What was undertaken at St. Mark’s Medical Center was unique for what it was not. Savings were achieved without capital expense, other than adding a few sensors in areas needing closer monitoring. Energy use reductions came entirely from changing how existing systems were configured and operated. Engineers specializing in no-capital-cost energy use reduction performed a thorough analysis of existing systems and their use. Then, it was a matter of fine-tuning these systems to implement what the analysis determined would be necessary.
With the assistance of Ridgecrest Energy Advisors, Mel Burgess, St. Mark’s Director of Maintenance, was able to identify and implement numerous energy conservation measures (ECMs). Each of the ECM areas was focused on eliminating waste in the HVAC systems while maintaining or improving comfort and IAQ for the hospital patients and staff. The resulting energy savings have exceeded projections.
Overall, the competition has helped the hospital staff focus on energy efficiency in a more detailed and measurement-driven way. The competition has also generated a renewed excitement about energy conservation at all levels of the organization. Monthly reports are now being created and distributed that compare each month’s weather normalized energy consumption for each utility to pre-project baseline consumption. The facility’s ENERGY STAR rating is also being updated and reported monthly. One benefit of this is that it allows the operations staff to better understand how their facility uses energy and how their actions impact that. Another benefit is a greatly improved ability to forecast energy consumption for budgeting and procurement purposes.
The St. Mark’s Medical Center website describes participation in the competition and includes links to the 2011 National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings website. Visitors can also follow events on St. Mark’s Facebook page.
Learn more about all 245 buildings, by visiting the competitor flash wall!