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The University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust provides first class general and specialist services to patients locally in London and from throughout the UK and abroad. It includes the University College Hospital itself and six other cutting-edge specialist hospitals.

The Trust’s Director of Estates and Facilities, Trevor Payne, commissioned Low Carbon Europe to undertake a fully invasive inspection of the operating theatre HVAC systems within the UCLH Heart Hospital.

The aim of the inspection was to measure HVAC energy loads and devise a way of improving these through the optimization of control strategies, ventilation rates, humidification parameters and part-load efficiencies, while at the same time ensuring that all the HTM 03-01 requirements are being maintained.

The Low Carbon Europe Audit

The Audit identified a number of potential energy and cost savings, as well as opportunities to cut carbon emissions.

The critical ventilation system serving the operating theatre was found to have acceptable airflows and pressure differentials.

And the theatre itself was assessed as operating satisfactorily, but a number of minor faults and remedial actions were listed in the verification report.

The action plan included recommendations to provide test points in main and branch ducts and the installation of automatic control dampers in each of the theatre’s supply ducts.

Our consultants also recommended the Trust install variable speed drives and control pumps on demand and that the coil faces be cleaned on a regular basis, in order to improve efficiency and heat rejection.

The Low Carbon Europe Audit also recommended a further insulation review is undertaken and the AHU supply fans be replaced with high efficiency units, to cut energy consumption.

Other recommendations included:

  • A software interlock to prevent the unnecessary operation of chillers
  • A regular review of temperature and pressure calibration by undertaken, in order to maintain optimal efficiency
  • Reduce extract air supply volume to anesthetic rooms
  • The fire damper to the duct should also be checked for full or partial closure

All the recommendations in the Low Carbon Europe Audit were broken down by estimated cost, payback period and cost saving, along with how much energy and carbon could be saved.

The Audit estimated that if all the proposals and suggestions were implemented, the Trust could cut its carbon emissions by 102.5 tonnes a year and save 245,000 kWh of energy.

And if implemented, the energy-saving features in the review would also pay for themselves within approximately 14 months, resulting in an annual saving for the Trust of more than £18,000.