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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Sacred Heart Medical Center
101 W. Eighth Avenue
Spokane, WA 99220
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Sacred Heart Medical Center, a member of Providence Health & Services, is a 2.08 million sq. ft. facility in Spokane, Washington, that ranks as the state's second largest hospital with 4,000 health care professionals and support staff. Our main tower was built in 1971 and major additions, including  the Children's Hospital and the Women's Services & Surgery Center, were undertaken in 2003-4 with energy efficiency in mind. We are proud to have earned the ENERGY STAR twice - 2003 and 2005 - and continue to make upgrades to improve our efficiency.

Providence Health & Services represents 27 hospitals and other services in Western and Eastern Washington, Montana, Oregon, Alaska and California.  The group shares energy efficiency, best practices, and activities across the organization. Five of our hospitals in Eastern Washington are working with the local utility, Avista Utilities, and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance to develop a Strategic Energy Management Plan (already in place in Western Washington) that will formalize our commitment to energy conservation through construction, equipment replacement, and building operations.

Our energy management team, the "BTU Bombers," is made up of facilities' staff (including a building engineer dedicated to energy management), utility representatives, and Johnson Control employees. The team has a goal of reducing energy consumption by an average of 5% or more each year and meets quarterly to review ongoing projects and identify new savings opportunities, such as those offered by rebates, purchasing, operations & maintenance and energy pricing strategies.

We have consistently realized more than 5% reductions in energy expenditures through mostly short-payback projects, including lighting upgrades, VAV fan systems, high efficiency chillers & pumping systems and night setback programs.

Lighting: Starting with a major project in 1994, we spent a total of $750,000 on lighting upgrades, which we financed through a combination of our own funds and utility incentives. The upgrades had a payback period of 2-3 years. Our lighting upgrades included: replacing over 20,000 T-12s and magnetic ballasts with electronic ballasts and T-8 lamps; replacing all incandescent fixtures with CFLs; and replacing all exit signs with LEDs. We are currently embarking on a re-lamping program throughout the Medical Center and have purchased 10,000 T-8/32w lamps.

Fan Systems: We made simple changes to our fan systems that yielded large paybacks. By establishing a single outdoor air sensor for the building control system, we eliminated energy wasted by having multiple competing sensors and improved comfort. We also recently converted several drive belt systems to cog belt systems that avoid belt slippage, thereby increasing efficiency. In addition, we established night setback protocols for areas unoccupied in the evening, saving $25,000. By turning off a large fan in the radiology area at night, we were able to save another $15,000 in energy costs.

HVAC: We upgraded our 1971 vintage chillers with new generation equipment, gaining significant efficiency in cost per ton.  We also replaced our induction-type cooling towers with top-mounted axial fan cooling towers that require much lower fan horsepower. Later, we installed a primary/secondary-chilled water pumping system.  A VFD controls pump speed sensing the pressure differential in the lines. Recently, we replaced the refrigerant orifice plates in each of the three central plant chillers to better match the lower condenser water temperature we use to gain efficiency, lower electrical consumption and results in savings of $18,000 per year.

While new automated technologies often reduce the need for staff involvement, we find it critical to have a dedicated and well-trained operations and maintenance (O&M) team. For example, while our building management system standardizes equipment operations, trained O&M staff needs to maintain and oversee the system to ensure it's operating at its full potential. We also implement critical maintenance, such as yearly steam trap maintenance and insulation checks/improvements, to continually improve efficiency. Our O&M staff takes advantage of training offered by Johnson Controls as well as in-house expertise.

In addition, we routinely purchase ENERGY STAR qualified products, such as washing machines and refrigerators, and regularly upgrade our Johnson Controls Metasys system to improve centralized environmental control. Our energy consumption is tracked through a quarterly consumption report from Johnson Controls, a monthly utility report that compares our usage with that of previous years and Avista Advantages Facility Manager.

By continually improving our efficiency, we are able to reallocate the money weve saved to our primary goal of providing high quality health care services to our patients and meet our responsibility for prudent stewardship of limited resources.


A weekly newsletter is sent to all employees and allows us to share our energy successes and remind them how much we appreciate their assistance with our energy efficiency efforts.  Earning the ENERGY STAR was a group effort that included our departmental staff, supportive employees in other departments and the invaluable support of Administration. We enjoy a very positive relationship with our upper management and brief the President/COO of the Medical Center regularly on our energy efficiency activities. In terms of outreach to our community, we recently posted a news release on our Web site and our efficiency measures will soon be the focus of a feature article in the local newspaper's business section.



"At Sacred Heart Medical Center, the nationally recognized ENERGY STAR raises the profile of our energy management efforts and shows our patients, employees, management and community that we are working to reduce costs while doing positive things for the environment."

-- Philip Kercher, Manager of Facilities, Sacred Heart Medical Center

Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Sacred Heart Medical Center 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:*
Sacred Heart Medical Center

Property Manager:*
Sacred Heart Medical Center

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2003 (79)
2005 (75)
2007 (75)

Facility Type: Hospital (General Medical & Surgical)

Total Floorspace: 1669713 sf

Year Constructed: 1971

Contract Type: Internal Resources
Financing Type: Internal Capital

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