Green is the Future of Hospitals

Operating Room


The “green” hospital does not only stand for energy saving. With a holistic sustainability concept, employees, including hospital security, should stay healthy and patients should become healthy. However, many are interested in the concept primarily because of increased energy costs.

Hospitals work around the clock. Unlike at other workplaces, not only the employees consume energy and materials, but also the patients who are there. 6.5 percent of the material costs of a hospital alone have to be spent on water, electricity, and fuels. And the demand for energy will continue to be high because the necessary air conditioning technology and large-scale medical equipment consume enormous quantities.

Environmental protection in hospitals means investments in modern plant technology

Many hospitals in Germany date back to the 1960s and 70s. Ventilation and heating systems as well as piping systems are often outdated. With modern systems and techniques, a lot can be saved here. Hospitals that already operate from an ecological point of view have invested primarily in modern plant technology, such as:

  • combined heat and power plants,
  • Cogeneration
  • new pumps for hot water,
  • Refrigeration
  • new ventilation systems,
  • Photovoltaics on the roof or
  • new, intelligently controllable control systems for heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems.

Further potential savings in energy consumption

However, changes in other areas also bring energy savings, such as:

  • 3-fold glazing with solar cells as sun protection or
  • the switch to LED lighting.


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From “green” to “sustainable” hospital

For the environment and sustainability, the concept can be extended in practice in many areas, whether

  • the use of environmentally friendly building materials,
  • the introduction of waste management, or
  • the use of food from the region.

Certificates for “green” hospitals

Hospitals can be certified “green”. For example, the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) has awarded the seal ” Energy-saving hospital”. The Association of Electrical, Electronic, and Information Technologies (VDE) has developed the concept “+ Blue Hospital” developed. This allows a hospital to be evaluated and certified in terms of sustainability.

Research and development are also currently being promoted by the Association of German Engineers in the “Green Hospital” committee.