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High-Performance Solar System Slashes Energy Use at New Dental Facility

The University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry will open a Jasmax-designed, state-of-the-art dental facility next to the Manukau Super Clinic on Great South Road, Manukau this month. The building includes a number of environmentally sustainable features, including an Apricus solar hot water system.

“Hot water is a very significant energy demand in any medical facility and this building will use 1,450 litres of hot water per day, requiring 247,000kWh of energy every year,” says Marcus Baker, Apricus Eco Energy. “Beca asked us to design and project manage a system that would minimise this. The system installed reduces energy use for hot water by 73% over the year, delivering a significant financial saving and reduction in carbon emissions. This is achieved with only six Apricus ETC30 collectors, taking up 40m² of roof.”

Apricus Eco Energy worked closely with Jasmax and the construction team to overcome a number of challenges to implement the system whilst meeting the University of Otago health and safety policy of a permanent ban on roof access once the scaffolding was removed.

“This situation is helped by the Apricus control system being fully integrated with the Building Management System, providing live notifications if there is a fault and performance reporting over time,” says Marcus Baker.

Staff and students at the facility will provide dental services to patients from Manukau and surrounding areas. The Counties Manukau dental teaching facility and patient treatment clinic will follow the long-standing social contract model operated successfully in Dunedin, where patients receive treatment provided by students under supervision at a highly-accessible cost.

Up to 48 final-year dental students will be assigned to the Counties Manukau facility at any one time.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says by making a real difference in people’s lives and a community’s health and wellbeing, the University will be living its strategic commitment to providing for the national good and improving lives.

Other benefits of the project include strengthening relationships and partnerships with Māori and Pacific communities based on mutually beneficial goals incorporating patient care, research and education, and providing increased opportunities for North Island-based oral healthcare professionals to access continuing education.

Get in touch with Marcus at Apricus Eco Energy to help design sustainable hot water and heating systems for upcoming commercial or residential projects.

View more information on Apricus Eco Hotwater, including contact details.
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