Lighting and solar upgrade for Burnside Hospital
The iconic Burnside Hospital in metropolitan Adelaide has completed a major solar and energy-efficient lighting upgrade, in a move expected to save the community hospital more than $2.5 million over the next 20 years.
Burnside Hospital provides patient-centric healthcare services via a 76-bed facility in its Toorak Gardens location. Like many large residential and commercial buildings its energy needs are driven by heating and cooling, cooking, lighting, refrigeration and hot water; however, it also needs to power critical medical, surgical and clinical services such as operating theatres, maternity and delivery suites, a sleep study centre, a high dependency unit and many on-site specialist tenants such as pathology and radiology.
The hospital previously reduced its energy use via upgrades to its lifts, generators and air-conditioning units. Energy services business Verdia was brought in to deliver an upgrade to the hospital’s lighting fixtures and rooftop solar installation — a natural next step for the hospital to improve its financial and environmental performance, according to Verdia CEO Paul Peters.
“The hospital’s electricity costs had almost doubled over a 12-month period and so the energy-efficient upgrade was a smart move,” Peters said.
Verdia’s energy efficiency fit-out included the installation of 950 energy-efficient LED lights over three months, followed by a 160 kW rooftop solar PV system made up of 582 solar panels. According to Peters, this will help reduce energy use by about 26% and save about $145,000 a year in energy costs — or more than $2.6 million over the next 20 years.
“It’s also helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the hospital by about 230 tonnes a year — that’s the same as taking 131 cars off the road each year,” he said.
While the energy efficiency fit-out is helping to reduce operating costs, the main driver for the hospital was to create healthcare services that had less impact on the environment and spaces with better amenity for patients and their families.
“The project is in line with the expectations of our community and also makes good business sense by reducing our energy footprint over the long term,” said Burnside Hospital Chair Frank Kite.
“The combined efforts of the hospital to reduce its carbon footprint are in sync with a global trend for greening healthcare facilities to create a better and healthier environment for patients and our community.”
The LED lighting upgrade is producing a cleaner luminosity for patients and staff, which is welcomed particularly by patients confined to bed or those staying multiple days. The solar PV system will meanwhile contribute 210 MWh of electricity to the hospital each year, which is about 12% of the operational requirement.
The upgrade is expected to have a 3.7-year payback.
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