Hospitals are among the most energy intensive of all buildings owing to 24/7 operation, intensive ventilation and air filtration requirements, complex and varied thermal conditioning needs, the extensive and expanding use of electronic medical equipment, disinfection and other special processes, and the life-safety imperative of uninterrupted building operations. Outpatient surgery centers, skilled nursing facilities, and clinics share some of these challenges and are increasingly being used to provide care once reserved for inpatient hospitals. The healthcare sector represents a great opportunity and a great challenge for high-tech energy efficiency.

Quantifying Energy Use of Medical Equipment

Efforts to improve energy efficiency in hospitals can be aided by an accurate apportionment of energy use by building service. Distinct and clearly identifiable end-uses include space cooling, space heating, ventilation (fan energy), lighting, domestic water heating, and steam for sterilization and humidification. There is substantial interest and much uncertainty about the contribution of medical equipment and other miscellaneous electric loads (MELs) to overall energy use in hospitals. LBNL 's work on a framework to quantify energy use contributed to reducing this uncertainty.

Featured Resources

Hospital Energy Benchmarking Guidance Version 1.0