The Alexander Monro Breast Cancer Clinic is situated right in the middle of the wooded area of Bilthoven. The building, however, does not look anything like a traditional hospital or clinic. “We want women to feel more like a human being and less like a patient here. Everything in our clinic is focused on this. There is no intake desk, visitors are greeted by one of our hostesses at the entrance. The central waiting room also looks more like a living room than a cold waiting room. We want patients to feel welcome and at home with us. A comfortable, healthy environment plays an important role here.”, says Stéphane Brikkenaar van Dijk, the clinic’s operations manager.
“A pleasant indoor climate ensures that people tire less quickly. That is why clean, pure indoor air is essential to us”, Stéphane Brikkenaar van Dijk, operations manager at Alexander Monro Breast Cancer Clinic.
“The women visiting our clinic have breast cancer or come to us because they could have breast cancer. Especially in the beginning, they will spend long days in our clinic where they have many and physically demanding appointments. That is not an easy course to follow. A pleasant indoor climate ensures that people will tire less quickly. That is why clean, pure indoor air is of paramount importance for us”, says operations manager.
Ever since the foundation of the clinic Kuijpers Building Engineering has taken care of climate control. Jury Elfers, project manager: “Filtering the outdoor air is an important part of the air handling system. Although the clinic is situated in a wooded area, it is still vital to filter the outdoor air well before you let it in the living environment. Everywhere in the Netherlands you will find air pollution to a certain degree. Pollen is also something you want to filter from the air. On top of that, the wooded area places extra demands on the moisture regulation.” Next to that, the clinic has different rooms, like operation rooms where more stringent requirements apply with regard to the amount of dust present, temperature, and humidity.
Elfers: “We are doing everything to make the indoor climate as pleasant as possible. The clean outdoor air is taken to proper conditions and subsequently blown into the different rooms through big round air distribution hoses. This prevents a draught. The air falls down like a warm blanket.”
Brikkenaar van Dijk: “Because the environment is so important to us, we also want work as climate neutral as possible. Climate control literally uses a fortune in energy. That is why last year we have asked Kuijpers to examine the possibility to further improve the air quality and at the same time reduce energy use.
Elfers looked for alternatives together with AFPRO Filters. Maurice Gijzen, account manager at AFPRO Filters: “At the time, based on research, I recommended switching to a new filter type, a so-called HQ-filter. Compared to more traditional air filters, this filter has a much lower pressure drop causing the energy use to decline sharply while the service life increases dramatically. The third advantage of this filter is its high capture of particulate matter causing even very small particles of pollution to be filtered from the air. This combination of performances is also due to the special pre-filter layer which prevents a turbulent air stream to damage the filter.”
“We had made a decision within 20 minutes. This is a win-win situation for us”, Stéphane Brikkenaar van Dijk, operations manager at Alexander Monro Breast Cancer Clinic.
Kuijpers calculated a yearly saving of € 300 per air handling unit. The clinic will be saving a total of € 1800 to € 2000 per year. The investments costs are negligible because the air handling units do not need to be adjusted. Replacing the current filters will suffice. “It only took 20 minutes to decide. This is a win-win situation for us. Roll it out!”, says Stéphane Brikkenaar van Dijk.
Savings return to the clinic Elfers: “The beauty of this project is that the Alexander Monro Breast Cancer Clinic uses the savings to even further improve the indoor climate. For example, investments in equipment like steam humidifiers and climate monitoring to even more accurately steer temperature and humidity. It is clear to see that the focus is totally on the patients’ perception. Ultimately, we want to make climate control completely sustainable.”