Visitors are impressed by the Klinikum Frankfurt Hoechst construction site
Darmstadt/Frankfurt, Germany The world's first hospital designed to the Passive
House Standard is currently under construction in the Frankfurt district of Hoechst.
The hospital’s building shell has already been completed, now the interior finishing is
The construction of this highly energy efficient hospital should be
completed by next year, followed by a test phase lasting several months before the
building goes into full operation. The Passive House Institute in Darmstadt has been
advising on the project since the design phase and will continue with its consultancy
services throughout the entire duration of construction work.
Tours booked out quickly
The impressive construction site in Frankfurt Hoechst is the biggest in the city of Frankfurt and
can be seen from a great distance. After all, the future hospital building is 143 metres long and
over 23 metres tall. Besides the basement and ground floor, there are a further six storeys.
Following the symbolic groundbreaking ceremony in summer 2016, the foundation stone was laid
in November of the same year. The complex’s building shell was completed just a year later in
autumn 2017. The helipad on the roof will be set up this spring. Tours offered by the hospital
authorities in autumn last year were quickly booked out.
Pleased with the progress
Karsten Valentin, Managing Director of the Zentrale Errichtungsgesellschaft (ZEG) and
responsible for the new hospital building, is satisfied with the construction progress. Despite the
complex planning for technical building equipment, everything is going according to plan. After
completion of the building, a test phase of several months is planned. This is essential to ensure
the smooth day to day operation of the new hospital.
Interior finishing is well underway
The new building will have 664 beds and further capacity for 40 beds in the outpatient clinic. Ten
operating rooms and one hybrid operating theatre for minimally invasive surgery are foreseen for
the first floor. The sixth floor extends only across a part of the building and will accommodate the
technical systems. About 400 construction workers are currently working on the interior finishing,
including the laying out of model rooms. The installation of the more than 1000 triple-glazed
windows has begun.
Reduced running costs
The Klinikum Frankfurt Hoechst aims to achieve two main goals with the new building. The first is to
optimise the internal operational processes and thereby significantly shorten the distances within the
building for staff. Secondly, since the building will replace the current outdated building from the 1960s,
running costs should be reduced significantly.
Passive House concept pays off
Due to their intensive 24-hour use, energy. From the accident and emergency department and operating theatre to patient rooms, numerous technical devices are in
continuous use and the lights are on practically all the time. "In addition to providing improved comfort, the
Passive House Standard is designed to reduce the energy demand considerably. Therefore this
energy efficient concept is particularly valuable for hospitals with their high energy demand," explains Oliver Kah of the Passive House Institute.
Improved thermal comfort
As a scientist, Kah is consulting on
the project with a focus on energy efficiency. Among other things he checks whether the planned building
components comply with the required level of thermal protection.
Need of modernisation
In a baseline study carried out prior to the pioneering project in Frankfurt-Hoechst, Oliver Kah and his colleagues examined how the highly energy efficient Passive House concept can be implemented in hospitals. Of the roughly 2100 hospitals in Germany, many are in need of modernisation and could profit from this study. The study made it clear that hospital equipment has a major influence on the energy demand and must be considered to its full extent. Generally speaking, the electricity consumption in a hospital is three to four times higher than that
of a residential building.
At the same time, the implementation of the Passive House Standard in hospitals must meet
special requirements, for instance regarding operating theatres. "Hospitals have extremely high
hygienic requirements, including how exhaust heat from surgery areas is to be utilised," explains
Conventional verification methods only take the energy demand for heating and cooling,
ventilation, water and lighting into consideration. "However, the distribution of energy shows that
hospitals are usually equipped with more devices and have energy-intensive processes. If the
energy demand is calculated using conventional methods, almost half of the future energy
demand remains unconsidered," says Kah.
Computer equipment and MRT
The computer equipment and magnetic resonance imaging devices alone account for eight and
seven percent of the energy applications, while the sterile supply accounts for a good four
percent. Kah explains: "At the same time, energy efficient devices are particularly advisable in
hospitals; as well as saving energy, these also reduce the cooling demand."
High level of thermal comfort
The Passive House hospital will also meet the needs of patients and visitors. In patient rooms, a
higher temperature is perceived as comfortable by the patients. In the hospital in Hoechst, the
temperature in patient rooms will be 22 degrees Celsius. Due to the good level of thermal
protection, the higher room temperatures can be met with a lower energy demand. In addition,
high differences between the surface temperatures and room temperatures will be avoided
thanks to the improved thermal insulation and the triple-glazed windows. As a result, thermal
comfort in the patient rooms will increase.
Fresh preheated air
The ventilation system with heat recovery which is present in every Passive House building
ensures that fresh preheated air constantly flows into the rooms. In addition, unpleasant odours
are efficiently removed by the ventilation system. Of course, it will still be possible to open the
windows in the Passive House hospital. Furthermore, the baseline study also showed that despite
the higher indoor temperature and the higher air change rate of the controlled ventilation system,
the heating demand can be limited to 15 kilowatt hours per square metre of treated floor area per
year (kWh/(m²TFA a) using the appropriate measures.
Demolition of building
The costs for the replacement building of the Klinikum Frankfurt Hoechst are estimated at 263 million Euros.
The German state of Hesse is contributing around 55 million Euros towards this energy efficient construction. The existing building dating from the 1960s will be demolished after the Passive House hospital starts operating. Two further construction stages are planned on the site.
Largest paediatric centre in region
The Klinikum Frankfurt Hoechst is a maximum care hospital and is part of the Kliniken Frankfurt
Main-Taunus GmbH, which is the largest communal hospital network in the region. Of the 22
clinics, institutes and specialist departments, each year more than 36,000 in-patients and 80,000
outpatients are treated in Frankfurt-Hoechst alone. The hospital is also considered to be the
largest paediatric centre in the region. The Klinikum Frankfurt Hoechst has over 2,000 employees.
Nursing and health care professionals are trained here in five schools.
Impressive projects at the Passive House Conference
The construction of the Passive House hospital in Frankfurt is receiving widespread interest also
outside of the Rhein-Main region. Many professionals, particularly from Europe and North
America who are involved in energy efficient buildings in the health sector, have shown their
interest. One of the focal points at the International Passive House Conference in Munich will
be the interesting projects worldwide which have been built to the Passive House Standard. From
9 - 10 March 2018, experts from all over the world will convene at the MOC in Munich to present
projects, products and solutions for energy efficient construction and retrofits, including from
Germany, Europe, the USA, China and also Mongolia