May 27, 2016: The new Bendigo Hospital will be among the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly hospitals in Australia, and its technology, design and green credentials are among the major contributing factors incorporated into the world-class facility.
Touring the new hospital’s rooftop, which features 770 solar panel was Exemplar Health chief executive, Michele Morrison who led Bendigo Health’s board chairman, Bob Cameron, chief executive John Mulder and energy engineer Karin Harding around the site.
The solar panels are among a host of environmental features encompassing the physical building, landscaping, water, waste and energy.
“The new hospital has been designed as a ‘hospital in a garden’, with extensive landscaping and gardens across the precinct to provide areas of recuperation and relaxation for patients, their families and our staff,” Mr Cameron said.
“It is designed to maximise natural light and views from patient rooms and staff working areas, promoting a healing and tranquil environment for all users,” he said.
Supporting Bendigo Health’s vision of healthy communities, stairs that link the hospital together have been developed as a feature, rather than a second thought.
“We want to encourage people to live an active and healthy lifestyle and simple exercise such as using the stairs instead of the lift is a perfect example,” Mr Mulder said.
“There will also be provision for storage for 95 bicycles and amenities available for those who do ride to work.
“Once complete, the beautiful open spaces and gardens for patients, visitors and our staff to walk around will help us continue our drive for a healthier and happier region,” he said.
From an energy perspective, the features are endless with extensive sub-metering of electricity, gas and water consumption so the efficiency of the building can be monitored, optimised and reported.
Visitors to the new facility will see an environmental display screen in the internal street that will be used to inform staff and the public how the building is performing in terms of energy and water efficiency, energy generation, waste segregation and provide environmental education and tips.
“Rainwater collected off the roof of the hospital will be collected in tanks and used for flushing of toilets, urinals, macerators, operation of cooling towers and irrigation of the grounds and gardens,” Ms Harding said.
“The solar panels, combined with the operation of the co-generation and tri-generation plants within the new hospital, will have a big reduction on our electricity demand and result in less carbon emissions.”
Other features include, high efficiency LED lighting that is set to timers and movement sensors, therefore reducing use where possible – patients will have full control of the lighting in their rooms.
An organic recycling unit has been installed in the new kitchen and this system will process food waste to produce a soil conditioning product. This product can then be used as fertiliser on the hospital’s gardens.