Modeling Healthcare Projects

healthcare, outpatient, hospital, ASHRAE 170, acute care, 24/7

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

Hospitals accounts for more than 5% of total energy used by commercial buildings which makes them a significant contributor to operational carbon emission. As the main purpose of healthcare facilities is to heal people and ensure the health of communities, it's specifically important for occupant health, comfort and safety.

Modeling ambulatory and acute care hospitals on the platform

Hospital is one of 8 templates building types on the projects page. Once it's selected alongside with the energy code, the automated model inputs closely resembles the occupancy, equipment load and ACH required for an outpatient hospital building. This template is best used for non 24 hour healthcare facilities such as ambulatory care centers, acute hospitals will need further inputs modified. For more information on how these inputs are automated see this article.

In order to better represent a 24/7 acute care hospital using the platform, please follow these steps. Various key factors that can affect the energy consumption of a hospital such as envelope variables, schedules, building system types and specification can be adjusted under 'Baseline Energy' page. To reduce energy use, a good first step is to lower the lighting power density (LPD) and plug load (Appliance Use) during unoccupied hours.

It should be noted that building operation schedule for a 24 hour facility should be adjusted under Usage and Schedules tab.

As building energy system is a big contributor to the total energy use of a hospital, the other energy saving approach is to adjust related values under 'Building System' tab. Various variable can be customized. Adding heat recovery system, VAV fans for fan flow control factor can reduce the energy use. It should be noted that values for people outdoor air rate and area outdoor air rate shall be adjusted according to the local code requirements, typically in the form of air changes per hour. In order to enter these values into the platform use the Area Outdoor Air Rate field and follow this guide for converting between ACH and cfm/sf.

After the inputs are adjusted and simulation recalculated the proposed EUI will be higher, but this is expected! As discussed hospitals, especially 24/7 acute care facilities have high energy intensity. Now that the Baseline represents a reasonable starting point for the project, the team can explore design options to further reduce energy use, carbon emissions and meet project goals.

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