Top 10 Energy efficient hospitals in the world
Energy Digital, December 2, 2015. Image credit: DarkoStojanovik
For modern hospitals, sustainability is a paradox. On the one hand, climate change and pollution present serious public health risks, and reducing them would lower the strain on hospital resources. At the same time, hospitals consume large amounts of energy and produce high levels of waste. Many caregivers and administrators fear that they cannot lower their facilities’ environmental impact without compromising patient care. Nonetheless, few hospitals admit defeat, and many continue to develop new environmental initiatives.
1. Torre de Especialidades— Mexico City, Mexico
When most hospitals seek to improve sustainability, they focus on lowering their own energy and resource use, thereby passively reducing pollution and waste. The Torre de Especialidades, however, actively removes smog from the surrounding air. The hospital is surrounded by a giant, honeycomb-like screen that is coated with titanium dioxide, which converts smog into benign chemicals upon contact. The screen also blocks sunlight, reducing the amount of energy it takes to air condition the hospital. Building the Torre de Especialidades has had the same effect on air quality as taking a thousand cars off the road each day.
2. Khayelitsha Hospital– Khayelitsha, South Africa
Considered one of the best hospitals in South Africa, Khayelitsha was built with the highest-quality passive design techniques available to reduce artificial lighting. Where electric lights are necessary, the hospital relies on CFLs and LEDs to minimize energy use. The building has its own photovoltaic system and wind turbine to generate energy, as well as its own autoclaves to sterilize and reuse water. All paints, adhesives, and solvents used on the hospital contain minimal levels of volatile organic compounds.
3. Kohinoor Hospital– Mumbai, India
Since its inception in 2009, the Kohinoor Hospital has been committed to reducing its environmental impact while saving its patients money. According to a 2012 article in the Economic Times of India, it was the only hospital in all of Asia at the time to be both LEED certified and Platinum rated. Kohinoor relies entirely on LED and CFL light bulbs, and uses photovoltaic power instead of geysers to heat its water. The hospital has installed high-efficiency air conditioning equipment, allowing it to cut HVAC energy use in half. It also harvests rainwater and treats its own sewage in order to reduce water use.