Canberra hospital goes all-electric

Tuesday, 13 June, 2023

Canberra hospital goes all-electric

The Canberra Hospital Expansion project is aiming for a five-star Green Star rating with its new Critical Services Building, said to be the first all-electric hospital building in Australia.

The building’s all-electric status mitigates the release of an estimated 1886 tonnes of carbon emissions annually — equivalent to the removal of 760 cars from Canberra’s roads.

The first of 21 massive heat pumps have been delivered to the Critical Services Building site. A fundamental feature of the new all-electrical building, the heat pumps will replace traditional gas boilers as the building’s source of hot water.

Early designs for the Critical Services Building achieved a four-star Green Star rating, but now a formal submission has been put to the Green Building Council of Australia for an upgraded five-star accreditation, supporting the ACT’s Climate Change Strategy (2019–2025) and the government’s target of a zero-emissions ACT Government health sector by 2040.

Key features of sustainable design in the Critical Services Building include a high-performing facade glazing of thermally broken double-glazed units, which minimises the cooling required in summer and the heating required in winter. The facade achieves this by minimising air changes and by seasonal manipulation of solar heat gains. Other energy-efficient facade elements include solar shading.

The building also boasts energy-efficient and intelligent heating, ventilation and cooling systems; and a holistic building management system (BMS) that monitors and controls all systems in the building. The BMS is supported by an analytics system that provides insight for more efficient operations.

A high indoor environment quality is attained through regulating building features such as humidity, temperature, air quality including oxygen concentration, lighting quality and access to natural light and greenery.

Environmentally conscious decision-making has also been at the forefront of the Critical Services Building throughout its construction process. During demolition of the previous buildings that stood onsite, 96% of the materials were salvaged and repurposed for other projects.

Concrete for the new building includes locally sourced low-carbon concrete, which has 40% reduced carbon content when compared with standard concrete mixes and has eliminated more than 2000 tonnes of embodied CO2 on the project to date. The use of electric cranes has also helped to eliminate pollution and noise during building construction.

For more information on the Canberra Hospital Expansion Project, visit:

Image caption: An artist’s impression of the completed Canberra Hospital Expansion.

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