This paper outlines the need to increase the resilience of hospital buildings in the face of three growing perils, climate change, insecurity of energy supplies and the resulting potential for epidemics and pandemics. It is argued that there has been a trend to poorer building design and construction standards resulting in the increase in fossil fuel use to maintain adequate indoor temperatures. As extreme climate events increase in number and intensity, and are increasingly associated with power failures, the role of buildings becomes more central to our comfortable survival. No where more so than in hospitals in which we care for some of the most vulnerable in our societies. It is in hospitals that we must go beyond Low Energy Cooling to Low Carbon Cooling with systems in deeply passive buildings that can operate on embedded renewable energy systems even when power grids and back up generators fail. New holistic concepts for achievement of comfortable indoor climates for hospitals are being developed to improve the resilience of hospital buildings. Central to this aim is the need to control the transmission of infections in hospitals. This paper outlines the challenge and concludes that much more research is needed to produce a generation of Resilient Hospitals in which patients can remain safe in extreme weather events even when grid power systems do fail.
Resilient hospital design: the zero carbon cooling challenge
28th AIVC and 2nd Palenc Conference " Building Low Energy Cooling and Ventilation Technologies in the 21st Century", Crete, Greece, 27-29 September 2007