Despite several major expansions in recent years, Chesterfield Royal Hospital (CRH) has benefited from services supplied by BG Energy Solutions to help meet demanding annual cost improvement targets and energy reduction objectives of 5% set by the NHS Foundation Trust. BG Energy has assisted the site to steadily replace its ageing Andover building management system (BMS) with the latest Delta controls to oversee essential hospital functions that include heating, ventilation and domestic hot water.
Serving a catchment population in north Derbyshire of around 375,000, CRH provides a full range of acute services plus 24-hour accident and emergency care and specialist services for children. Around 3400 people are employed and its annual budget is £180 million. Built in 1984, CRH originally featured Andover MP2000 BMS technology. However, with the rapid advance of BMS development in the 1990s, the hospital took a stance to embrace an upgrade programme.
“We regularly assess our capital investment and plan BMS-related projects as and when we can afford them, whether they are upgrading existing facilities or furbishing new ones,” explains Stephen Bacon, Energy Manager at CRH. “Over the past 15-20 years we’ve been through four tender processes for design and installation projects, all of which have been won by BG Energy Solutions.”
The aim is the gradual introduction of Delta BMS technology, which today controls and/or monitors essential functions such as heating, ventilation and domestic hot water across the entire site. Where the Andover BMS technology has yet to be replaced, it at least shares data with Delta as necessary.
By using Delta Controls and their open integration Bacnet technologies, this enables us to communicate freely with at least seven other manufacturers of Bacnet products on the hospital network these all communicating and sharing data as required. BG Energy Solutions is able to provide the best product for each application. This in turn means that Chesterfield Royal Hospital does not have the constraints of a single manufacturer with a tied product range and exclusive service opportunity and benefits from the cost savings accordingly
As well as the refurbishment of HVAC controls in a variety of departments including wards, kitchens, staff residential blocks and the mortuary, today Delta technology also controls the main boiler house. Here, four boilers are sequenced in and out, and rotated as required, to heat water to 140°C. This is now fully automated and the system replaced a previous manual boiler house that was manned 24/7. Two steam boilers, used to supply autoclaves for equipment sterilisation, also feature critical alarm monitoring. Further down the line there exist a number of heat exchangers that take water from 140°C to 80°C for use by radiators and air handling units, and to 60°C for domestic hot water.
Cold water storage is also monitored for level and temperature, with alarms raised if preset limits are breached. This is critical as the primary method used to control the risk from Legionella bacteria is temperature control in hot and cold water systems. The bacteria are dormant below 20°C and do not survive above 60°C.
Proven track record
Over the years there have been a myriad of additional projects implemented with help from BG, a full service energy solutions business with a proven track record in healthcare estates. For instance, eight operating theatres were retrofitted with inverters to control fan speed. This allows the monitoring of air-flows to help harness any potential for air transmitted infection, even though CRH has one of the lowest hospital-acquired infection rates in the country.
Another recent project has seen CRH take its first steps into lighting control. Lighting control panels were designed by CRH and built by BG Energy’s panel shop. Nine panels have now been completed to control lighting in the hospital’s plant rooms.
However, arguably the most notable recent project took place in 2009-10, when the trust opened three new wards, Hasland, Elmton and Ridgeway (as a single, three-storey building), at a cost of £12 million. Again, BG implemented Delta controls to oversee heating, ventilation and hot water, along with a small solar DHWS heating system.
Extensive project list
But this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of development projects taking place over the past five years. For instance, 2012 witnessed the opening of a purpose-built Women’s Health Unit along with the conversion of an existing building that saw it become the Chesterfield Eye Centre. In 2011, an existing ward was converted to a purpose built stroke unit, while the maternity unit was redeveloped in 2010. A year earlier saw an upgrade to the main entrance, and the Nightingale Wing was extended in 2008. Key to all of the projects is the installation of simple user interfaces that give individual control to staff across the site.
“The easy-to-use panels really help because it’s a challenge to reduce energy consumption year-on-year when the hospital is constantly expanding and upgrading,” says Mr Bacon. “We are set a target 5% reduction figure by the Trust, so implementing the Delta BMS technology has obviously helped as facilities such as boilers are only operational when demand is required and heating systems can be turned down or off when areas are not occupied.”
Furthermore, the various levels of monitoring in place at CRH help indicate what areas of the hospital are commanding more energy use. This in turn targets efforts and thus helps achieve the 5% reduction. CRH is in fact already rated ‘green’ by Monitor – the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts.
Targeted energy reduction
“The close relationship between BG and our estates management team helps get to the heart of any poor plant performance issues and energy wastage,” adds Mr Bacon. “The team at BG has been excellent, from design through to installation, and training. In fact, BG helped train our staff, mostly at no cost, so we can understand where to focus our projects. In the past the emphasis was BMS, but now it is more BEMS – building energy management systems.”
And the projects at CRH keep on coming. The next initiative is to upgrade all 12 operating theatres at CRH, which will include new air handling units and panels to control temperature and humidity. The quote from BG Energy Solutions has been submitted with contract decisions pending.
“CRH is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and becoming more energy efficient,” concludes Mr Bacon. “BG continues to help us target significant savings through the installation of the latest BMS equipment that meets the requirements of both patients and staff.”