Hospital Case Study 1

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A memorable project for Ylem’s Executive Director, Richard Greaves, was a multi-million pound upgrade he managed at the hospital where his children were born. In the end, the Trust that runs this hospital (and another one, which was included in the project) reduced its carbon footprint, cut its energy bills and made headway in clearing a massive maintenance backlog. The project was worth around £5-million and involved an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) with a lifespan of 15 years.

The problems

Faced with an £11-million maintenance backlog, a £2-million annual energy bill and a commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent, the Trust was looking for a partner to carry out some major upgrades.

Between them, the two hospitals had around 4,000 staff members, over 500 beds and departments (such as the emergency unit) that serviced as many as 100,000 patients each year. All work carried out had to be done in such a way that the hospitals could continue to operate normally.

A key part of the project was to make the hospitals’ operating systems more resilient, to boost sustainability and reduce impact on the environment.

Our approach

Engineering the right solution required a creative approach, tailored to the needs of two busy hospitals. It involved centralising each site’s heating systems with energy efficient, dual fuel Low Temperature Hot Water (LTHW) boilers and distribution system, bringing in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and installing nearly 4,000 economical, high efficiency lights (reducing the lighting load by 100kW).

Although challenging, distribution pipes were threaded around a very congested site, avoiding any disruption to patients and staff. New controls were brought in with an upgraded building-management system (BMS), including variable-speed drives on pumps and motors.

The scheme also included water saving measures and insulation improvements.

An early decision was made to prohibit any hot works in the hospital buildings and to maximise opportunities for prefabrication off-site. With careful planning and collaboration with the Trust and staff on site, the project went smoothly and there were no unplanned disruptions.

The planning and construction took around two years. Added value included tackling the Trust’s backlog maintenance, reducing demand from the national grid, reductions in maintenance costs and improved reliability and resilience.

The Financials

The Trust procured the project through the Carbon Energy Fund, an energy procurement framework. The Trust received assistance in securing a £576,000 grant from the Department of Health’s Energy Efficiency Fund, with the remainder of the funds required sourced through the EPC.

The awarding of the tender involved a comprehensive and transparent bidding process, where competing solutions were offered and assessed. The winner was chosen based on engineering ability, innovation and the right financial model.

The savings achieved over the 15-year period will cover the cost of the upgrades implemented to achieve them. Savings that exceed targets are shared, which means the hospitals are able to invest more where it matters.

The project has so far exceeded the Trust’s carbon emission reduction targets of 30 per cent by 6 per cent. Further, more than £2-million of backlog maintenance was absorbed into the wider project. All energy savings were guaranteed.

I was especially pleased to be working on this project as it is my local hospital where my children were born. It is good to be supporting an institution that plays such a vital role in the community. – Richard Greaves

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