Pioneering MEP technology to aid local hospitals

Abu Dhabi clinic opts for displacement ventilation in landmark move

A rendering of the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, on Sowwah Island.
A rendering of the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, on Sowwah Island.
Work in progress on the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Work in progress on the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Displacement ventilation, a common HVAC principle in the commercial sector, is being pioneered for non-commercial use at the new 280,000 square-metre Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on Sowwah Island, which is using ‘green’ technology to slash its energy and water use by 25%.

“Displacement ventilation lowers the cooling load by downsizing the chiller-plant requirement,” said Ted Jacob of US-based Ted Jacob Engineering Group. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi will feature an integrated clinic/hospital design that will bring high-quality medical care to the Middle East region.

The principle behind displacement ventilation involves air supply and distribution in a room by upwards displacement – that is, direct through-flow in an occupied zone so as to maximise ventilation efficiency.

Air distribution by displacement allows for a larger quantity of air to be supplied than with conventional mixing ventilation, which requires a concentrated supply at a high velocity. This makes it ideal for application in hospitals, where infection control is a priority.

Jacob was speaking at the Hospital Design & Upgrade 2009 Conference held at the Dubai International Conference & Exhibition Centre. The Ted Jacob Engineering Group is a professional MEP consultancy specialising in the planning, design and commissioning of technically complex facilities. It is also involved with the Al Almal Psychiatric Hospital in Dubai.

Scheduled for completion in 2012, the project is a joint venture between Cleveland Clinic and the Mubadala Development Company. The master architect is American firm HDR Architecture, which specialises in designing hospitals, laboratories and research and technology facilities.

Jacob says Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is aiming for accreditation under the Green Guide for Healthcare, a rating system developed specifically for hospitals by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.

Additional ‘green’ features include a double skin for extra insulation, which will reduce the cooling load further, while exhaust heat from kitchen equipment and other machinery will be captured and reused. Reclaimed condensate will be used for cooling and irrigation.

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