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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

San Diego VA Medical Center
3350 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, CA 92161
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San Diego VA Medical Center (SDVA) has overcome the current economic climate to achieve energy savings and earn the ENERGY STAR in 2011 for its second consecutive year. In August 2010, SDVA began implementing the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management and became the first VA facility in California to receive an ENERGY STAR in 2010. As of December 28, 2011, SDVA was one of six general medical and surgical facilities in California to receive the ENERGY STAR in 2011.

In January 2010, San Diego VA Medical Center retained Emerging Technologies Associates, Inc. (ETA) to benchmark the energy performance of the more than 938,000-square-foot medical center; assist in creating building-wide energy management strategies; track SDVAa??s energy savings; develop energy improvement strategies; and facilitate SDVAa??s application for the ENERGY STAR. At that time, the Engineering Department at SDVA worked with ETA to begin assessing the Medical Centera??s energy performance in accordance with the ENERGY STAR criteria for healthcare facilities, in order to determine the efficacy of energy efficiency projects at the whole building level. ETA began by analyzing SDVAa??s source energy use intensity (EUI) and the site EUI; the source EUI was already 21 percent below the national average for healthcare facilities. 

By 2010, several new assessment projects were underway. An advanced lighting control system featuring occupancy-controlled LED task lighting and new LED and induction parking lot lighting was tested to determine the viability of future energy efficiency projects and to further reduce the overall energy consumption of the Medical Center.

Prior to retaining ETA, in the fall of 2009, energy engineer Jon Coger was tasked with managing new energy efficiency projects despite a limited budget for such projects. Mr. Coger utilized internal resources and recruited colleagues to form an informal Green Team, which fosters cross-departmental collaboration and has contributed significant input to SDVAa??s energy management program. As new energy-efficient technologies were tried and assessed, medical staff members from doctors to nurses were surveyed to ensure that excellence in patient-centered care remained the key objective.

Since 2007, the Medical Center has invested in lighting retrofits, implemented direct digital control (DDC) of its building automation system, upgraded its cooling tower, and installed variable air volume boxes throughout the building. The fully automated HVAC control dashboard enables SDVA to identify and correct systems drifting outside of established performance parameters. Additionally, SDVA upgraded its combined heat and power system (CHPS) and has since shifted to using it year-round and seeking ways to confirm the effectiveness of the cogeneration plant, once total control is fully integrated into the building automation system. The CHPS contributed significantly to energy savings by (1) enabling the plant manager to focus on the distribution and use of electricity throughout the building; and (2) enabling the plant manager to balance energy consumption with demand while optimizing the use of electricity produced.

SDVA experienced a 13 percent increase in the number of veterans it served from 2008 to 2010 and an increase of roughly five percent in inpatient treatment and outpatient visits. In the same period, no budget increases were made available to SDVA. Despite these challenges, SDVAa??s energy consumption held steady at 400 kBtu/sf, and by 2010, SDVAa??s completed projects had begun saving 3 million kWh and more than $800,000 annually. The facility earned the ENERGY STAR in 2010 and 2011 and developed an energy management plan using the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management.

ETA joins SDVA in reviewing its Portfolio Manager Facility Summary on a quarterly basis and generates graphs of SDVAa??s energy performance. This practice enables SDVA to track changes in its energy consumption throughout the year and capture the positive results of energy-efficiency projects completed in 2009 and 2010. SDVA uses the EPA Energy Performance Target, Product Purchasing & Procurement, and the Staged Approach to Energy Efficiency.

Team members who contributed to the success of the energy management program include: Herme Flores, Electrical Department Supervisor; Bill Diaz, Supervisory General Engineer; Mark Abeyta, Boiler Plant Operator Supervisor; Ismael Montiel-Lopez, Maintenance Control Manager; John Norwood, Facility Planner; Leslie Statler, Interior Designer; and Allen A. Moff, VISN 22 Energy Manager.



The ENERGY STAR is prominently displayed at the main entrance of the Medical Center. SDVA?s energy engineer Jon Coger continuously recommends the ENERGY STAR program to his colleagues within the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare System.

January 7, 2011: The entire Engineering team and Electrical Shop of the Medical Center received recognition on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website in the article, ?San Diego Receives a 2010 ENERGY STAR Award.?

2009: SDVA?s DHPS project received the ?Energy Champion? award from San Diego Gas && Electric at its 2009 Energy Showcase. SDVA was featured by San Diego Gas && Electric Company in an online video that is shared with the general public and the veteran community on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.

2009: SDVA received three globes as part of the Green Building Initiative?s 2009 Green Globes Awards.





Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by VA San Diego Healthcare System or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Service Provider:
Emerging Technologies Associates Inc

Federal Building

Building Owner:*
VA San Diego Healthcare System

Property Manager:*

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2010 (75)
2011 (75)
2012 (76)
2013 (75)
2014 (79)

Facility Type: Hospital (General Medical & Surgical)

Total Floorspace: 938272 sf

Year Constructed: 1972

Contract Type: Internal Resources
Financing Type: Internal Capital

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Other Technologies/Strategies

For More Info:
Jon Coger
Energy Engineer
San Diego, CA 92161