Is my healthcare system the best in the world? One of the key factors to evaluate the quality of healthcare system is the number of hospital beds per 1000 people and the percentage of the population using improved sanitation facilities, according to the World Bank indicators 2010-2014 . In developing countries like Colombia these numbers are 1.5 and 80%, respectively, in comparison with Germany, which reports 8.2 and 100%. To cut this gap, the concept ‘make more with less’ in healthcare facilities in developing countries should be applied. For this reason, the research project “Passive Power Hospitals” investigates passive building concepts in hospital design, to address the need for more, better and economic health care facilities.
The PPH Project objective uses passive and saving design strategies in new healthcare projects that fulfill the local laws and codes, and make a better use of environmental and economic resources.
The study site is an existing hospital in Bogotá, Colombia, which is located close to the equator at 2600 meters above sea level and has an average outside temperature range between 10 - 22°C. The hospital has a HVAC design that met the local law and ASHRAE requirements at the time of its design in 2013. The goal was to identify and test zones in the healthcare facility that could be handled with passive conditioning techniques such as natural ventilation, solar direct gains, and others that could lead reduction of full air conditioned spaces, decreasing the volumes for air handling units / ducts and increase energy efficiency.
In the study zones, natural ventilation might be feasible without filtration requirements (no critical areas). For these reasons, the patient wards and waiting areas were selected for the investigation of different design parameters than could help achieve passive design. The analysis was carried out based on Transsolar technical know-how and through the use of various software simulation tools that allow for the testing of different building geometries, systems and configurations. Via Iterative optimization design techniques, an increase in daylight quality, interior air quality, and occupant comfort that met healthcare regulations could be shown.
The research showed that the HVAC systems can be reduced while still continuing to meet the requirements of comfort and health. The benefits of this approach are the reduction of energy consumption, operating costs of HVAC system and artificial lighting.
Project mentor: Eckehart Ullmer, Peter Voit
Luis Fernando Garcia Gonzalez – Colombia
Luis Fernando García González worked as Chief of HVAC Design for Thermoandina in Colombia. He studied at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia Mechanical Engineering and did his MBA in Infrastructure and Construction.