U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office
Hospital Energy Alliance: HVAC—Dell Children's Medical Center Video (Text Version)
Below is a text version of the Hospital Energy Alliance HVAC video about the use of innovative HVAC concepts at the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, located in Austin.
Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin Texas is the first hospital in the nation to be certified as LEED Platinum. HVAC is a critical component of the integrated energy design strategy at Dell.
All of the air we pump through the building is drawn out of the gardens. That air down in those gardens will be much cooler than air off the roof. Typically you draw air off the roof, and in Austin in the middle of July when it's 104, it takes a lot more energy to cool air that's 104 down to 70, than it does to cool air that's 90 down to 70.
We tried to, as much as possible, stack the air-handling units on a floor-to-floor basis. At least have them in close proximity so that when our chilled water is distributed, and heating water is distributed, it ends up pretty close, and you don't have a lot of pipe runs and that type of thing.
When you stack all these things up on top of one another, you're then able to have the heat-recovery unit on the top and all that exhaust air that we're required to exhaust out, we're able to actually recover the heat and all of that energy then is not just wasted and being blown out into the atmosphere. And in addition, by having these distributed units, we're able to right-size them for where they are serving. An operating room has much, much different needs from an air-distribution standpoint than something like a medical records area or a lobby.
We designed our ductwork with low velocities, low friction losses, so that we maximized our energy performance as far as the distribution system was concerned.
…which gave us energy savings by having smaller fan motors.
The energy difference between this facility and our other facilities is about 10 to 20 percent. That's what we realize in terms of the energy conservation coming off of this building, which is significant given that it's a 24 – 7 operation.