Big-scale energy saving in Denmark

The biggest Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) project in Denmark involves comprehensive refurbishment of the hospital in the Copenhagen suburb of Hvidovre. Thanks to Siemens, it will result in energy savings of 33 percent. The Danish government is calling it a showcase project.

Renewal begins from within. A room in the hospital at Hvidovre is being refurbished. Outside in the corridor of the internal medicine ward things are hectic, with nurses bringing patients meals and medication and visitors bringing them flowers. Inside the room, bright and decorated in a brownish tone, Christian Johansen regulates the temperature and raises the blinds with the push of a button – just as patients will one day be able to do from their bed using one of 500 new terminals. So far the Desigo building management system from Siemens has only been installed in pilot rooms. As of 2018, following a comprehensive refurbishment, the system will make the most energy-efficient ventilation and temperature settings for each room individually. The current lights will be replaced by 15,000 LEDs. “In addition to saving a lot of energy they can be dimmed and adapted to the needs of patients and staff,” explains Johansen.

Intelligent management and modernized buildings

With work on the project run by Siemens to renovate the 245,000-square-meter hospital, built in the 1970s, set to run parallel with regular hospital operations, precise planning in close consultation with hospital management is key, explains Lars Nielsen, Director of Building Performance and Sustainability at Siemens Denmark. The goal is to reduce energy consumption by one third overall, with 41 percent, 23 percent and 8 percent cuts in the use of heating energy, electricity, and water respectively. This is an ambitious target in a highly energy-intensive facility with 60,000 patients a year. But intelligent management and modernization to the building will enable marked improvements in energy efficiency and permanent cost reductions. “Siemens profits from experience in numerous projects in similar situations, in Denmark and the rest of the world,” says Nielsen.

The project covers a whole range of measures. The existing solar panel set-up will be extended threefold, making use of the flat roofs of all four of the hospital’s buildings. The new building management system will simplify control and enable permanent monitoring of energy use. The upgrade also involves new heat pumps and five wind turbines constructed nearby. Within five years the hospital aims to be covering 10 percent of its energy needs with renewables.

Denmark’s largest EPC project

The project was launched in 2015 after an integrated solution submitted by Siemens won the public tender. Involving investment of DKK 160 million (EUR 21.5 million), it’s Denmark’s biggest energy performance contracting (EPC) project. Siemens is covering the costs of renovation, with the hospital repaying the investment over a period of ten years with the money saved thanks to reductions in energy consumption. “This renovation will be cost-neutral for us,” says Finn Bloch, Project Director at the Hvidovre Hospital. This way it will be possible to green the publicly funded hospital on a scale that would not be possible with the hospital’s own limited budget and capabilities. “Naturally we’d rather use our resources for the benefit of our patients rather than to pay our heating bills,” says Bloch.

We hope that this project will set the standard for more hospitals and public buildings.
Lars Nielsen, Director of Building Performance and Sustainability, Siemens Denmark

The EPC project has also aroused the interest of the Danish government. On a visit to Hvidovre this summer, Energy and Climate Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt spoke of a showcase project for public-sector institutions: a way of “reducing energy costs and freeing up more resources for primary duties.” Sophie Haestorp Andersen, Chair Regional Counsel, Capital Region Denmark, with political responsibility for hospitals, pointed to the benefits that can be achieved when the know-how and resources of a private company are harnessed to accelerate the implementation of energy projects and reductions in carbon emissions.

Four winners

As Lars Nielsen at Siemens points out, four winners will emerge from the EPC project: the hospital –which despite investing in maintenance will have more resources for medical care – business partner Siemens, and politicians, as well as society at large thanks to carbon reductions and the creation of new jobs. “We hope,” says Nielsen, “that this project will set the standard for more hospitals and public buildings.”

From consulting to implementation and evaluation, Siemens is playing a leading role. First Siemens building technology experts and the hospital analyzed the potential efficiency gains. A catalog of measures was then drawn up as the basis of a tailormade concept.

An important component of the project is the ongoing measurement of energy consumption, which is analyzed at the Siemens support center in Ballerup near Copenhagen to give the hospital’s technical managers feedback. “At present we don’t know where and when we’re using energy unnecessarily,” explains project director Finn Bloch. In the future the hospital will be able to precisely map energy consumption and adapt its processes accordingly – for a sustained impact.

The Siemens Building Technologies Division has won a 2017 European Energy Service Award (EESA) in the category "Best European Energy Service Project" for its energy performance contracting (EPC) project at Hvidovre Hospital, the largest EPC project in Denmark to date. The project will allow the 245,000 m² hospital near Copenhagen to reduce its heat consumption by 41 percent and its electricity consumption by 23 percent. The total energy consumption will be cut by approximately one third.

Since 2006, the Berlin Energy Agency and the European Commission have honored companies and projects for outstanding efforts and achievements in energy services with the European Energy Service Award (EESA).The EESA is awarded in the context of the IEE project European Energy Service Initiative 2020 (EESI2020), which is coordinated by the Berlin Energy Agency. It has its origins in the European Energy Service Initiative (EESI).

Author: Niels Anner, journalist in Cophenagen

Picture credits: Lars Møller

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