First Passive House hospital can serve as a model

The world’s first Passive House hospital is now being built in Frankfurt. By reducing energy consumption, the building’s design will lead to significantly lower operating costs. Other hospitals could benefit from the hospital’s experiences.

The former hospital in the Höchst district of Frankfurt is being replaced by a new building that is being constructed in the Passive House standard. According to the Passive House Institute, the energy demands of hospital buildings are significantly higher than other building types, making it all the more relevant that a Passive House hospital is now being built.

“The basic intention of the Passive House concept, to significantly reduce the energy demand while providing improved comfort, is particularly worthwhile in the case of a hospital building. But special requirements must also be met,” said Oliver Kah of the Passive House Institute.

On behalf of the state government, Kah and his colleagues examined how the Passive House construction method can be applied to a hospital clinic.

One of their major findings is that equipment in the hospital has a major influence on the energy demand. All buildings facilities and medical devices have to be taken into account when planning an energy-efficient hospital.

“If the building facilities are not considered, then planners will have neglected about half of the total energy demand of the clinic. Efficient devices cut down on energy and reduce the cooling demand at the same time,” explained Kah.

The Passive House Institute believes that the findings from this current build could be used to benefit other hospitals. For instance in Germany, many of its 2,100 hospitals are currently in need of refurbishment.


Image credit: International Passive House Institute

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