research analyst for Navigant. “The buildings are as much a part of critical care as medical equipment and staff are. Intelligent technologies are helping them dramatically improve the patient and visitor experience.”