A shot in the arm for Kedah

THE Amanjaya Specialist Centre in Sungai Petani, Kedah, will become the country’s first green Green Building Index-certified hospital when it becomes operational early next year.

Its managing director Dr Tan Chiang Hooi said the RM50mil funding for the project came from SME Bank, the Federal Government’s Green Technology Financing Scheme and the hos-pital.

“Some RM30mil came from the bank, RM9mil from the Green Technology Financing Scheme and the remainder from the hospital.

“The sustainability features of Amanjaya Specialist Centre will reduce its CO2 emissions by about 20% and the operating costs by 15–20%,” he said.

Dr Tan added that the hospital would achieve a return on its investment within five to seven years.

“Commercial banks have been reluctant to assist but we’re glad SME Bank was willing to take this up.”

The building, which measures 100,000sq ft on a 1.01ha site, will incorporate green technology and design in its construction and operation.

With construction work currently at 30% completion, the new multi-disciplinary hospital will be ready for operations next year.

Dr Tan, who is Amanjaya Specialist’s consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, is also the medical planner and project director for the project.

He said there were plans to set up a regional chain of green hospitals in towns in the northern states such as Butterworth, Kulim, Alor Setar and Kangar.

“The hospital aims to cater to middle-income patients. I am convinced that the days of cheap energy and water will eventually come to an end.

“When that happens, running a hospital is going to be very costly. Hospitals consume three times more energy compared to a commercial building. So it makes sense for hospitals to be the prime target for green design.

“Studies have also shown that patients suffer less pain, sleep better and have better moods if placed in a ward with a view of nature compared to a ward with no window,” he said.

Dr Tan said air-conditioning was one of the highest energy guzzlers for a hospital, translating to high utility charges.

“The windows of the new hos-pital will be equipped with features that automatically turn off the air-conditioning if the patient chooses to open the window for fresh air.

“The hospital is investing in Mitsubishi’s varied refrigerant flow air-conditioning system which allows for distributed airflow and independent control of indoor units,” he said.

He added that green vehicles would also be given priority at the hospital as parking bays would have power outlets catering to electric or hybrid vehicles.

“For our rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system, the hospital has engaged a Singaporean solar PV integrator and supplier who will install panels with 40kW capacity,” he said.

Health , Northern Region , green hospital