4. Let off some steam: Decarbonizing humidification and sterilization systems

Workshop Date:


Discussing current steam use in hospitals and how to reduce the reliance on steam. Including identifying ways to reduce steam loads and exploring non-combustion methods for steam generation.



Panel Discussion

  • -Case study: Zero Gas Hospital - Jim Crabb, Mazzetti
  • -Adiabatic humidification - John Rees, Dristeem
  • -Alternative sterilization methods - Jim Crabb, Mazzetti
  • -Case study: Explore a hospital scenario to get rid of steam - Austin Barolin, Mazzetti

Interactive Breakout Sessions -

  1. Engineering Focus
  2. Facility Acceptance Focus
  3. Design/Project Focus
  4. Finance/Business Case Focus

Regroup Summary

Continued discussion on Decarb Healthcare Community

Upcoming Workshops



  • - Explore non-natural gas methods of generating steam
  • - Explore non-steam alternatives for sterilization and humidification
  • - Identify barriers to using these alternative steam generation methods
  • - Explore options for existing hospitals that depend on steam systems


Current State

  • -Many hospitals are still dependent on steam systems for space and water heating, sterilization, humidification, and cooking
  • -There are proven non-steam ways of doing space heating, domestic water heating, and cooking but sterilization and humidification remain reliant on steam
  • -Many engineers and healthcare design community members believe steam is not going away anytime soon


  • -Alternative decarbonization technologies or ideas for sterilization and humidification are available but there is hesitation and barriers to implementation.
  • -Adiabatic humidification is a non-combustion and non-steam way of humidifying spaces.
  • -Electric steam generators, ethylene oxide, and vaporized hydrogen peroxide are non-combustion methods to be used for steril processing.

Call to Action

  • -Pilot project opportunities here! The technologies presented in this workshop are cutting edge and have few pilot projects. If you are interested in piloting one or more of these technologies, please reach out to the decarb:Healthcare community. Additional pilot installations in a CA hospital, or other US hospital, will be critical in determining the feasibility and efficiency of these technologies in the effort to decarbonize healthcare buildings.
  • -Continue to share your thoughts about these technologies on the community page at Decarb:Healthcare.