Humidity control and energy saving for a sustainable hospital
Thiene-Schio Hospital At the cutting-edge in terms of services and green building The hospital, opened on 20 February 2012, was built to combine the existing Thiene and Schio hospitals into one single complex. Located in Santorso (between Thiene and Schio), occupying 69,000 sq.m. on a total area of 86,000 sq.m., the complex has 280 spacious rooms, all with at most two beds, and an area for families to ensure maximum patient comfort. The main characteristic however is service quality, meaning the care paid to patients and their families, the focus of all the hospital’s activities. The complex is therefore modern and functional, no longer being structured around wards and departments, but rather patient care, unifying common activities and resources as much as possible. This patient-focused approach also extends to the construction of the operating rooms, as well as the ancillary structures, such as the restaurant and nursery for children.
The building was constructed applying “green” principles, such as district heating, with a waste-to-energy plant supplying hot water at 120°C. This also provides air-conditioning in winter and cooling in summer, using an absorber. Electricity is partly provided by a photovoltaic installation, rainwater is collected and used to water the lawns, and the natural gas used to supply the combined heat and power plant is considered under Italian law as being equivalent to a renewable energy source . The choice of the CAREL humiFog for optimum air humidification fits into this innovative vision of energy-saving building, as humiFog consumes just 4 W of power for each litre/ hour of atomised water, less than 1% of the power consumption of any steam humidifier. Indeed, considerable energy savings are possible using the adiabatic process, humidifying the air while consuming just the small amount of energy needed to bring the water to a pressure of 70 bars, meaning significant cost as well as energy savings. Further savings are also guaranteed by using humiFog multizone to humidify different rooms, connecting several distribution systems to one single pumping unit.