Decisions yet to come on hospital power source

Dunedin's new hospital will use renewable energy, but the details of what kind of technology will be chosen and how it will be used have yet to be finalised.

The site for the new hospital was unveiled last week, the $1.4billion development encompassing both the former Cadbury factory and the block to the north of it between Hanover and St Andrew Sts.

The land for the new hospital also includes two smaller parcels of land - the former Cadbury car park, and land between Castle and Leith Sts owned by the Southern District Health Board and home to the Dunedin Energy Centre.

Rebuild chairman Pete Hodgson has previously said the local advisory group (LAG) was considering creating a new district energy scheme having the new Dunedin Hospital as a ``cornerstone consumer''.

Dunedin Energy Centre, which supplies the present hospital with power, uses coal-fired steam boilers.

Mr Hodgson said setting aside the land that is on as part of the rebuild signalled the centre would continue heating the new hospital, but the way it worked would likely be very different.

``It will be part of the rebuild, but a great deal about it isn't yet understood,'' he said.

``We have questions to answer about whether it will be hot water or steam - I think it will be hot water - but it will be renewable.''

As well as the future hospital, the University of Otago would use power from the energy centre, although it had yet to finalise what its likely demands would be, Mr Hodgson said.

``We are not adamant about who needs to build it or own it or manage it - those are all up in the air and that will be done through commercial purposes.

``But the first thing to do is do a much closer planning exercise than what has been done at the moment.''

That planning would be led by the Dunedin City Council, with input from the university and SDHB, but had not yet started, Mr Hodgson said.

He confirmed the LAG would continue to meet to assist with plans for the new hospital, although its role would likely be phased out over time as planning decisions were made.

``The LAG will not necessarily remain busy forever and I am committed to releasing it from the burden of monthly meetings when the time comes, but we've got too much to do,'' he said.



Forget about coal or woodchip, both are carbon contributors.

Investigate deep wells for geothermal heat running heat pumps
There is a decent sized piece of land available for a geothermal field on the hospital and Uni sites as well as playing fields and parks added if needed.

Using thermal piles (absorbing pipework built into structural piles) is a cost effective way of doing this as the piles have to be there anyway and its just a matter of adding pipework. It is commonly used overseas.

There are other methods as well. I looked at these for the Moray Pl 5 star hotel when I was involved, and also Tekapo using the tailrace from the lake to Tekapo 1.

As well the roof and perhaps even north facing exterior wall cladding are candidates for solar panels. In Germany some buildings have complete walls of solar panels that also double as exterior cladding. They are designed to be a part of the building's aesthetic as well as the rain screen to a cavity wall.

Both hospital and UNi can share this energy

Ken Taylor Designshop Architecture