Healthcare spending on energy efficient buildings to hit $6.4 billion by 2027

11 September 2018 4 min. read

As healthcare facilities are asked to do less with more by governments looking to cut down on spending in public services, energy is seen as one area where relatively painless efficiency savings can be found. A new report has subsequently shown that the demand for energy efficient buildings in the healthcare sector is set to surpass $6 billion by 2027.

Healthcare providers are under strain across the West, thanks to multiple challenges that have shifted public demand and the ability to meet it. In the UK the NHS is struggling to meet the expectations of a growing, ageing and increasingly demanding population, a predicament not aided by the announcement in January 2017 that the UK Government will cut the service’s budget per person in real terms next year. Numbers released by ministers show NHS England face a sharp reduction of 0.6% per head in the financial year 2018-19. As institutions like the NHS are constantly pushed to do more with less, many are looking for places to save time, money and human resources, in order to prioritise frontline service provision.

Data from the Carbon Trust estimates that the UK’s healthcare sector alone spends more than £400 million per year on energy. While hospitals are understandably high consumption buildings, one way or another, a significant proportion of this is actually wasted, meaning that money is being wasted too. On a global basis, this presents the industry with both a challenge, and an opportunity to make major savings.Healthcare spending on energy efficient buildings to hit $6.4 billion by 2027To that end, according to Navigant Research, demand for energy efficient building technologies in healthcare facilities is set to boom in the next nine years. A study produced by the global consultancy has found that the average hospital uses 2.5 times the amount of energy compared to other commercial buildings, and unlike in other building types, energy and water-related disruptions can be life-threatening events in healthcare facilities, adding an additional pressure to obtain higher levels of energy efficiency.

The report analyses the global market for energy efficient building technologies in healthcare facilities, while examining the opportunities and challenges afforded by the installation of energy efficient HVAC, lighting, controls, water efficiency, water heating, and building envelope products, as well as commissioning and installation services. Navigant anticipates that as the healthcare industry joins the energy efficient building technologies market in the coming years, annual spending for energy efficient building technologies for healthcare facilities will hit $6.4 billion by 2027.

Navigant’s document suggests that while cost efficiencies represent a significant benefit, these technologies can also improve the indoor environment of healthcare facilities, including air, power, and lighting quality. These factors contribute to a strategic goal for healthcare-related buildings, pushing towards improved patient experience and quality of care. For example, energy efficient building technologies integrated with intelligent building solutions such as Internet of Things and software as a service can add even more value to healthcare facilities, and facilities that have adopted these systems are already realising significant energy savings, reasonable ROI, and increased non-energy-related operational efficiencies, the report concludes.

Tom Machinchick, a Principal Research Analyst with Navigant Research, said of the results, “Healthcare facilities face some unique challenges when compared to other types of commercial buildings, from continuous operations, to stringent environmental and operational requirements. Healthcare buildings are as much a part of critical care and healing as the medical equipment and staff, and intelligent building technologies are helping healthcare facilities of all types to meet these demands while enabling them to compete with other healthcare providers and dramatically improve the patient and visitor experience.”

Related: Navigant supports first residential vehicle-to-grid charging project.