Healthcare facilities: Planning for increasing extreme heat events

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Huber, Art
Overcash, Michael
Sadkhi, Anas
Rabanimotlagh, Ahmad
Twomey, Janet M.
Yazici, Hulya

Huber, A., Overcash, M., Sadkhi, A., Rabanimotlagh, A., Twomey, J., & Yazici, H. "Healthcare facilities: Planning for Increasing Extreme Heat Events." In Proceedings of the 2014 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. Y. Guan and H. Liao, eds.


Hospitals and healthcare buildings are energy intensive units due to the specific requirements to maintain patient comfort, meet standards for a bacteria and virus free environment, and deliver patient services. Besides being a cost factor for the hospitals, this energy use contributes to the amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere and hence impacts public health. There are many factors that contribute to the amount of energy consumed in a healthcare facility. Energy consumed by HVAC is a significant factor, and is strongly related to outdoor temperature. The relationship between energy consumed and air temperature is difficult to quantify in light of the large number of building specific variables (type of insulation, number of MRI machines, etc.), energy efficiency projects, and the increased weather variability from climate change. With the current increase in prolonged heat events, it is important for a given healthcare facility to understand and plan for energy consumed in the coming decades. In this paper the energy consumption of a major healthcare facility in Wichita, KS is examined to understand the relationship between energy use and ambient air temperature, energy efficiency programs, and extreme temperatures. The results are used to estimate consumption in the next 3 decades.

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