Hospital Sustainability
Oct 07, 2014

hospital-sustainabilityU.S. health care facilities spend a roughly $8.8 billion every year on energy costs to operate. Energy costs from heating, cooling, lighting, medical devices, and electronics in hospitals add up to more than $675,000 annually, exceeding the per-building energy costs of any other type of building by a factor of ten.

This staggeringly high annual price tag has led many of our nation’s hospitals to search for ways to increase hospital sustainability through energy saving measures. The good news is that, for most hospitals, there are ways to cut energy bills by more than 30 percent. The most efficient way for hospitals to access those savings is through Health Facility Commissioning, or HFCx.

HFCx focuses on refurbishing or replacing anything within a hospital that consumes electricity. From heating and cooling to anything that plug in a wall socket, HFCx can increase hospital sustainability through greater energy efficiency.

One of the easiest to understand and implement changes that HFCx can help a hospital make is in simple thermostat regulation. A HFCx team would first identify anyone who is a stakeholder in the project, this includes managers, engineers, and building occupants. The team would then study energy usage data from previous years and look for trends. With a clear picture of the buildings historical energy usage, and trends the team would then devise and implement a plan for managing thermostat settings to optimize energy usage throughout the year..

A key part of a successful HFCx is follow up. Once a plan has been created and implemented it is vital that energy usage is monitored and adjusted accordingly. This allows for the plan to be adjusted based on performance and stakeholder needs. Once a balance of efficiency and comfort has been reached, the facilities sustainability is greatly increased.

A full HFCx would take into account not just thermostat regulation, but all other aspects of a hospitals energy usage. By understanding how each use of energy interacts, the needs and comfort of the building stakeholders, and hard data a HFCx can help hospitals dramatically reduce their annual energy costs.

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