By design, acute health care facilities are energy intensive. They provide critical patient care 24/7, and have many areas with strict requirements for temperature, humidity, pressurization, and proper air changes. Hospitals are made more complex by a series of regulations and inspections from local, state, and national organizations such as the Joint Commission.
These exacting requirements do not, however, preclude hospitals from being energy efficient. In fact, health care facilities are under increasing pressure to contain costs and to achieve an improved level of energy efficiency. The challenge to retrofitting a hospital for efficient operations is to clearly understand the key operating parameters, document the systems that are in place, develop a design for improved efficiency, and to work with a construction team to implement these changes. Of course, all of this has to occur within a facility that is continuously occupied.