The role of parametric modelling and environmental simulation in delivering sustainable healthcare buildings

Osaji, EE and Price, ADF 2009, The role of parametric modelling and environmental simulation in delivering sustainable healthcare buildings , in: Second International Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment, 22nd–24th April 2009, Loughborough, UK.

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There is a need for innovative strategies capable of facilitating the delivery of sustainable healthcare buildings that successfully achieve healthy, comfortable internal conditions while minimising the environmental impacts on building operation. The National Health Service (NHS) has recognised that it has a responsibility to pioneer efforts in the climate change agenda for the benefit of its healthcare building users, including patients and the general public. The significance of the impacts of climate change on NHS healthcare buildings is evident by the fact that the NHS carbon footprint in England is estimated to be in the region of 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, which represents approximately 3% of England’s total carbon emissions. Annual energy expenditure by the NHS is currently over £429 million for electricity and heating which represents approximately 22% of the NHS England total carbon footprint. Factors that may have a negative impact leading to an increase in NHS carbon dioxide emissions include: an increase in the energy intensity of its healthcare delivery; an increase in floor area due to progress in its major building programmes; and an increase in its total activity due to demographic changes. In support of the NHS’s sustainable goals and aspirations for carbon reduction and a more energy efficient healthcare building stock, parametric modelling and environmental simulation has been identified to play a key role in building energy performance assessment. This paper offers an understanding of how parametric modelling and environmental simulation can be applied for the energy efficient design of new healthcare buildings, and the energy performance assessment of existing healthcare buildings. The issue of building energy performance is important and the integration of building energy performance assessment – particularly during the new build design stage – is capable of overcoming the barrier to accessing the building energy efficiency resource potential, thereby facilitating improvement in low-energy new building design. Such an improvement could translate to a 50-75% reduction in energy consumption levels. Its implications include: a significant reduction in energy costs; contribution to the mitigation of environmental impacts and climate change; and alleviation of occupancy discomfort. This paper has reviewed current literature – and an assessment tool and method – related to parametric modelling and environmental simulation. Its possible applicability to healthcare environmental design was reviewed to identify examples of good practice, evidence-based solutions and the conceptualisation of a Virtual Health Promoting Environment (VHE) that integrates such a key assessment method for efficient building performance. It was discovered that parametric modelling and environmental simulation support building energy simulation analysis as a building energy performance assessment method that overcomes the barrier caused by ineffective decision-support. It has an important role to play in delivering sustainable healthcare buildings by facilitating: a strengthening of the evidence base of environmental impacts; the development of innovative solutions; effective integration and collaborative working between teams; and consensus building and collective decision making with multiple stakeholders.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Journal or Publication Title: Second International Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment : conference proceedings
Publisher: Loughborough University
ISBN: 9780947974817
Related URLs:
Depositing User: EE Osaji
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2020 14:59
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2020 15:01

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