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Assessment of Overheating Risk in Gynaecology Scanning Rooms during Near-Heatwave Conditions: A Case Study of the Royal Berkshire Hospital in the UK

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Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading RG66UR, UK
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Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading RG1 5AN, UK
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School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS6 1AN, UK
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School of the Built Environment, University of Reading, Reading RG66UR, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3347; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183347
Received: 12 August 2019 / Revised: 3 September 2019 / Accepted: 7 September 2019 / Published: 11 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hospital Outdoor and Indoor Environmental Impact: Control Measures)
Hospital buildings in the UK are at particular risk to rising summer temperatures associated with climate change. Balancing the thermal needs of patients, staff, and visitors is a challenging, complex endeavour. A case study of the ultrasound area of the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Maternity and Gynaecology building is presented, where temperatures were measured for 35 days in waiting areas, staff offices, and ultrasound scanning rooms, aiming to assess the overheating risk posed to occupants. Local external temperature measurements were used for comparison whereby determining the indoor-outdoor environmental connection. Results show that most rooms had already breached standard overheating thresholds within the study period. Anthropogenic and waste heat from equipment has a noticeable effect on indoor temperatures. Local air-conditioning helped reduce the peaks in temperature seen between 14:00 and 17:00 for similar scanning rooms but is in contradiction to the National Health Service’s sustainability plans. Several low-level solutions such as improved signage, access to water, and the allocation of vulnerable patients to morning clinics are suggested. Barriers to solutions are also discussed and the requirement of sufficient maintenance plans for cooling equipment is empathised. These solutions are likely to be applicable to other hospital buildings experiencing similar conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: hospital; overheating; temperature; heatwave; climate; case study hospital; overheating; temperature; heatwave; climate; case study
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Gough, H.; Faulknall-Mills, S.; King, M.-F.; Luo, Z. Assessment of Overheating Risk in Gynaecology Scanning Rooms during Near-Heatwave Conditions: A Case Study of the Royal Berkshire Hospital in the UK. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3347.

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