According to the US Energy Information Administration, hospitals accounted for less than 2 percent of commercial floor space, but consumed 4.3 percent of the total energy used by the commercial sector. The Department of Energy estimates that healthcare spends $8 billion on energy annually.
Hospitals are very visible entities within the community and most have some form of sustainability or other green initiatives. Almost 2,200 healthcare construction projects have received some level of LEED certification or are seeking certification. Hospital leaders cite lower operating costs and increased patient and staff satisfaction as solid business reasons to pursue certification. They also say receiving recognition for green construction and design is viewed by the public as evidence of their organization’s commitment to working for the social good.
Most hospitals buildings had energy management and conservation plans in place to save energy. However, despite these efforts, the DOE estimates that electric source energy use intensity (EIU) in hospitals increases by approximately 1.5% per year because of the greater use of medical equipment and information technology. Laboratories generally have substantially greater energy use than other building because of safety requirements for additional ventilation, as well as researchers’ use of energy intensive equipment. The intensity of care required by a patient is also a factor. A recent study conducted in metro Boston hospitals found that plug load EUI increased two-fold in intensive care units compared to other inpatient care areas. Thus, large teaching hospitals and academic medical centers face particular challenges.
Another consideration is hospital ownership given the trend toward consolation in the hospital market. From 2007 to 2012, 432 hospital merger and acquisition deals involved 835 hospitals. Today, 60% of the short-term acute hospitals are part of a hospital system. The average hospital system has 3.2 hospitals according to JAMA. This often means that facility managers must deal with a complex and geographically dispersed operating environment.
Reduce Operating Expenses
Commissioning is a best practice central to these sustainability initiatives. Reduced operating expenses are perhaps the most important benefit associated with commissioning. Building owners report that their building efficiency improved 5%–20% through retrocommissioning work, but recommissioning or retrocommissioning are done at most every three to five years. Thus, wasted energy compounds and potential savings are deferred for years.
Continuous CommissioningSM introduced the idea that commissioning and energy management work should be ongoing to drive greater savings. However, the volume of information, the complexity of equipment and ongoing operational demands make this difficult to do. Monitoring based Commissioning (MBCx) builds off the concept of continuous commissioning, but uses automation to deal with the complexity. As a result, MBCx allows you to realize savings in months rather than years since work is ongoing.
FacilityConneX is an Enterprise-level intelligent monitoring and knowledge action system designed to bring smart asset monitoring, advanced predictive intelligence, continuous management and energy savings; all available in a secure hosted Cloud environment with online and mobile visibility. This allows university facility managers to:
- Monitor your equipment and thousands of fault detection scenarios.
- View the entire portfolio of buildings online and on mobile to ensure that people have the right information at the right time.
- Use our advanced analytics to prioritize the work needed to minimize energy consumption and meet occupant needs.
Southcoast Health Video
In this 5 minute video, Southcoast Health explains how they use FacilityConneX to improve operations and save on energy costs.
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