After more than 100 years, the old eye hospital of the University of Tübingen, a listed building dating from 1909, outgrew its capacity. The building no longer provided enough space for the medical care of patients and the nine departments of the clinic.
The solution: a new building, which offered space for clinic, research and academic departments. This combination, however, came with specific demands for the building technology.
The planning of the new eye clinic had to answer to one crucial question: How can the new building be operated with minimal energy consumption? The biggest challenge was the demands of the users – six operating rooms, a hospital with 77 beds and a research institute. Each department had different needs for heating and air-conditioning.
The new eye clinic has a head start when it comes to environmentally friendly operation: a biomass power plant provides energy and the clinic is connected to the hot-water network of the university via the adjacent ENT building.
The challenge is to distribute the heat evenly throughout the building. "The clinic requires pleasant room temperatures for patients, it has to meet the medical requirements in the operating room, and the research institute needs cool rooms for preserving samples", says Christian Saier from Johnson Controls.
It’s the same with the air-conditioning, as each of the three departments has its own system. But there’s more: in the operating room the air-conditioning has to run continuously, in order to minimize the risk of contamination.
How can the system meet the requirements of all departments as well as being as energy-efficient as possible? By using the right components. Johnson Controls already used Danfoss products for hydronic balancing – the even distribution of water and heat throughout the building. The pressure-independent AB-QM balancing and regulating valve allows precise control of the water flow and reduces energy consumption.
Danfoss frequency converters save energy too. They regulate both the centrifugal pumps of the water network and the radial fans of the ventilation system, reducing energy consumption by up to 40 per cent. Also, their high electromagnetic compatibility is important in hospital and research facilities with sensitive diagnostic and analysis devices.
"Since the clinic opened in October 2016, we received only positive feedback on the building technology", says Saier. The three-year planning time and the careful selection of the products have paid off and ensure high precision of the system. "In health care, the technology needs to be extremely reliable. That’s why Danfoss is the partner of choice."