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Ollerton, J. (2013) The Biodiversity Index – a tool for facilities management. Essential FM Report


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This Biodiversity Index tool is designed to help a range of organisations manage the biodiversity on the land around their site. The tool comprises a practical method to assess plant diversity at an urban location; information on why biodiversity is important; how to report it; and how to manage it.
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1Essential fm Report 109 September/October2013
Essential fm Report 109
A bi-monthly in-depth report covering an aspect of facilities management September/October 2013
Each issue of Essential FM Report covers a
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Please send submissions to the managing editor
A few months ago, I went to the NHS Sustainable Conference in the Brewery and was
pleasantly surprised by the number of people and organisations that signed up. This to me
is a clear sign that the environment and sustainability are increasingly important in FM and
will continue to be so in the years to come.
There were a lot of interesting seminars, interesting people, and mind boggling products
that were being demonstrated at the stands. As I was networking my way around, I
actually managed to get a few people interested in producing an article for EFMR.
Unfortunately, they did not all come through on their word - but we have great stuff in
store none the less.
The first article presented is The Biodiversity Index by Professor Jeff Ollerton. This article
focuses on what biodiversity is and how it can be practically measured using a scientific
index. He touches on critical areas such as the loss of our heritage, legislative, economic
and social drivers, the Biodiversity Index tool and the reasons why organisations should
assess and manage their biodiversity.
Moving on, in `Fixing the already broken’: is it our efficiency approach? Regular
contributor Sezgin Kaya provides his views on whether people should focus on being
energy efficient or instead strive towards producing more efficient energy. He has included
some very interesting facts about renewable energy and the impact of savings and business
Sunil Shah has contributed Understanding data to drive behavioural change which is an
article that tells you all about the use of smart and advanced energy meters which provide
the data and you need to undertake action towards saving energy. He also touches upon
whether metering really helps a business, how savings can be achieved, and engaging the
Last but certainly not least is a ‘product study’ on Pharmafilter by Peter Kelly. This
article covers everything that you need to know about a new piece of technology that
is intended for use within a healthcare environment. Peter explains the concept, the
process, the characterisation, treatment and handling of hospital waste water and some
fascinating results.
We’re nearing the end of the year, so that means that the next topic will be Trends and
Developments. I hope to see you again then!
Kind regards
Martijn Groen, Commissioning Editor, Bernard Williams Associates EfmR
The Sustainable
The Biodiversity Index – a tool for
facilities management 2
‘Fixing the already broken’:
is it our eciency approach? 3
Understanding data to drive
behaviour change 5
Product study: Pharmalter 7
Infobank 11
ISSN 2049-8063
059772049 806134
ISSN 2049-8063
2Essential fm Report 109 September/October2013
The Biodiversity Index – a tool for facilities management
those wishing to manage biodiversity on their urban site but who do
not feel they require a detailed ecological assessment. It does not
replace existing survey methods and will not provide the level of
detail of those methods but it does provide a starting point for many
organisations wishing to enhance biodiversity on their sites.
The Biodiversity Index provides:
Broad scale self-assessment and monitoring of plant diversity at a
site level
Interpretation of the natural environment and presentation of
information relating to the sites’ habitats
Information to help develop a formal biodiversity management
process, such as a company-wide Biodiversity Action Plan
Help in identifying a range of simple activities to benefit
biodiversity that can be carried out in the work place
Information to help measure the performance of an action plan
Why assess and manage biodiversity?
Corporate social responsibility
Organisations and businesses are increasingly expected to integrate
biodiversity into their CSR strategies. Employees, customers and
communities are all stakeholders in the natural environment and
therefore organisations that engage with biodiversity issues appeal to
a broader spectrum of people.
Environmental management systems
Many businesses and organisations require environmental standards
through the supply chain to both manage risks and secure natural
infrastructure. The supply chain is expected to measure and manage
their impacts on the natural environment, including biodiversity.
Environmental reporting has to demonstrate improved biodiversity
Legal compliance
Legal protection of habitats and species is embodied in the 1979
Birds Directive, the 1992 Habitats Directive, and water management
legislation, all of which focus on prevention of damage or destruction
to animals and their habitats. There is little legislation to actually
promote biodiversity, although public bodies have a ‘biodiversity
duty’ and should pay regard to the Natural Environment and Rural
The term ‘biodiversity’ is one which is widely used in the media
and the general public usually has a reasonable idea of what it
means, relating it to the abundance and variety of different types of
plants and animals with which we share the planet. They are also
perhaps aware that biodiversity is being lost, from documentaries
by presenters such as David Attenborough, or from hearing about
reports such as ‘The State of Nature’. Loss of biodiversity is one
of the world’s most pressing crises. In the UK, many of our natural
habitats have declined over the last 100 years, resulting in the
extinction of some 500 plants and animals in England alone.
This loss of our natural heritage is not just an issue for scientists and
documentary makers. It also affects the society in which we live and
work. The UK National Ecosystem Assessment report, for instance,
estimated that this country’s natural world is worth over £30 billion
per year to our economy by providing a range of what are termed
‘ecosystem services’. These include tourism, air and water quality
regulation, flood regulation, carbon storage, pollination of crops,
and aesthetic values. Conserving the biodiversity that supports
these ecosystem services is the responsibility of all of us, not just
conservation charities or government.
Businesses and organisations are becoming increasingly engaged
with the environment, through various legislative, economic and
social drivers. The focus has been on pollution prevention, energy
efficiency and wastes and resources management. However
biodiversity is now beginning to gain the attention of small, medium
and larger companies and organisations, many of whom don’t have
the knowledge or skills to effectively manage the biodiversity on their
sites. In particular, smaller companies often don’t have the resources
or knowledge to implement biodiversity enhancing initiatives.
With approximately 22% of UK land cover comprised of non-
natural, built-up areas, any improvement in their biodiversity will
have a significant positive impact. These urban and suburban areas
are largely ignored in terms of their ecological value. They do
however have the potential to provide a significant area of land for
improvement of biodiversity by providing small patches of habitat
that act as stepping stones within the wider ecological network of
nature reserves and other wildlife sites.
This Biodiversity Index tool is designed to help a range of
organisations manage the biodiversity on the land around their site.
The tool comprises a practical method to assess plant diversity at an
urban location; information on why biodiversity is important; how to
report it; and how to manage it.
There are well established ecological survey methods already used
by professional ecologists. These types of survey provide a detailed
picture of the habitats and species present on a site and are often a
requirement for processes such as development and planning.
The Biodiversity Index provides a general self-assessment tool for
The Biodiversity Index – a tool
for facilities management
3Essential fm Report 109 September/October2013
‘Fixing the already broken’: is it our eciency approach?
Improve biodiversity beyond the site: Become corporate
members of nature conservation bodies, get involved in local
partnerships through funding and volunteering opportunities.
Undertake an environmental review and synergise the site
management plan with other business activities.
Monitor and report on activities through a regular (annual) review
of the Biodiversity Index, re-survey and update the management
plan based on the results.
Communicate your actions through publicising positive impacts
on biodiversity using local media, partnership publications and
engagement with stakeholders
The Biodiversity Index tool has been developed by The University
of Northampton in conjunction with the Higher Education Funding
Council for England (HEFCE), as part of the SEED sustainability
project. The Biodiversity Index is available for use free-of-charge
by schools, colleges and universities in the UK, with a chargeable
version for the wider public and private sectors.
More information about the tool can be found at:
Jeff Ollerton
Professor of Biodiversity
University of Northampton EfmR
Communities (NERC) Act 2006. The Act encourages organisations
to engage in the conservation of biodiversity, for example in the
management of the land surrounding their offices, particularly ponds
and hedgerows.
The benets
What can businesses and organisations do with the Biodiversity Index?
Assess the biodiversity importance of a site by surveying it during
the growing season to identify existing habitats and plant life.
Improve the biodiversity value of a site by creating site
management plans incorporating the Biodiversity Index results,
using it to identify habitats that can be protected, enhanced or
Create a Biodiversity Action Plan for the company or organisation
detailing the aims, objectives, site management plan and external
Involve staff: Use notice boards and newsletters to raise
awareness, identify a Biodiversity Champion, encourage team work
and involvement with a biodiversity plan and promote participation
in activities outside the office.
‘Fixing the already broken’:
is it our eciency approach?
but the sources of energy... Whatever the facilities managers do
thereafter to fix the ‘building energy efficiency’ can only be patchy,
costly, sub-optimal, or temporary. If the buildings were to run with
renewable energy, would we be as much concerned about making
them greener as we do now?
But, realistically, is it possible to run buildings with renewable energy
only? The answer, according to a research at Stanford University
is yes. Two researchers came up with a feasible plan to meet the
world’s energy demand by 2030 from only wind, water and solar
energy sources1. According to their calculations, based on availability
of renewable resources, the number of devices needed and
material requirements; to produce world’s entire energy (electric
power, transportation, heating/cooling, etc) by 2030, there are no
technological or economic barriers, but social and political.
However, the world seems to be taking the right steps. In the latest
Renewables 2012 Global Status Report, since 2008, worldwide
investment in new renewable capacity has been doubled. Last year,
in the European Union alone, renewables accounted for more than
71% of total electric capacity additions, bringing the renewables’
share of total electric capacity to 31.1%2. Germany leads the way
globally, with now 12.2% of the country’s power, heating and
transportation energy demand is addressed by renewable energy.
Campaigns everywhere! On the media, corporate policies, even our
friends and families keep reminding us to switch the lights off, or
not to leave the PC or TV on, use public transport instead of cars,
and finally, do not fly! Emphasis is the same: to change the personal
behaviour. Feel the guilt of climate change, and become a good
citizen. Fix the already broken.
How about if we stop concentrating on energy efficient buildings, but
create buildings that use the most efficient energy?
All of us had our attempts to lessen the carbon impact by improving
thermal efficiency of our single-glazed, charismatic Victorian
buildings by insulating its roof and walls, or upgrading its boilers to
more efficient ones. In other words, we were already been dragged
to cope with our guilt, and admittedly, saved some in the process
– but tried our own fix... In his book Energise!, Prof Woudhuysen
claims that the answer is a bigger, better energy supply, not the public
From the facilities point of view, we need two things. Firstly, we need
more energy efficient designs, and secondly low-carbon energy
supplies, such as renewable energy sources.
At the end, it is not the buildings that create greenhouse gases,
4Essential fm Report 109 September/October2013
‘Fixing the already broken’: is it our eciency approach?
the absence of it, that’s why we tend to solve the problem from all
aspects of the spectrum at once. But one can argue that most of this
is self-evident and common sense.
When businesses invest in sustainable built environments, their
executives naturally want to know how much they have saved and
how long their savings will last. This requires accurate measurement
for results of energy saving initiatives, a credible methodology for
regular data maintenance, and finally business analytics to help
decision making. If the installation had been made to reduce
energy consumption, then substantiating information and critical
measurements should be in place to determine a baseline against the
benefits (savings, carbon reduction, etc).
At a building level, there are some studies available to confirm the
value from green. For example LEED certified buildings can increase
annual rental return by 4% - 6% and decrease on-going operational
costs by as much as 13.6% .3
In my previous article here, I mentioned three emerging avenues
for entrepreneurs that will significantly change the way we
approach to do business on green. The first was to increase the
productivity of natural resources; like energy, water, minerals, by
reducing their wasteful use. The second was the shift to ecologically
inspired production models where every output returns back to the
ecosystem, or becomes part of the manufacturing process again.
The third was a solution-based business model, such that rather than
selling light bulbs, selling illumination services allowing for lower
service margins.
Entwined with these business models applied during a building’s life
cycle is the efficient energy, and design elements mentioned here. It
seems we have technologies, and with time we will have more of the
renewable sources to run buildings greener. Most wanted, and if we
ever become serious about green credentials, is to create buildings
that use efficient energy, not try to fix them to become energy
efficient thereafter.
Sezgin Kaya EfmR
Interestingly, according to the same report, just last year, Germany’s
residential power from green markets has doubled in response to
Fukushima events.
In the UK, renewables’ portion to total energy sources is less than
5%, but there is a government target and a plan to increase this share
to 15% by 2020. Investments in wind, water (especially tidal), and
PV are contributing to this plan at a national level. In addition, public
incentives such as Feed-in Tariff (FIT) gives people the right avenues
to invest into green sources of energy.
The more a building’s electricity, heating and cooling needs are
met with renewable resources, the greener the buildings will be.
Until then, it will leave facilities managers to fix a building’s carbon
problem by deploying efficient mechanical, electrical, or fabric
solutions to the buildings they operate. Even worse, is the vast
amount of investments flowing into intelligent building technologies
to fix carbon issues generated by the energy source in the first place.
Another patchy and temporary fix.
For now, I will leave renewable energy to policy makers, and perhaps
time... On the ‘energy efficient buildings’ side, the greatest potential
for savings and the most cost-effective strategies often start during the
design stage. Some basic architectural features; such as insulation,
orientation, overhangs and shadows, better building windows
and envelope, effective window placing for daylighting, or even
transport links can be all basic passive systems to make buildings
greener before they get occupied. However, it is at the design and
briefing stage that these highly cost-effective strategies are applied.
If not done during the design stage, these will represent a significant
opportunity loss that will be impossible to fix later on.
Consider a spectrum for buildings using efficient energy. On one
side it will be the ‘energy source’ determining the efficiency of the
energy going into the building, and on the other side is the design
and construction efficiency of the building. Every other efficiency
that would fall in between will be left for facilities managers to
sort out. Namely, energy conservation behaviours and policy (eg
switching off lights), or building modifications (eg installing an energy
efficient chiller, or lighting dimmers) . Unfortunately, I am not aware
of a research that demonstrates the relative contribution of these
efficiencies in relation to their carbon reduction. We don’t know, for
instance, how much efficiencies could be achieved during the design
stage by selecting the greener design features versus operational
investment required later in the building life-cycle to counter-balance
it via building modifications or change of behaviours.
Surely, evidence is needed to help decision makers prioritise
which element in the spectrum should be paid attention first. In
For more information about law and tax titles visit our website at
1 Jacobson, M & Delucchi, M (2011) Providing all global energy with wind, water and solar power.. Energy Policy, 39/3 pp.1154-1169.
2 Renewables 2012 Global Status Report, available at [].
3 McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2009 Green Outlook.
How about creating
buildings that use the
most ecient energy?
5Essential fm Report 109 September/October2013
Understanding data to drive behaviour change
Applies to residential and small and medium business (2 million
Generally must include a remote disconnection capability
Generally requires in-home display
Interoperability more certain
Does metering energy help businesses?
The main benefit of the smart and advanced meters is to remove
estimated bills and give customers better information to manage
their energy consumption, which will happen as a minimum. Data at
an anonymised level is critical – at present the UK government has
little understanding of how energy gets consumed by the millions of
residential and commercial developments. There is an understanding
of the total energy used and where large chunks go for major
manufacturers, but at a lower level energy consumption is unknown.
Installation of the meters will help to bridge the gap and enable
better management of the energy grid and supply to consumers. In
itself, such knowledge should help to reduce costs by the grid and
network operators.
The diagram below highlights the potential benefits that are
anticipated from the smart meter roll-out and introduction of
advanced meters for larger business. Implicit with the benefits, and
particularly the cost savings is the action taken by individuals and
business to reduce energy consumption and engage more in the
energy market to drive costs down.
The potential savings, estimated by the government at 2.8%
reduction for electricity and 4.5% for gas are conservative. Carbon
Trust research estimates the benefits at over 10% savings are
achievable through better use of the data.
See fig 1, overleaf
However, the evidence available from previous trials with businesses
has shown an initial rapid improvement in energy efficiency as
the new data is used – similar to the householder looking at the
meter and turning equipment on and off to see how much energy
is consumed. This initial euphoria is followed by a slow decline as
energy usage levels creep back, resulting in a small net improvement
after 12 months, typically in the region of 2% benefit. Purchasing of
additional energy consuming items is not factored into this equation,
such as the plethora of smartphones, laptop and tablet computers
and similar devices, meaning total energy use may be little different
to where it was 12 months previously.
The UK government aims for all public and private sector organisations
to have smart or advanced meters by 2020. In themselves, these
meters do not save any energy – they merely provide data and
information to the end user and rely on action being taken.
Advanced meters have been installed in larger organisations for a
number of years to provide half hour energy data. This process was
accelerated with the introduction of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme
in 2010, whereby additional credits were awarded for organisations
who installed advanced meters (AMR) across their portfolio.
Access to energy data for these larger businesses is focused towards
the total energy consumed in the building, with accurate half hour
profiles being made available. Data broken down at a lower level,
such as for tenants or for major energy users requires sub-metering
as a voluntary measure. Baseload energy consumption cannot be
broken down any further in a simplistic manner to better understand
its constituent components and thereby target reductions.
Scale of the business is a factor here – larger businesses have been
compelled to install AMRs and may also have building management
systems (BMS) to monitor energy use. Smaller and residential
based businesses have direct control of their energy use and can be
effectively managed through the smart meter roll-out. There is a gap
in the middle of small and medium organisations who are too small
for an effective BMS and too large for the standard smart meter.
It is in this space that government and also industry has turned its
attention with a number of new products coming onto the market.
What are smart and advanced meters?
Advanced Metering
Licence conditions from 6th April 2009 for the supply of gas and
Applies to medium and larger business only
Large businesses have until 2014 and smaller businesses 2019 to
May not require the existing meter to be changed
Does not include remote disconnection function
Does not require in-home display
Interoperability uncertain
Smart Meter Roll-Out
Applies to roll-out for all gas and electricity meters
Understanding data to drive
behaviour change
6Essential fm Report 109 September/October2013
This set of insights can be provided at an FM level, within the control
and management of the FM team directly, at a building level with
engagement of staff, or a corporate level to share knowledge and
experiences across the business.
Engaging the customer
We have moved from data, through the visualisation of that data
into the provision of insights – a key list of actions to be taken.
Commonly, it is this step that is missed out when engaging with the
end user, who has control over almost 70% of the energy used in the
Historic approaches to engaging with staff have been based upon
logic – that staff, and people in general, respond to logic. Provide
a robust argument about the benefits and people will follow –
simple as that. Unfortunately, people do not follow logic, and
groups of people as staff invariably will be, can exhibit very different
Campaigns on energy efficiency are the most common approach to
engage staff – a short programme with a roadshow, events, stickers
and posters will lead to a dramatic reduction in energy use over the
campaign timeframe and perhaps for a few weeks after. Looking
forward a month, energy use is broadly where it was. Which asks the
question – what was the benefit of the exercise?
A key factor is the inability to connect the savings generated by
staff, and particular members, with tangible and accurate data. As
such, savings can only be taken as a collective and compared to the
total consumption of a building, taking into account the multiple
changes that result in variance of energy consumption. It may be that
significant savings have been continued to be made by staff – but
How can energy savings be achieved?
You may be wondering what’s the point of metering for energy.
It all comes down to how we capture the energy data – now
provided in a more robust way – and visualise it to understand where
savings can be made. At present, much of the information is provided
through energy profiles as visual dashboards or graphics that rely on
the reader to understand the profile and where any issues may occur.
Exception reporting outside of parameters is common providing a
safety-net where a failure has occurred, but this does not deal with
the day to day over use of energy being targeted by energy efficiency
Personal experience with training organisations and individuals
over the past decade has shown a significant gap in the level of
knowledge, understanding and confidence of the site FM team to
read and interpret the visual profiles.
Competency at this level is critical to understand where saving
opportunities exists – and this is where a significant amount of
innovation is taking place within the sector based upon the use of
algorithms or extensive data analysis. The potential is that within
the next 12 months, energy data can be analysed by a third party
in real time to assess where efficiencies can be made, highlighting
the top areas for further detailed investigation. The impact on FM of
this move could be huge – it will remove the necessity for building
managers to be able to fully understand the energy profiles and
what this means for their business; and removes the conflicts that
regularly appear between the maintenance contractor and site FM.
Instead, it enables the site FM to take on the role of being customer
facing, utilising the data and insights to highlight where savings and
efficiencies can be made, and working with the maintenance team to
deliver on those savings.
Figure 1
Understanding data to drive behaviour change
Net benets of
Savings from informed
Streamline industry
Accurate bills,
improved customer
More ecient
Enables faster
consumer switching
Enabler of low
carbon initiatives
More competitive
energy market
7Essential fm Report 109 September/October2013
robust information, can maintain the benefits to both government
and the end user. This piece of research has been proposed to help
understand the following aspects, specifically for the public and
private sector commercial estate:
What is the general understanding of smart metering requirements
and regulations?
What level of information and detail do customers require to affect
long-term behavioral change?
How should/will the data be portrayed (ie the customer interface)?
What tools and approaches will be used in conjunction with the
collated data to help reduce energy consumption?
How can/will behaviour change be maintained and embedded
over the long-term?
Sunil Shah EfmR
that other factors have led to an increase of a few percent energy.
Without being able to unpick these factors, we are at a loss to clearly
and simply measure the benefits that staff bring, which brings us back
to the issues faced by larger business installing AMRs.
A new generation of meters, able to measure small power, may
be the answer to resolving this conundrum. By understanding the
proportions of small power in the context of the other energy uses in
a building, FM can have a more accurate dialogue with staff and also
senior management, on not only how best to engage but also who
they should target, to achieve energy savings.
Smart meter project outline
EIC and Acclaro Advisory are undertaking a study to understand the
commercial and public sector requirements for data and information,
including how the knowledge is provided, to affect behaviour
There is a gap regarding how successful behaviour change, from
Product study: Pharmalter
Product study: Pharmalter
The process
Starting with the Tonto high tech shredding units that are installed
in service or utility rooms convenient to areas of waste output. The
Tonto processes all waste generated in the department and ward
from healthcare risk waste, food, sharps, materials contaminated
with blood, soiled, pharmaceuticals, paper, plastics, biodegradable
bedpans and urine collection units.
Waste no longer leaves the hospital through corridors and lifts
therefore reducing the exposure to and risk posed by hazardous
waste to patients, staff and visitors. The Tonto grinds these waste
materials to a particulate size so they can be easily accommodated
and transported by the hospitals existing sewer network.
We are now at a point where the hospital waste has exited the
building and the Pharmafilter on site plant picks up the external
sewer and automatically decontaminates and separates all
constituents of this mixed waste stream; sewage, organics and water.
The treatment process engages several patented technology
processes resulting in outputs free of viruses, pathogens harmful
bacteria, pharmaceuticals and other trace contaminants. In exploiting
this technology, the user has reduced their staff and patients exposure
to hazardous waste and the time, effort and cost involved in its
treatment. The system treatment sets a new standard environmentally
and in terms of its efficiency. The on site plant produces its own
electricity, notably it produces water of a quality that can be reused
in the hospital. It reduces mixed waste (including hazardous) by 50%
of volume including 90% of organic waste representing another cost
The concept
Energy is recovered, the quantity of waste is considerably reduced
and the wastewater is converted into process water without any trace
of micro-pollutants. The benefits for patient and nursing staff are
improvement of hygiene and efficiency of hospital processes by using
single-use disposables as bedpans resulting in a positive financial case
and less cross contamination in the hospital by reducing the number
of contact moments between staff and contaminated waste.
The concept was tested in 2008 as a proof-of-principle for the
wastewater treatment and digestion component of the total
Pharmafilter concept. The digestion of amongst others bioplastics
under thermophilic conditions was possible and also analysis of the
water phase showed complete removal of all tested micro-pollutants.
On basis of these tests a full-scale installation has been built which is
since 2010 operational in Delft.
Pharmafilter represents a change in the way we work that positively
enhances the work environment, patient safety and care. It is an
environmentally friendly way of dealing with the complex waste,
sewage and wastewater streams emanating from hospitals. It is
a thoroughly integrated waste management system that at every
interface delivers significant improvement in the handling, removal
and treatment of waste streams arising in hospital.
Logistically and historically, waste in hospitals is removed and
separated into various categories. This activity requires both
significant staffing hours, physical infrastructure and recording of
waste types. This process requires the use of sorting rooms, internal,
external storage and transporting waste through public corridors and
8Essential fm Report 109 September/October2013
Product study: Pharmalter
The above process and treatment results in the decontamination and
significant reductions in the volume and waste type emanating from
hospitals, therefore delivering a vast reduction in road movements of
waste trucks and costs of removal for transportation and processing.
Digestate from the digester is disinfected by the thermophilic (high
temperature) conditions in the digester and an extra disinfection
step is introduced to the dewatered sludge so it can be used (proven
technology) beneficially.
Waste water
The water streams from the hospital sewers and digester are
treated in the on-site Pharmafilter plant engaging a new patented
design. The biologic treatment is for extra removal of nitrogen and
phosphorus. The water from this high tech waste water treatment
plant is crystal clear, disinfected and with very low nitrogen and
phosphorus content can be discharged to sewer. The wastewater is
now free of the previously high concentrations of pharmaceuticals,
such as antibiotics, painkillers and heart medicines. The water is now
ready to be reused for the flushing of the Tonto shredded, toilets and
other beneficial applications such as boiler feed or garden water.
Independent source
The effluent from the hospital is fully purified in four steps and
cleansed of all harmful substances such as medicinal residues,
cytostatics, contrast liquids, endocrine substances, bacteria and
viruses. Samples show that all medicinal residues found in the waste
water are eliminated to below the detection limit.
Medicinal waste in the water is no longer detectable. 99.9% savings
on the waste water charge.
The purified water is suitable for flushing the Tonto, toilets, cooling
towers and other process applications.
Up to 70 % reuse of water is achievable.
Pharmafilter is now available in the UK as we have now partnered
with Enviorpharm in Wales to represent us in the market.
Peter Kelly, International Dorector, Pharmafilter BV EfmR
Enviropharm UK Pharmafilter BV
One Caspian Point 130 Sigel Street
Cardiff Bay Cardiff Amsterdam
CF10 4DQ 1015 AE
Wales The Netherlands
(m)+44 (0) 7869 153789 00353 86 8276649
(t) +44 (0)845 459 3555 0031 (0) 204 203 392
(f ) +44 (0)845 459 3550
Hospital waste water treatment description
The waste water from hospitals contains high concentrations
of pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics, painkillers, cyto-toxic
substances, heart medicines and contrast media. Through urine and
faeces these substances are discharged to the waste water system
and despite excellent biological treatment in waste water treatment
plants, eventually discharged into surface water. It is suggested that
these toxic and carcinogenic kinds of compounds are responsible for
disrupting water life and cause disease and malformation in water
organisms by their hormone disrupting activity among others. At this
moment these kinds of substances are the emerging substances in
environmental policy.
Characterisation of hospital waste water
Hospitals can be seen as a ‘hot-spot’ of pharmaceutical emission
because here there is a high load of pharmaceuticals used and
emitted through hospital wastewater into the municipal sewerage.
It has been well established that sewage treatment plants and more
globally, all water compartments (effluent to river) are reservoirs of
antibiotics resistant bacteria where horizontal transfer shapes the
future evolution of resistance determinants (Szczepanowski et al
2009; Moura et al 2007; Martinez 2009, Zhang, et al 2009).
As a consequence, the emergence of antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs)
in the water environment is becoming of increasing worldwide
concern. Hundreds of various ARGs encoding resistance to a broad
range of antibiotics have been found in microorganisms, distributed
in surface water, groundwater, hospital wastewaters, in sewage, waste
water treatment plants, and even in drinking water and bottled water
(Barraud & M-C Ploy 2011a; Falcone-Dias et al 2012). Source Pills
Report 2012.
Waste stream handling and protocols
The handling of food waste and general waste processing in hospitals
requires a lot of time and space. In preparation of food, cleaning and
washing has severe logistical challenges and disadvantages. It takes a
lot of time and space (kitchen, transportation, lifts, washing kitchen).
The handling of bedpans is also time consuming because every
bedpan has to be washed and disinfected. There is also a severe risk
of cross contamination during this handling process. Pharmafilter is
a system in which all waste and wastewater streams in hospitals are
combined. The waste water flow includes the solid waste in the form
of bio plastic bedpans, urinals, kitchen refuse, general waste, and
healthcare risk waste is also processed. Optimisation of handling and
hygiene in the hospital is encountered by the use of bio plastics for
bedpans, urinals and other single use disposables. All solid waste is
processed by a Tonto shredder; the small particles from this shredder
are flushed through the existing sewer system to the Pharmafilter
onsite central liquid / solid separation unit. The solid fraction is fed
into a Pharmafilter digester tank, digested and fully decontaminated.
This process produces biogas, which is reused to power the plant.
The on-site Pharmafilter plant completely removes the medicines
and endocrine disruptors in the waste water treatment phase.
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9Essential fm Report 109 September/October2013
BIFM Training Calendar / Infobank
Please see an updated programme below for Nov-Dec
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Commissioning Editor
Martijn Groen
Martijn Groen, MSc (Facility and Environment Management), is an
FM Consultant for Bernard Williams Associates. BWA’s FM Division
provides experienced and comprehensive FM consultancy services
to enable clients to optimise premises and facilities performance to
benefit the organisation as a whole.
Professor Je Ollerton
The Biodiversity Index tool has been developed by The University
of Northampton in conjunction with the Higher Education Funding
Council for England (HEFCE), as part of the SEED sustainability
project. The Biodiversity Index is available for use free-of-charge
by schools, colleges and universities in the UK, with a chargeable
version for the wider public and private sectors.
More information about the tool can be found at:
Professor Jeff Ollerton is a Professor of Biodiversity at the University
of Northampton (academic School of Science and Technology)
and was a key figure in the initiation and development of the
Biodiversity Index.
Sezgin Kaya
Sezgin Kaya has built up his expertise and academic background
in international facilities management markets, strategic facilities
management, asset management service delivery models, facilities
systems, benchmarks, and performance management. He is currently
working at Procurian as the EMEA Practice Lead for procuring cross-
border facilities and corporate real estate contracts, standardisation
and technology processes for international organisations. Sezgin can
be contacted at Procurian – 07789 633 632.
Sunil Shah
Sunil Shah is the Managing Director at Acclaro Advisory Ltd.
They are an independent sustainability consultancy specialising in
providing support for the FM and property sector – www.acclaro- For more information, contact Sunil on 07590 444
399 or
Peter Kelly
Peter Kelly (International Director Pharmafilter BV) has fifteen
experience year’s commercial and technical experience in Bio
Plastics. He is a specialist in the use of biodegradable plastic for
marine wetlands and rivers in conjunction with denitrification of
wastewater for aquaculture, rejuvenation sea grass and erosion
control applications. He is also an expert in the area of bio plastics
in anaerobic digestion and sewage treatment.
Peter is responsible for Pharmafilter global commercial roll out
in the healthcare sector. He is also the head of Pharmafilter bio
plastics and biobased chemicals platform. He is focused on the use
of second generation feed stock from Waste and Wastewater via
the conversion of nutrients through to the recovery of monomers
and compounding of bio polymers that are used in the production
of Pharmafilter single use products.
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