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News – What`s happening in energy research

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In use for years: A high-temperature fuel cell supplies electricity and heat for the Rhön Klinikum Bad Neustadt, and also ensures an uninterruptible power supply.
© MTU CFC Solutions GmbH
Higher electricity efficiency in new and existing clinic buildings
05.02.2010

"Hospital plus" research project

Hospitals have a high energy consumption. Scientists now plan to investigate all the various areas in a hospital and develop an innovative approach for achieving energy savings. This will be done as part of the "Hospital plus" research project which is being supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology with funding of 1.85 million euros over four years.

The “Entwerfen von Krankenhäusern und Bauten des Gesundheitswesens” department at the Technische Universität Berlin will be carrying out this project, which is part of the “Energy-Optimised Construction” (EnOB) focal area in the German federal government’s fifth energy research programme. The goal is to develop buildings which have minimal primary energy requirements and high occupant comfort, all combined with moderate investment costs and significantly reduced operating costs.

“Hospital plus” aims to develop strategies for improving the energy efficiency of existing and new hospitals buildings. “Not only do we have high energy consumption in hospitals, but we also have a huge potential for savings, and our research will exploit this potential,” says Prof. Christine Nickl-Weller, the head of the research project. This potential is to be exploited using an overall concept based on innovative technologies. Examples are the application of the cooling effect of evaporation processes and the integrated use of daylight and artificial lighting.

"Hospital plus" in detail

The research work is divided into three subprojects: Subproject I deals with an energy analysis of the Agatharied hospital in Bavaria.

Subproject II will design a new building for the University Hospital in Frankfurt in order to demonstrate how planning should be conducted if an “energy-optimised and functionally optimised building” is to be created, i.e. as a process that brings together planners, engineers and energy specialists right from the beginning. This project’s two-year measurement phase will also record the energy consumption and energy flows in the building to be designed and will identify the potential for energy savings.

Subproject III will investigate the energy consumption in the individual areas in a hospital – such as the operating theatres, laboratories and specialist departments – in order to identify synergies. The idea here is to supply waste heat to those areas that need it, e.g. hospital wards and common areas.

Analysing the various areas in a hospital from an energy point of view represents a new scientific approach. This approach can be used to develop a model that will allow the evaluation of hospital-specific energy requirements to be applied to other buildings too. At the moment, there is no method available in Germany for doing this, and this research project is intended to fill this gap.

Further information

Prof. Christine Nickl-Weller
Institut für Architektur
Fachgebiet "Entwerfen von Krankenhäusern und Bauten des Gesundheitswesens"
Straße des 17. Juni 152
10623 Berlin
Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)30 314-22960
Fax: +49 (0)30 314-29541

 

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