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The ‘Infanta Sofía’ public hospital halves its carbon footprint

04/11/2016

ACCIONA, which manages this public hospital under a concession, has reduced its C02 emissions in the centre by almost 50% and its water consumption by 20% in the last five years. All the electricity consumed by the hospital is of renewable origin. These measures have been recognised with the BREEAM® certificate of excellence for sustainable environmental management.

ACCIONA, which manages the Infanta Sofía public hospital in San Sebastián de los Reyes (near Madrid) under a concession arrangement, has implemented measures to offset its carbon footprint by reducing C02 emissions by almost 50% in five years, plus a 20% reduction in water consumption. This effort has been rewarded with the BREEAM® certificate, which analyses both buildings and their environmentally sustainable management. ACCIONA has been awarded an “excellent” rating – the highest possible score – in the building management category and “very good” in the score for the building itself.

Within ACCIONA’s commitment to sustainability, the Infanta Sofía has implemented pioneering systems for the first time in the public hospital network of Madrid to improve its energy efficiency by maintaining or improving the quality of service. Among these initiatives is the installation of monitoring mechanisms to analyse the building’s energy demand in real time, detecting variations in electricity and gas consumption and making it possible to establish immediate action protocols for the correction of deviations. Thanks to this system, together with the replacement of conventional lighting by LEDs, the use of more efficient equipment and the adjustment of the air conditioning system with exterior and interior temperature sensors, natural gas consumption has been reduced by more than 48% and electricity by 15%.

In addition, 100% of the electricity consumed by the hospital is of renewable origin. All the steps taken have meant that C02 emissions have been reduced by half in five years, despite higher patient numbers.

The management of water supplies has also been improved; consumption is almost 50% lower over five years thanks to a series of measures to save water (laundry, taps, cisterns) and awareness campaigns for staff and patients. 

These measures are coordinated by a “Sustainability Committee” that carries out the social and environmental management of the hospital and analyses other environmental factors such as waste management and paper consumption.

ACCIONA, which built the hospital, took the best use of natural light from the exterior and opened up of wide interior spaces into account in the design.

Continuous improvement

The ACCIONA team in Infanta Sofía subjected the facilities and their operation of the hospital to the BREEAM® independent analysis for the first time in 2013. The result was “very good” in sustainable management and “good” for the building. In the process BREEAM analysed the environmental performance of the building, energy invoices, consumption records (energy, water…), environmental health and well-being, waste management…

Following the report by the certification agency a series of additional energy efficiency and environmental measures were implemented. They have been completed this year, and have been rated as “excellent” in the management category and “very good” in the assessment of the building.

The analysis provided a route map to improve the hospital’s sustainability, while also reducing operating costs and improving its environmental performance and comfort levels.

As Director of Operations and the Technical, Quality and Environment departments of the SCHN José Luis García Matamoros explains:

“The certification process has helped us incorporate new processes and equipment to improve the hospital’s relationship with its surroundings. Together with Empresa Pública Hospital de Norte, we have worked on our social commitment of caring for the environment. BREEAM is the idea test to measure our quality and take on new challenges to be more efficient and sustainable.”

The Infanta Sofía hospital is the only one in Spain that holds the BREEAM sustainability certificate. More than 500 hospitals have undergone this process worldwide, all of them obtaining ratings lower than those achieved by ACCIONA.   

BREEAM® (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) is a method to evaluate and certify the sustainability of buildings with a history of over 20 years and more than 245,000 buildings certified in more than 70 countries. Firms such as MRW, Orona, Repsol, Agbar, Eroski, Kutxa or Decathlon have used the methodology, which promotes healthy and productive buildings for their occupants that are efficient in terms of the resources they use.

The Infanta Sofía Hospital is run as a public-private partnership between Empresa Pública Hospital de Norte, which manages the medical part, and ACCIONA, the concessionary company that undertakes the non-medical services. ACCIONA promotes the creation of work groups in a mixed management model to facilitate the creation of jointly agreed strategies.

Learn more about sustainable construction at ACCIONA.

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