Grundfos Pumps admitted to the new Alder Hey in the Park

alder hey children hospital

With pumps consuming 10% of the world’s electrical energy, optimising the energy they use has environmental and economic benefits. According to Grundfos, selecting energy efficient pumps for a specific task such as circulating water in heating and air-conditioning systems can achieve energy savings of at least 50%.

Caring for young people and their families is the mammoth task that Alder Hey has been involved with since 1914. 2015 saw the dawn of a new era when the new £288m hospital that will provide medical support to 270,000 children each year opened last October.

With a design inspired by children, this is a hospital built entirely in a park and that has been designed to be a new concept in terms of treating and caring for children. This total approach is not just a first for the UK, but there is currently nothing like it anywhere else in Europe.

With a floor area of 51,000 sq/m. and a requirement to make the building as energy efficient as possible, Grundfos Pumps worked closely with both the consultant and contractor to attain the best outcome that would deliver a full service pump solution. This included delivering the HVAC, water boosting and pressurisation needs for this important project.

Placing this amount of emphasis on pumps is not surprising as:

  • today pumps account for no less than 10% of the world’s electricity consumption
  • two thirds of all pumps use up to 60% too much energy

In fact if every business switched to a high efficiency pump system there could be a global saving of 4% of the total electricity consumption which is comparable to the electricity consumption of 1 billion people.

Challenges & Actions

Alder Hey children’s hospital is the busiest in Europe and as a pioneer in the treatment of illnesses, they have spearheaded many ground-breaking medical 1sts that has put them at the forefront of medical innovation.

This latest chapter sees this innovative spirit continuing through their ambitious demands, not just medical but also in terms of the building envelope and the overall environmental ambitions.

Alder Hey have a national and international reputation for medical excellence and they have now brought this innovative attitude to all aspects of the new development including the pump solution.

By their very nature, hospitals are operationally complex sites that must be ready to meet demand 24/7, 52 weeks per year. Selecting the correct pumps to support every aspect in these circumstances is therefore particularly vital.

Grundfos worked closely with the consultant and contractors to ensure that the most efficient options were selected and this saw us supply the full pump solution that included: 70+ speed-controlled pumps and booster sets as well as pressurisation units and ancillary equipment. Selecting these energy efficient options will save up to 50% on pump energy costs.

The system is supported by BACnet technology – an international data communication technology used in BMS worldwide.

The project team selected various pumps in particular energy efficient pumps from the same single-stage centrifugal pump family and similarly with the booster sets that will ensure the water transfer and pressure boosting demands. In this way, commissioning, maintenance and spare parts can achieve the greatest economies of scale.

Lessons & Results

The new Alder Hey in the Park officially opened in October 2015 and has been very well received by the media; the staff but more importantly the children and their families. Although this is a new build, Grundfos have been involved with Alder Hey for many years and had supplied a range of pumps to the previous hospital complex as well as the Ronald McDonald House that acts as a home-from-home on the site for families of ill children who can stay here during times of greatest need.

This new hospital has already been officially recognised as one of the most environmentally friendly hospitals in the world. From an engineering perspective, a major challenge at Alder Hey was meeting the Trust’s stringent sustainability targets in four key areas: energy, carbon, onsite renewables and on-site electricity generation.

All were based on measuring utility supplies at the site boundary, a more onerous requirement than the standard HTM Encode 2 approach used for hospitals so energy efficiency played a key role in every aspect of this project. The project also targeted a design stage BREEAM Excellent rating and is in the running for a number of other accolades.

In terms of future proofing this build, the project team were careful to select various members from particular energy efficient pumps from the same Grundfos single-stage centrifugal pump family. As was also the case with the booster sets that will ensure the water transfer and pressure boosting demands. In this way, energy demand, commissioning, maintenance and spare parts can collectively achieve the greatest economies of scale as well as making both planned and unplanned pump service demands more efficient.

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