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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

531 Boise VAMC (Pre-1990 Geothermal)
500 West Fort Street
Boise, ID 83702
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Boise Veteran's Affairs Medical Center is located 6 blocks from the State Capitol Building at 500 W. Fort St., Boise, Idaho. The VA energy-monitoring program has established 4 energy goals for the Medical Center in the last 20 years. As the facility met each goal, the energy consumption was lowered again. The largest reduction came in 1988 as the facility completely converted to geothermal energy for heat and hot water. The freestanding laundry was also connected to this system for added savings. Boise, ID has a large geothermal acquifer under the city and surrounding community. A project to build a geothermal heating system began in 1984 and was completed in 1988. The system consisted of a supply well pumping from 2,200 ft., an injection well, and single loop layout to thirty buildings. The initial six buildings use direct geothermal water and the remaining use heat exchangers. The projected pay back for the system was nine years. With natural gas rate increases and efficiencies of new fan coils this was decreased to six years. The medical center's heating and hot water production bills have been reduced to the cost of power to run the geothermal pumps.

Energy-saving projects were also built with nonrecurring maintenance funding year after year. The facility has 30 buildings and 17 of them are on the National Historic Register. This makes energy projects more challenging given the type of construction and the inability to make exterior changes to these historic structures. The campus has 60 acres and 432,000-sq. ft. of environmentally controlled buildings. In the last 8 years, the facility has completed projects such as: ongoing replacement of lighting with T-8 lamps, electronic ballasts, and occupancy sensors, replacement of exit lighting with low voltage fixtures, replacement of chillers and roof top units with high efficiency appliances, air balance projects, and entire environmental system replacements. Recently, the VA Central Office approached the Medical Center with the concept of applying for an ENERGY STAR award from EPA for our continued efforts in the energy arena.


When the geothermal system was activated in 1988 it was covered in the local press. This consequentially led the State to heat most of its buildings downtown with geothermal water. It also influenced the city to drill an injection well.


"The Boise, Idaho VA Medical Center is proud to be designated as a top energy performer among hospitals nationwide. Earning the ENERGY STAR means that our efforts to reduce energy use are helping conserve the nation's resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By implementing energy-saving practices and using energy-efficient equipment, we also save money--every month--on our hospital's utility bills."
-- Patrick J. Flanagan, Chief Facility Management Service, VA Medical Center Boise ID

Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Department of Veterans Affairs 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:*
Department of Veterans Affairs

Property Manager:*
Boise VA Medical Center

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2002 (81)
2005 (91)

Facility Type: Hospital (General Medical & Surgical)

Total Floorspace: 407444 sf

Year Constructed: 1907

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
   Other Technologies/Strategies