Woodhead designed Flinders Medical Centre – New South Wing in Adelaide has been awarded a 5 Star Green Star – Healthcare Design v1 Certified Rating from the Green Building Council of Australia which represents “Australian Excellence” in environmentally sustainable design. It is the first project in Australia to be certified under the Green Star Healthcare certification.
Announced today at the GreenCities conference in Melbourne, the Flinders Medical Centre – New South Wing was praised with delivering excellence in environmentally sustainable design.
Completed in 2009, the four-storey New South Wing, represents a significant new-build component of the redevelopment work at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC). The design solution resulted from a successful alternate masterplanning option by Woodhead, enabling the pursuit of a Green Star rating. Departments accommodated include Outpatient Clinics, Finance and Administration areas, Birthing and Labour inpatient unit, and Obstetrics and Gynaecology inpatient unit, together with part of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and the Reproductive Medicine Unit.
The FMC ESD Workgroup set various sustainability goals for the overall Flinders Medical Centre campus, and for the redevelopment project. As part of that project, the New South Wing was identified as a component to pursue as a Green Star project, but timing was not favourable and the project registration was delayed until the release of Healthcare v1.
Nevertheless, the team was not deterred and, working with sustainability consultant Synergy Green, services engineers Aecom, and structural engineers Aurecon, the team continued to pursue their Sustainability goals, including the 5 star Green Star goal they have now most deservedly won.
The Woodhead Adelaide team working on the project are thrilled with the certification. This outstanding achievement is the culmination of four years of hard work – Robin Muir (Associate, architect and health facility planner) has represented Woodhead on the FMC ESD Workgroup from its inception in 2007; she was joined later by Donna Rafie (Interior Designer) and Gavin Dixon.
The Redevelopment team set themselves the ambitious target of improving the energy efficiency of the FMC Campus, and in the case of the new South Wing, the “outstanding” performance objective is to build a facility 45% more energy efficient than the 2000/ 2001 level of energy efficiency at FMC. Green house gas reductions across the campus are forecast to be of the order of 7000 tonnes per annum; equivalent to taking 1400 cars permanently off the road.
To facilitate the hospital in reducing the consumption of energy, electrical sub-meters will be provided in all floor distribution boards on each floor. These meters will separately monitor power and lighting electrical consumption in real-time and will be connected to the building management system (BMS) which will record consumption data continually throughout the year. It is envisaged that this tracking of energy use will be able to provide insight into the main sources of energy consumption, as well as indicating whether the building is operating as designed. This reduces the risk of inefficient building usage and may identify areas of high consumption and therefore possible targets for energy savings.
Key components to achieve energy savings include:
An energy efficient heating and cooling strategy embracing a range of technologies and techniques to reduce energy use including:
- an innovative displacement ventilation system in the New South Wing
- high efficiency chilling plant and air handling systems
- heat recovery from exhaust air paths
- an economy cycle and other controls logic, governed by an automated BMS which enables the use of energy reduction techniques such as using “free cooling” when outside temperatures permit
- use of the Shaw Method of Air conditioning to control humidity in selected areas
A significant 230 panel Solar Hot Water system has been installed. This one initiative alone is calculated to reduce recurrent energy costs by approximately $400,000 p.a. and annual CO2 emissions by approximately 380 tonnes.
Design of the New South Wing has been approached to provide a building envelope which maximises access to natural light, but includes good passive design features. These include:
- purpose designed external fixed shading devices to maximise light penetration while minimising solar heat gain
- high efficiency glazing throughout, including double glazing with integral venetians and Evergreen glazing
- building envelope with high thermal performance and suitable insulation levels
The “outstanding” objective target for New South Wing water consumption is to achieve greater than 15% reduction of current site-wide consumption from 2006/07. To facilitate the hospital in reducing the consumption of water, water meters will be provided for all major water uses. These meters will monitor water consumption in real-time and will be connected to the building management system (BMS) which will record consumption data continually throughout the year. It is envisaged that this tracking of water use will provide insight into the main sources of water consumption, as well as indicating whether the building is operating as designed. This reduces the risk of inefficient building usage and may identify areas of high consumption or leakages and therefore possible targets for water saving.
New South Wing
- Rainwater harvesting from the roof of part of the existing hospital and from the New South Wing is stored in large tanks under the building, and is used for toilet flushing and fire testing.
- 4 star + WELS rated tapware, showerheads and toilets specified
Indoor environment quality
Concern for both environmental impact and creating a healthy environment for patients, visitors and staff was a key component of the ESD philosophy for the project. Actions include:
Displacement ventilation system to inpatient rooms and delivery rooms (this can be used as a 100% fresh air system)
- Maximising views and provision of natural light
- Maximising views of nature (beautiful views towards attractive treed slopes to the south of the New South Wing)
- 95% of all paints, adhesives and floor coverings are to meet benchmarks for low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Formaldehyde minimisation for all composite wood products
- Provision of adequate spaces for reflection and respite for staff, visitors and patients
An area of secure bicycle parking for staff has been provided to the undercroft area of the New South Wing, providing spaces for 11 bicycles. Facilities for staff to change and shower are also provided. 5 visitor spaces are also provided adjacent the main entry in an area with good natural surveillance.
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) released the Green Star – Healthcare v1 tool on 15 June 2009 to support sustainable planning, design and construction of high-performance healthcare facilities.
The Green Star – Healthcare v1 tool can help owners and operators of healthcare facilities around Australia to:
- minimise the environmental impact of their buildings
- improve patient health outcomes and staff productivity
- receive recognition for green leadership
- achieve real cost savings.
Woodhead is committed to environmentally sustainable design and is extremely proud to be the first in Australia to achieve Green Star Healthcare certification.