Energy Efficient Hospital Design: A New Approach to Sustainability

Published on: 2018/05/29

A.R. Preeti Chauhan,  Indira Gandhi Technical University For Women


With the need of as many hospitals, we may want to sit back and think about the quantum and quality of buildings we are projected to construct in the near future. Hospital buildings are major energy consumers because of their high demand for heating and cooling for controlled medical parameters and round the clock functioning.

Interest Category

Healthcare industry, energy efficient hospitals, sustainable hospitals, green hospitals

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Energy Efficient Hospitals – A Groundbreaking Reality

Hospitals usually operate 24 hours a day all through a year. A simple inspection of the large building in Hospitals at any given time would bring up areas where lighting, equipment, etc have been left turned on or unattended.

Reducing the usage of these unattended energies would not in anyway impact the quality of healthcare of the hospital. Lowering the power usage not only helps to save the energy but also helps to reduce the carbon footprint.


Energy efficiency in hospitals – Best practices

The 3 practices that should be followed in every hospital includes:

  1. Reduce energy need – Utilizing energy derived from natural gas, sunlight, renewable energy, reducing energy usage and energy storage will help to drastically reduce the energy need. Using energy efficient lighting or motion sensor lighting could reduce unnecessary use of lighting in the hospitals.
  2. Air distribution –  Adjusting the ventilation and climatic control could help in reducing the usage of fans and air conditioners.
  3. Energy efficient products – Purchasing energy efficient products and equipment would help in lowering the energy usage in a long run.


What are the benefits of being energy efficient?

  • Environmental benefits – reduces the carbon footprint
  • Cost benefits – reduces the energy cost in a long run
  • Societal benefits – proper resource allocation helps to improve patient care and sustainability strategies that will have a positive global impact.


Top 10 energy efficient hospitals in the world


  1. Torre de Especialidades – Mexico: Despite having a huge titanium dioxide screen, the hospital is focusing on reducing pollution, energy usage, and waste.
  2. Khayelitsha Hospital – South Africa: The building generates power through the photovoltaic system and wind turbine. It also has autoclaves to recycle water.
  3. Kohinoor hospital – Mumbai India: The only LEED certified and platinum rated hospital in Asia, relies on photovoltaic power and LED & CFL bulbs.
  4. Sechelt Hospital – Canada: The hospital has climatic controls in the form of radiant slabs that helps to minimize energy use.
  5. Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital – Singapore: One of a kind of hospital to have trees on its roof, this hospital uses insulated glass windows, energy-efficient and motion sensor lights. It also has photovoltaic panels and water recycling system.
  6. The Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital – Pittsburgh, USA: The hospital was built with recycled materials and the paints used in the hospital also has low levels of volatile organic compounds. Despite giving concessions for patients who use carpool, the hospital has bike racks, easy to public transportation. It also provides education to patients being green.
  7. Wythenshawe Hospital – UK: The hospital uses wood chip boiler for its power. Apart from this, the hospital has taken various measures to reduce its carbon footprint.
  8. Sunnybrook Centre – Toronto, Canada: The hospital has many programs that curb the seepage of harmful anesthetic gases into the environment
  9. Martha’s Vineyard Hospital – USA: The hospital has bio-retention areas and leaching pits to remove pollutants from stormwater and wastewater. The hospital offers preferred parking lots to people who use carpools.
  10. Bir Hospital – Nepal: The hospital recycles 55 percent of the waste that it produces. It also has its own power system with the methane from biogas system and vermicomposting.

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