Envisioning the high performance hospital:
Implications for a new, low energy, high performance prototype.Cost control, maintaining quality healing and working environments, and more sustainable, energy efficient operations are topics of many conversations in healthcare today. The University of Washington’s Integrated Design Lab, in collaboration with a team of experts in design, engineering, operations and hospital ownership have developed research directed at much higher performing buildings – targeting both energy performance and interior environmental quality, for little capital investment.
This research provides a conceptual framework and decision-making structure at a schematic design level of precision for hospital owners, architects and engineers. It offers access to design strategies and the cost implications of those strategies for new hospitals to utilize 60% less energy.
Two acute care hospital prototypes have been developed at a schematic level of architectural and mechanical systems detail. These two prototype architectural schemes and six energy performance options have been modeled for energy use and cost of construction. Both architectural schemes were able to achieve more than a 60% reduction in energy use from typical operational examples, meeting the 2030 Challenge for 2010. This research and design exercise has shown that there is little cost
implication for high levels of energy efficiency with an overall premium of approximately 2% of the total project cost, a premium reconcilable through the prioritization of project specific goals and outcomes at the schematic design phase, or easily recaptured in a short-term simple return on investment.
The report of this project is designed as a tool and frame of reference for moving energy efficiency goals forward in project teams, providing a path towards achieving 2030 Challenge energy goals, and providing evidence that these goals do not require substantially increased project capital commitment.
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