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Understanding hospital electricity use: an end-use(r) perspective

Morgenstern, P; (2016) Understanding hospital electricity use: an end-use(r) perspective. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Increasing energy costs and climate change legislation have prompted efforts to reduce energy consumption in hospitals. In addition to technological conservation strategies focusing on building and systems, staff-centred initiatives such as energy awareness campaigns are increasingly considered by NHS trusts. But hospitals are complex buildings with unique energy requirements and it is unclear to what extent these are influenced by clinical staff. This case study investigation, employing both technical and social methods of inquiry, hence aims to improve the understanding of hospital electricity use from an end-use perspective and to determine the relevance of behaviour and other simple operational changes as strategies to save energy in different hospital areas. The study findings highlight the importance of a robust understanding of operational characteristics and contextual variables in devising tailored organisational carbon management strategies. A three-tiered process is proposed to identify spaces where simple operational changes could reduce energy demand: it is recommended to, firstly, undertake an engineering analysis of the energy end-uses in the spaces in question, identifying significant loads at a local level. Floor area weighted operating hours and shares of installed loads under (clinical) staff control may then be helpful metrics to approximate the extent to which these loads are influenced by the actions of occupants. Finally, socio-technical constraints on departmental workings should be considered taking into account at least aspects around the shared use of spaces between teams, the available local knowledge on the control of building services and equipment, the morale within the organisation as well as the suitability of the working means. The need to move away from top-down imposed models of change is recognised, instead taking a user-perspective to understand what may constitute a reasonably achievable transformation in the ways things are done. This does also mean that standards and requirements are not beyond questioning, even in sensitive environments such as hospitals. Instead, collaborative efforts between energy managers and interested clinicians as well as health administrators and equipment technicians could help to demystify clinical processes and achieve a sound understanding of opportunities to reduce the energy use of the health service.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Understanding hospital electricity use: an end-use(r) perspective
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Energy, hospitals, occupants, socio-technical
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Arts and Sciences (BASc)
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1514500
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