Wellness and prevention: controls and more ensure Virginia hospital’s health
“Quality of care” is more than just a phrase at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH), one of the largest hospitals in Virginia. CRMH defines quality of care using six characteristics: excellence in care, patient safety, clinical outcome, technology advances, accessibility, and patient experience.
Maintaining the right physical environment is an important part of creating an indoor environment aligned with the hospital’s quality of care mission. That is why the hospital leadership team embraced a high-performance building approach to improve energy efficiency, reduce operating costs, and shrink their environmental footprint while also improving the physical environment for patients, medical staff, and other building occupants.
IDENTIFYING ENERGY SAVING OPPORTUNITIES
Upgrades helped this hospital save nearly $275,000 in energy costs in one year.
Working with Trane, a global provider of indoor comfort systems and services and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, the CRMH facilities team conducted an energy audit to identify, select, prioritize, and implement energy conservation measures. The process uses a Six Sigma tool to consider factors such as energy-saving potential, practicality, commercial viability, and risk management. Utilizing Six Sigma practices helps hospitals and other organizations evaluate and make business decisions concerning the rate of return on their energy-related capital investments.
The audit process identified a wide range of energy conservation measures and more than 25 were selected for implementation. For example, the BAS was improved to ensure that building systems such as the HVAC system operate efficiently and effectively within pre-established parameters carefully chosen to maintain the optimum indoor environment for each physical area in the hospital.
CRMH also installed VFD controls in the AHUs and chilled water system to boost efficiency, enhance the comfort of building occupants, and improve IAQ, a priority for any health care organization. The VFC controls enable seamless communication with the BAS.
The hospital also chose an advanced intelligent building services platform, including 24-hr active monitoring. Provided by Trane, the performance-based platform uses the best available analytics, diagnostics, and human expertise to optimize building performance to keep the building operating within acceptable tolerances of the operating standards set by the CRMH team.
These capabilities enable the hospital to take a highly effective and proven performance-based maintenance and service approach, with the ability to gather, analyze, and act upon an unprecedented amount of building system data. As a result, facilities team members are able to anticipate system problems in advance, pinpoint when equipment needs to be serviced, and respond to most problems remotely, all of which improves reliability and response time while reducing service costs.
HIGH-PERFORMANCE CONCEPTS DELIVER RESULTS
Using high-performance building concepts like improved analytics and VFD controls to tie hospital building performance to the organization’s quality of care mission has delivered excellent results for CRMH. The hospital reports estimated first-year energy savings of nearly $275,000 and a reduction of more than 2,200 tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.