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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Fort Defiance Indian Hospital
P.O. Box 649
Fort Defiance, AZ 86504
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The Fort Defiance Indian Hospital, a 245,000 square foot state of the art rural hospital, opened its doors in August 2002. The hospital is located in Northeastern Arizona, approximately seven miles north of Window Rock, Arizona (the capitol of the Navajo Nation).  The hospital has a 24/7 Level 2 Emergency Room, and is licensed for 56 inpatient beds including an Intensive Care Unit, a Medical-Surgical Unit, a Pediatric Ward, an OB/GYN Ward, and an inpatient Adolescent Psychiatric Care Unit. The hospital currently employs 900 Full Time Equivalents (FTE).


Fort Defiance Indian Hospital, a federal facility, adheres to the Executive Memorandum supporting the greening of government facilities through energy management and to the Presidential Memorandum released after Hurricane Katrina promoting energy conservation. Fort Defiance Indian Hospital incorporated energy-efficient features into the original design. After a year of operation, we benchmarked in EPA's energy performance rating system, and we had a rating just below a 70. While that was a high rating, it was below the 75 rating needed to earn the ENERGY STAR which we sought to achieve. At that point, we decided to take steps to identify how we could continue improving as an energy-efficient facility.


Our facility manager contacted the U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). They sent an engineer from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to conduct an energy audit of our hospital to identify opportunities to improve our energy performance. The engineer produced a report outlining no-cost, low-cost, and other recommendations for energy efficiency improvements. We chose to implement several of the no-cost and low-cost measures, and later that year our energy performance rating improved to a 75. 


Some of the energy-efficient technologies and strategies that our hospital incorporated, leading to our ability to achieve the ENERGY STAR include:


Lighting - Our hospital design called for installation of T-8 lamps throughout the hospital. Our design also included motion sensors in conference rooms, rest rooms, most offices, and on all exterior lighting.


Fan and Pump Systems - Our original Air Handling Units (AHUs) are equipped with Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs). The fan and pump systems are also digitally controlled and tied into the central system.  One of the improvements we implemented was to sequence the use of cooling tower fans to run them in a five-stage process, rather than the original two stages.


HVAC - As one of our improvement projects, we expanded our zone temperature between heating and cooling and reset the AHU temperature points to the highest temperature that would meet cooling needs. The highest point to meet cooling was identified through a gradual process of making adjustments, and monitoring occupant feedback in order to ensure occupant comfort was maintained. We are in the process of procuring funding to install VFDs for our chiller system and pumps.


Operations and maintenance is an integral part of our program.  Our centralized digital control system from Johnson Controls oversees all operations, and facility maintenance is carried out on a quarterly basis.  We also purchase ENERGY STAR qualified products when replacing office equipment, including TVs and computers.


Along with maintenance we also ensure that all our staff participates in training offered by Johnson Controls to learn how to operate the digital control system.  Our next step is to re-commission the building to ensure that our building systems are functioning at maximum efficiency.

At the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital, we continually strive to improve our energy performance by reducing energy demand and raising awareness on the importance of energy conservation. In July of 2006, our CEO issued a memo establishing an Energy Task Force. The task force is led by our facilities manager and consists of representatives across several departments including medical, finance, housekeeping, maintenance and Information Technology staff.  The purpose of the task force is to recommend policies that will reduce energy consumption and to successfully implement selected strategies.  Serving as the energy coordinator for this task force, our facility manager supervises the energy performance tracking with the help of task force members, and together, they collectively identify opportunities for energy reduction and conservation.


We communicate with our hospital employees on a regular basis through emails or general staff meetings highlighting useful energy efficiency recommendations and also encourage employees to turn their computers off before leaving at night. The Energy Task Force meets regularly, and we meet with upper management to present policies. Since we are located on an Indian reservation, we also provide the tribal council with reports regarding energy conservation improvements.


"No matter how new your facility is and how energy-efficient you think it should be because of the new technologies integrated in the design, it is important to benchmark and assess your performance to ensure your facility is operating as efficiently as possible. Benchmarking led us to identifying opportunities to increase our savings and make improvements after our hospital was open less than two years."

-- LCDR Ricardo Murga, U.S. Public Health Service

Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Indian Health Service 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.

Federal Building

Building Owner:*
Indian Health Service

Property Manager:*
Fort Defiance Indian Hospital

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2004 (75)
2006 (84)

Facility Type: Hospital (General Medical & Surgical)

Total Floorspace: 245000 sf

Year Constructed: 2002

Contract Type: None

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 4-Fan Systems