Adelaide’s redeveloped Flinders Medical Centre has become the country’s first hospital project to receive a 5 Star Green Star rating.
The hospital’s New South Wing has been awarded the Healthcare Design v1 Certified rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) for excellence in environmentally sustainable design as part of the $160 million redevelopment; it is the first hospital in Australia to be awarded under the Green Star Healthcare v1 Tool.
Woodhead Architects designed the project in conjunction with building services engineers and sustainability consultants.
The redevelopment includes the four-level New South Wing, opened in 2009, which houses medical consulting and outpatient clinics, a labour and delivery unit and an obstetrics and gynaecology unit. ECOM implemented a range of sustainable features including one of Australia’s largest energy-efficient centralised air-conditioning systems, a 286-panel solar hot water system and extensive grey-water and rainwater harvesting. These sustainability measures are set to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water usage by a significant amount.
A displacement air conditioning system supplies patients’ rooms with heat recovered from exhaust air paths, which is the first application in a South Australian hospital supplying improved indoor air quality and a low energy solution.
The 286-panel solar hot water system is designed to reduce recurrent energy costs by $400,000 per year and annual carbon dioxide emissions by 70 per cent. On each level sub-meters monitor electricity, hot and cold water use and chilled and heating water consumption in real-time. They are connected to the building management system and enable tracking over time.
Water-saving measures designed to drastically reduce water consumption include rainwater harvesting from the hospital roof to large tanks for toilet flushing and fire testing, as well as high water-efficiency tapware, showerheads and toilets.
The new wing also includes purpose-designed external fixed shading devices to maximise light penetration while minimising solar heat gain, and high efficiency glazing.
Here's to hoping more institutions find inspiration and revamp their old ways towards a greener path!