Thermal detection of defects in healthcare properties

Category: Detect & Inspect Property Defects

Envisioned hospital

With greenhouse gas emissions of just under four million tonnes per year, it’s little wonder that the NHS has a major role to play in improving the nation’s energy efficiency.

As we blogged about recently, it was with great interest that we discovered this insightful opinion piece that suggested installation of simple energy efficiency measures across NHS buildings could “easily” cut the organisation’s energy consumption by 10%.

To put this in terms that appeal to everyone, this would equate to a saving of an extraordinary £170 million a year of UK taxpayers’ hard earned money.

Needless to say, now is the time for action.

That’s why an increasing number of hospitals are being assessed with infrared thermography to not only establish their true energy efficiency, but also for thermal detection of defects that may result in problems in the future.

The technology provides fast, accurate and non-destructive answers to a vast array of building problems meaning clients get answers and a cost effective solution rapidly with minimal disruption.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at three examples of healthcare properties IRT Surveys has recently assessed, helping to ensure refurbishment programs are prioritised accordingly for buildings to achieve optimal performance.

20 Hybrid Reports

In this large scale project, IRT was commissioned to produce hybrid reports of 20 buildings for NHS Lanarkshire to reveal building defects and energy loss. The findings identified potential carbon reduction of 37,425kg per year and energy savings of 189,135KWh. Not only did this allow  estate managers to decide on the best course of action to help the Trust work towards NHS energy efficiency targets but it also helped rectify hidden defects that had not previously been suspected.

£50,000+ yearly savings

IRT Surveys’ patented Envision software enables automatic energy quantification of images to recognised government standards such as SBEM and SAP, providing clients with evidence of potential savings. The technology was recently used to assess a hospital in the south of England and established that making changes to the building fabric could save £53,140 and 540,708kg of CO2 per year. Meanwhile, simply repairing the identified thermal defects could save £1,792 and 16,828kg of CO2 per year. The analysis of elevations revealed several anomalies mostly around windows and at building junction leading to heat loss. Analysis of the roof also revealed suspect regions of warmer temperature indicating trapped moisture, heat loss via missing/damaged/poorly fitted insulation and some poor detailing around rooflights.

From G to C

IRT’s thermographic analysis of a hospital in the east of England revealed that addressing defects and make the appropriate changes to the building fabric would take the property from an EPC rating of G to C. Several thermal anomalies were detected across the entire property which fell into two categories. Firstly, increased temperatures on the wall surfaces were indicative of missing/poor insulation. While increased temperatures around bay windows indicated poor insulation and thermal bridging across the structure. The impartial, clear and highly visual report provided by IRT highlight various improvements that could be made and the releveant monetary savings. For instance, it was shown that upgrading walls to a U-value of 0.35 would be worth almost £500,000 in savings over a ten year period. Meanwhile, switching to t5 lighting units would produce yearly savings of close to £10,000. Potential savings of £150,000 per year were identified if all defects were addressed and relevant changes were made to building fabric.

If you are interested in discovering more about how IRT Surveys can help you then why not check out our pricing information or contact us.