Good baseline information is the key to successful housing technology
“It can’t be taken for granted that the supplier can immediately provide the baseline information needed for designing the housing technology. This includes information, such as the power and automation connections for the medicine robots, the heat loads produced into the environment by the equipment and the necessary air flows. It should be ensured in the procurement phase that the supplier can give the necessary baseline information,” Kämäräinen advises.
The right connections and adjustments affect matters, such as the storage conditions for medicines, which have very precise threshold values. Successful housing technology will keep the hospital facilities and automation devices at the right temperature and the humidity in the desired range. Furthermore, the right pressurisation ensures that no harmful particles can get into unwanted places. Ventilation, cooling and heating are important functions that should be ensured with carefully planned back-up systems in critical situations.
“Disruptions in the electricity distribution are usually taken well into consideration in a hospital’s risk management plans. However, the information should be conveyed more efficiently throughout the entire construction chain, so that it can be planned how the back-up power or other system is utilised for each device. Communication plays a key role in hospital projects, as they involve many different operators and various kinds of technology,” Kämäräinen says.
Energy saving is a matter that is gaining emphasis in the planning of housing technology for hospitals and other public buildings. For example, the air ventilation system can be equipped with heat recovery equipment in order to utilise the excess heat produced by medical automation systems for heating the supply air.
“The heat load, i.e. the instantaneous power of the medical storage robot is roughly 600 watts. It can be compared to a 1000-watt electric kettle. Small streams create a river, meaning that the waste heat recovered from several devices can be used to decrease the annual need for purchased energy. Without heat recovery, the heat would be blown out and wasted entirely,” Kämäräinen says.
Housing technology is also becoming more visual and informative, which makes the nursing personnel’s work easier and more efficient as well. Kämäräinen explains that new anticipation software can soon be used to monitor all the housing technology functions in the hospital in real time. The goal is to develop the reporting ability and energy efficiency of properties and make the housing technology and maintenance work more efficiently. It would be possible to use one program to monitor whether the performance of the systems of the property is in working order and whether energy is being used appropriately.
“NewIcon has good automation systems for monitoring pharmacy automation. The anticipation software will collectively monitor the functions of all pharmacy-related devices,” Kämäräinen envisions.
Granlund Kuopio Oy is the leading housing technology engineering office in eastern Finland
Well-being in a built environment
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