street level view of Mater Dei Hospital in Malta

Sustainability in Action: Mater Dei Hospital in Malta

How electrification of heating helped the Mater Dei Hospital achieve significant energy efficiency, indoor air quality improvements and a lower carbon footprint.

We’re helping solve our customers’ big challenges by innovating and delivering solutions that are better for their business - and for the environment.


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Project At-a-Glance:

The opportunity: help the Mater Dei Hospital replace aging HVAC infrastructure and advance significant energy efficiency and air quality improvements while reducing reliance on fossil fuel heating

The solution: reduce reliance on a traditional boiler with a fully integrated system with electric heat pumps and heat recovery chillers, domestic hot water supply, dehumidification and space heating.

Sustainability outcomes:

  •  ~1 million liters annual reduction of diesel fuel consumption, preventing ~2,700 mtCO2e
  • over 58% savings in fossil fuel related energy use
  • improved indoor and outdoor air quality, reducing air-borne byproducts from the previous boiler system

As an island nation in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, The Republic of Malta has limited natural resources; therefore, scarcity is a pressing concern for development. Being surrounded by the sea presents additional complexities for building infrastructure due to the presence of salt in humid air and the increased potential for equipment corrosion and indoor air quality challenges.

Now consider being a hospital operating in that environment - using an aging HVAC system with parts failing at a higher-than-normal rate, along with a reliance on fossil-fuel boilers producing undesirable emissions and particulate matter byproducts into the air of the surrounding area.

The Mater Dei Hospital is the largest in Malta, with multiple patient wards (most of them specialized), a High Degree Isolation Unit (HDIU) for infectious diseases, pathology labs, 19 operating theatres, radiology, dentistry, and pharmacy departments, and an affiliated medical school for learning.

When considering an HVAC system for a such a vital and health-oriented facility like a hospital, indoor environmental quality (IEQ) is a peak concern to minimize any spread of illness and maintain comfortable patient rooms. Couple that with a focus on improving energy and operating efficiency, and you have quite a challenge ahead.

Partners for the long-term

As a partner wanting to help, no matter the equipment choice of our customers, Trane Technologies’ local team recognized the frequent replacements were costing the hospital considerably more than the cost of new Trane equipment and ongoing expert maintenance. Even a group of energy and sustainability experts at a local University got involved, conducting a study to determine if the cost savings Trane would provide were beneficial for the hospital. Their conclusion was that savings would be substantial.

“When Mater Dei Hospital decided to replace all the existing chillers due to aging, it was decided to investigate whether the existing heat recovery system can be improved. Trane’s water-cooled heat pump chillers have a maximum condenser temperature much higher than the previous configuration,” shared Ramon Tabone, Senior Mechanical Engineer with the hospital. “That is what made the project possible and resulted in considerable diesel fuel savings and reduction in CO2 emissions to the environment.”

Over the course of the project, Trane has become a one-stop resource for the hospital, creating an effective partnership while supporting the facility's distinctive challenges. With a unique combination of electric technologies, including air-cooled chillers, water-to-water heat pumps, controls and Trane's BMS Tracer SC system, Mater Dei Hospital can now meet strict IEQ standards, including dehumidification requirements, while also monitoring and reducing energy use. Plus, right-sized maintenance services will extend the useful life of the equipment and ensure peak operating performance.

rooftop view of the Mater Dei Hospital in Malta

Rooftop view of the Mater Dei Hospital in Malta

Cleaner air and better operations

Trane and Mater Dei Hospital's partnership has already been a clear success. The hospital is now a step closer towards achieving net-zero carbon operations, preserving the country's minimal natural resources.

Since completion, the project has helped the hospital avoid the use of 2.5 million liters of diesel fuel, a reduction of around 6,000 mtCO2e of direct emissions. Moving forward, the system will reduce the hospital’s annual diesel fuel consumption by ~1 million liters, preventing approximately 2,700 mtCO2e from entering the atmosphere annually. The system, now with central, automated control and heat recovery capability has resulted in over 58% savings in fossil fuel related energy use.

They also improved the air quality for the community by reducing reliance on the boiler and cutting localized emissions, resulting in comments from hospital staff that their parked cars no longer had a layer of soot and dust generated by the old boilers. As a result of reducing outdoor emissions and air-borne particulates, the indoor environmental quality of the hospital was also improved for both staff and patients alike.

Continuous optimization

The project's cost savings led to further investment in energy efficiency and air quality improvement projects. For example, the hospital is embarking on an additional project to replace its ventilation system with updated fan technology, directly improving indoor air quality while reducing energy use and reducing maintenance costs. The partnership continues as the Trane Technologies’ team looks for other heat recovery and repurposing opportunities and a full transition to low-GWP refrigerants.

Thought Leaders

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Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Trane Technologies

Donny Simmons

Group President, Americas, Trane Technologies

Deidra Parrish Williams

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Jose La Loggia, Group President, EMEA

Holly Paeper

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