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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Bethesda North Hospital
10500 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH 45242
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Bethesda North Hospital opened in 1969 as a small suburban unit and has steadily grown into a 1 million square foot tertiary care facility with Level 3 trauma, open heart, large orthopedic surgery, and a wide array of maternity services. The hospital implemented Improvements in energy efficiency without major capital outlay by taking existing mechanical systems and making them operate in the most energy efficient manner possible. Careful planning and a cultural change in energy consumption habits were also important ingredients in our success. The hospital?s energy management team followed these steps:


Setting Energy Reduction Goals

In 2007, the Bethesda North Hospital began work with Pathian Incorporated to develop a sustainable energy improvement program. The primary goals of this partnership were to:

1.     Create a five-year, budget neutral energy improvement plan. The energy saving must pay for all energy improvements each year.

2.     Engineer a solution to the hospital?s building pressurization problems and integrate it into the five-year energy improvement plan budget.

3.     Develop a sustainable energy improvement program.

4.     Change the culture from an ?energy system users? mentality to an ?energy system managers? mentality.


Developing the Five-Year Energy Improvement Plan

1.     Pathian Engineers performed a rigorous inspection of all primary air handler HVAC control systems. The inspection goals were to identify how existing control systems functioned, verify calibration of peripheral devices, and understand the overall condition of mechanical systems.

2.     The engineers used Pathian? Analysis, a load-based benchmarking system to understand energy consumption habits. They used this program to develop comparative energy consumption benchmarks at all interval operating loads. At every temperature, dew point, or enthalpy, the engineers determined exactly how much energy the mechanical systems consume.

3.     Pathian created a Syrx? Energy Plan for our facility. This in-depth plan outlined all existing issues, recommendations, tasks, and control strategies for equipment.

4.     The focus of the engineering was to create global HVAC control strategies that allowed equipment to function as a single machine to control building pressure and react to changes in building load.


Putting the Plan in Action

1.     Pathian hired an HVAC control contractor and began implementing the Syrx? Energy Plan. The plan was designed to address ?low-hanging fruit? first and then move on to the next highest rate-of-return task.

2.     Great effort was placed on standardizing equipment control. Whenever possible, identical control system logic was used to control fan tracking and valve and damper positioning. This effort simplified employee training and created a cohesive mentality. Since everyone had a better understanding of how mechanical systems should work, they were able to identify problems that might go unnoticed without this standardization process.

3.     The Syrx? Energy Plan detailed how to control the hospital?s building pressure control problems. Pathian used what they call Pathian Optimal Building Pressure Control (POBPC) to control building pressure. Developed by Pathian, POBPC is an elevation-based pressure control method. It makes all mechanical systems work together to control building pressure to +/- 0.001 IN WC in the main hospital lobby.


Upholding Sustainability Values

1.     The most important aspect of the hospital?s sustainability plan is the ability to measure how the hospital consumes energy. Using Pathian?s load-based energy benchmarking method, energy managers understand in precise detail how mechanical systems consume energy at all operating loads. This feature allows energy managers to make adjustment to how they control energy systems and how they measure results. Energy managers keep adjustments that yield positive results and rethink those that don?t.

2.     The energy measurement process has helped energy managers refine how they control equipment. They continuously strive to become more energy efficient.

3.     Staff member training has helped energy managers understand how the building consumes energy, and has helped to identify problems.



1.     Since implementing the energy improvement plan in 2007, energy managers have made significant energy consumption improvements each year. The hospital has improved energy consumption by more than 20 percent by making the existing mechanical systems work more efficiently.

2.     Energy managers were able to retrofit the majority of the HVAC control system to new, highly efficient control methods while maintaining budget neutrality.

3.     For every dollar the hospital spent on its energy consultant, the hospital has received four dollars returned from energy savings.






Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by TriHealth Hospitals 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.

Building Owner:*
TriHealth Hospitals

Property Manager:*
TriHealth Hospitals

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2012 (75)

Facility Type: Hospital (General Medical & Surgical)

Total Floorspace: 907635 sf

Year Constructed: 1969

Contract Type: Internal Resources
Financing Type: Internal Capital

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 4-Fan Systems
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant