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Due to the continuous operation of HVAC systems and stringent requirements for indoor environmental conditions, the total energy use per floor area in healthcare facilities is second only to that of food service buildings and significantly higher than other commercial building types. In order to evaluate potential opportunities for saving energy in healthcare facilities, a model of a hospital located in South Louisiana was developed in a public domain building energy simulation program. Building information required for the model development was taken from the hospital architectural and mechanical plans. A field survey was also conducted to identify plug loads and the central plant equipment. A multizone HVAC system consisting of a variable air volume (VAV) system and fan-coil units was implemented in the developed model. The annual electricity and natural gas consumption estimated by the developed model was compared with that of a published study and to actual utility data for model validation. Three energy efficiency measures were evaluated using the developed models, namely reducing lighting power density, installing high efficiency windows, and the combination of both approaches. Simulation results showed a 12% annual energy savings by reducing the assumed average lighting power density from 2.5 Watts/ft2 (27 Watts/m2) to zone specific values - based on the applicable ASHRAE standard. Only a 1% savings resulted from using high efficiency windows. The combination of both approaches could reduce the annual energy consumption by 13% based on the simulation results. The development of a validated hospital model enables the further exploration of potential energy-saving opportunities in healthcare facilities in South Louisiana.

Citation: 2018 Winter Conference, Chicago, IL, Conference Papers