When considering heating and cooling systems, hospital managers need to be aware of many considerations and these are never more critical than in a special baby care unit (SBCU). Constant, appropriate temperatures together with high comfort levels are vital and the issue of cost is always present.
A Welsh hospital turned to Unico System International for the solution they needed. The 6 bed SCBU consists of a 10m by 6m intensive care room with incubators, a separate 2.8m by 3m "isolation" room, and a 6m by 4m nursery. With incubators able to maintain environmental temperature, the nursery had the greatest need.Unico was able to offer expert advice and the job was passed to installer Celtic Thermal, who put in two separate systems; a master control unit with a "slave" system operating in the isolation room. The energy source is an electric refrigeration unit providing a heat pump, keeping running costs low and allowing heating or cooling to be delivered automatically. The unit sister says, "This system allows us to control the environmental temperature of the unit which we were not able to do previously. The unit is maintained at an even temperature, and this has improved the environment for the babies and the working conditions for the staff."
Andrew Hanney, at the hospital's Works Department, comments, "We have a building with a high proportion of glazing, causing too much heat loss in winter and heat gain in the summer. Reducing the glazing helped but we needed a comfort system that would give us more responsive performance and cope with both heating and cooling requirements." The obvious benefits of the Unico System were the delivery of warm or cool air using the same system and the evenness and consistency of temperature provided by the aspiration process.