The Dell Children’s Hospital is to become the first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Platinum Certified Hospital in the world. Building automation strategies will be brought into the facility, which creates energy optimization and air quality points.
Located in central Texas, Dell Children’s medical Center is being granted this certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This hospital works closely with the Seton family of Hospitals. A building automation system is being installed, and the technology, implementation and project management skills are on hand in order for a structure to achieve a number of points necessary in order to be granted the unprecedented LEED Platinum Certification status.
A difficult-to-meet standard, LEED certification status is something many buildings strive for. However, hospitals face an enormous challenge due to the tremendous amount of energy consumption necessary to operate 24-hours a day. Hospitals comprise nearly 4% of the world’s building stock, and consume 8% of the energy.
The majority of LEED certified buildings include commercial office structures, where energy management is achievable because occupants use the building and energy for a limited number of hours, so they are less likely to face regulation penalties or fines if, for instance, indoor air quality slips below the required levels.
There are a number of factors that make the achievement of LEED certification a difficult task for hospitals. They include strict health regulatory codes, around-the-clock occupancy and patient care requirements. Dell Children’s Hospital’s achievement becomes all the more significant because of this.
Six key LEED categories considered when Dell was in the process of considering aiming for the certification include water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor air quality, sustainable site development, and Innovation & design.
LEED has a maximum of 69 total points that can be obtained in the certification process, and Dell Children’s Hospital achieved 54 points in order to win LEED Platinum Certification.
One of the most critical considerations for Dell’s LEED designation was to attain points in the areas of Energy & Atmosphere, and Indoor Environmental Quality. The engineering, integration adn implementation of a building automation system was a vital part of the process, helping achieve two of three LEED prerequisites in Energy & Atmosphere.
The main overall goal was optimizing energy performance. Building control and building automation are important contributors to Indoor Air quality, as building automation helps control the timing and temperature of air conditioning to different areas of the building.
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