Prescription for sustainable hospital, health care facility success

Hospital and health care facility projects are especially important due to their sensitive nature. Clients are demanding that their facilities are energy-efficient.


Michael Chow, PE, CxA, LEED AP BD+C, Member/Owner, Metro CD Engineering LLC, Powell, Ohio. Courtesy: Metro CD EngineeringGeorge Isherwood, PE, Vice President, Peter Basso Associates, Troy, Mich. Courtesy: Peter Basso AssociatesMichael Lentz, Associate, RMF Engineering, Baltimore. Courtesy: RMF Engineering


Michael Chow, PE, CxA, LEED AP BD+C, Member/Owner, Metro CD Engineering LLC, Powell, Ohio

George Isherwood, PE, Vice President, Peter Basso Associates, Troy, Mich.

Michael Lentz, Associate, RMF Engineering, Baltimore

CSE: What software or systems do you use to model the energy consumption of the building?

Courtesy: Department of Energy, RMF EngineeringLentz: The two programs that we most commonly use are Carrier Hourly Analysis Program (HAP) and the Dept. of Energy’s eQUEST. These programs allow us to model the exterior of the building and evaluate several different HVAC systems throughout the building at the same time. We can see which system will have the most energy savings, and then evaluate that system from a maintenance perspective as well as evaluate if the system is a practical application for the building. This is especially helpful on existing buildings when looking to replace the existing HVAC system that is beyond its useful life. We can evaluate the existing skin and windows of the building and see if a total change in not only the HVAC system, but the type of HVAC system is warranted, cost-effective, and the correct engineering solution for the building. 

CSE: ASHRAE has a goal: net-zero energy for all new buildings by 2030. What do other engineers need to know to achieve this goal on their hospital projects? 

Chow: Engineers need to know that a net-zero energy hospital project should incorporate integrated project delivery (IPD). Also, extensive energy modeling analysis will need to be performed as well as integrating innovative design strategies and including both on-site and off-site renewable energy sources.

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