Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. (EH&E) recently launched a new Hospital Energy Performance service aimed at helping hospitals to improve their building systems performance and energy efficiency by 25% or more, with much of the savings linked to low cost modifications.
“Healthcare facilities are heavy energy users and are continually being modified to meet new requirements for equipment and services. Building environmental systems often become out of tune as a result. The emphasis in these facilities is placed on maintaining the environment, and optimal system efficiency is seldom addressed,” said Michael Della Barba, director of commissioning at EH&E, which is located in Needham, MA.
In describing the Hospital Energy Performance service, Della Barba continued, “We’re not approaching this as an expensive equipment replacement program, or a shortsighted energy reduction effort that negatively impacts the environment. We understand critical building systems, and simply make them work as they were intended. Energy efficiency (and in most cases, energy savings) is the natural result.”
EH&E’s energy optimization process takes place in three phases to allow the hospital to implement each in stages (measuring savings at each) and to strategically plan capital equipment upgrades to maximize return on investment (ROI).
- Phase I: Develop a building system performance profile. Define the building’s optimal operating strategy and identify the system(s) to be optimized, document all associated equipment, and review the system control sequences. System performance data is collected and analyzed to identify opportunities. This phase typically identifies low or no-cost actions to immediately improve performance (<1 year ROI), as well as issues that require some engineering investigation to further refine.
- Phase II: Perform engineering investigation and make recommendations. A more detailed engineering investigation with recommendations for improvement for more complex deficiencies. EH&E engineers work with the facility manager and operations staff to select specific items to undergo further investigation and engineering.
- Phase III: Correct deficiencies, analyze results, and recommend capital improvements. Prioritization and correction of those equipment and system deficiencies selected from Phase II. Can be prioritized to target individual zones, systems, or the entire building based on the projected ROI of the proposed improvements.