From its inception, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital has adopted a total building performance approach to ensure optimal energy performance and the delivery of a green hospital. This approach focuses on aspects such as water and energy efficiency, environmental protection and indoor environmental quality to bring about optimal levels of visual, spatial and thermal comfort and a high level of indoor air quality.
High Performance Façade System for Thermal and Visual Comfort
KTPH is a quiet respite away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The open layout of the towers and the optimal orientation of blocks ensure that patients have a quiet and comfortable environment for healing.
KTPH has also been designed with Singapore’s tropical climate in mind. Taking into account factors, which have a direct impact on patients’ comfort, such as humidity, daylight and solar heat gain, the 5 and 10-bed wards have been designed for optimal natural ventilation into the wards. Studies were also done on sun angles and wind direction to ensure optimal shading for improved lighting in these wards, while at the same time reducing glare from the sun.
Light shelves in the wards are designed to reflect daylight further into the wards, resulting in bright and cheery wards, which reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day. In the case of rain, monsoon windows have been installed at bed levels of patients to allow for wind movement without letting in the rain. In addition, patients staying in these wards have a splendid view of the Yishun pond.
All the 1 and 4-bed wards in the Private Tower are also installed with ceiling fans. This offers patients an option between natural ventilation and air-conditioned comfort. The provision of dual switches ensures that the air conditioning in the room is automatically cut-off when the windows are opened for natural ventilation.
Use of Renewable Energy
KTPH harnesses clean and renewable energy through solar energy systems to help offset the carbon footprint of the hospital. Over 1200 sq m of specially installed solar photovoltaic (PV) panels have been installed on rooftops to convert solar energy directly into electricity. This is equivalent to an Olympic-size swimming pool. The panels are expected to generate about 150,000 kWh of energy, which translates into cost savings of S$29,000 annually for the hospital.
The technologically advanced solar thermal system, together with the solar heat pumps, produces approximately 21,000 liters of hot water per day. This is enough to meet all the hot water needs of the hospital, eliminating the need to install costly and bulky boilers. It also translates into approximately S$62,000 in cost savings annually in electricity bills.
Superior air quality plays an important role in promoting a healthy healing environment in KTPH. Air filtration systems have been installed to minimize contamination and reduce infection and particulate count. Carbon dioxide sensors not only ensure fresh air flows through the building to aid the healing of patients, but also works towards ensuring optimal energy efficiency for the building. In addition, carbon monoxide sensors are used to monitor the air quality in the basement carpark. The sensors track the air quality as well as the optimal operation of mechanical fans.
Super efficient air conditioning chillers that are 27% more efficient have been installed in KTPH. This reduces the electricity bill by about 5%. To prevent infections and cross-contaminations, the air- conditioning system in operating theaters adopt the use of the heat pipe technology to ensure that all the cooled used air from the operating theaters must be totally flushed out and replaced with fresh or outdoor air.
Water and Waste Management
To reduce the consumption of potable water, the use of non-traditional water sources such as rainwater and recycled water have been adopted. Rainwater is harvested through the use of rain sensors installed in the adjacent Yishun pond. The installation of intricate irrigation systems in the pond provide for the landscaping needs of the hospital’s gardens. NeWater, treated wastewater produced by Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) is used for the cooling tower of the hospital.
A pneumatic waste conveyance system is used to ensure that the waste management for the hospital is hygienic and safe. This system minimizes human contact with waste, and leads to a lower risk of infection and contamination.
KTPH is both “a garden in a hospital” and a “hospital in a garden”. Over 14, 000 sq m of lush green landscapes contribute to a healing environment for patients to recuperate and rejuvenate. Rooftop gardens, flowing green belts through courtyards and greenery-laced facades work to reduce the site temperature of the building. Our green replacement ratio for the hospital is approximately 1:1. This means that we have replanted the same amount of plants and trees that would have been there had the land remained vacant.
Overall, KTPH is firmly grounded in its green and energy efficient design and these initiatives translate into substantial operational cost savings for the hospital.
About the Author
Managed by Alexandra Health, the new Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) marks the beginning of an integrated healthcare hub in the north of Singapore. The 550-bed hospital opened its Specialist Outpatient Clinics on 28 March and is expected to be fully operational with A&E and inpatient services from July 2010.