Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH) knew that it had no control over utility rates, but that it did
have control over its energy use. The hospital sought to identify and implement energy conservation
measures (ECMs) to reduce costs, in alignment with its mission to provide quality patient care as efficiently
CRMH set out to identify low cost energy conservation
measures (ECMs) that could be implemented to reduce its
energy use and carbon footprint, lower costs for patients and
provide a positive return on their investment. Due to
increasing demands, hospital staff were unable to focus on
the impact of their actions on energy use, the environment
and the bottom line.
Based on a relationship that spanned over twenty years,
Trane had extensive knowledge of CRMH operations,
business goals and infrastructure needs. CRMH and the Trane
high performance building team developed a partnership to
address the energy and operational objectives of the hospital,
utilizing an annual performance-based service agreement.
Identifying potential savings
Trane initiated a process to identify and quantify potential
improvements. The ECM process is based on Six Sigma
methodology, which takes critical factors such as saving
potential, practicality, commercial viability and risk
management into consideration.
Energy consumption was benchmarked, plans were developed
and ECMs were identified. Trane and CRMH evaluated the
ECMs and developed a top project list. Over twenty-five
ECMs were implemented including chilled water plant flowissue minimization, chiller plant automation, controls
programming and flat plate heat exchanger modifications.
Automation to improve operational performance
To maximize energy savings, Trane TR200™ Series variable
frequency drive controls were installed for the air-handling
unit and chilled water pump. The controls offer
custom-programming flexibility to address a wide range of
requirements to improve air quality and assist in keeping
patients and staff comfortable. The controls allow seamless
communication with the Trane Tracer Summit® building
automation system (BAS). Supported by Trane Tracer ES™
software, the BAS allows the hospital to complete daily tasks,
such as troubleshooting, scheduling and alarm management.
Tracking and monitoring for sustainability
Costs, energy savings and carbon footprint reductions are
tracked locally. Trane active monitoring provides operational
tracking to sustain implemented ECMs. Monthly reports are
reviewed by a Trane high performance building specialist and
forwarded to CRMH with any concerns. Continuous
performance monitoring allows CRMH to identify potential
equipment upgrades or replacement needs.
The partnership of CRMH and the Trane high performance
building team has resulted in significant energy and operating
savings and carbon footprint reductions. Specific results and
annual savings include:
• Over twenty-five ECMs approved and implemented
• $273,778 energy savings in the first year
• CO2 reduced by 2,214 tons
• Carbon emissions reduced by 547,727 kg CO2/Kwh
Improved decision making
Tracking and data analysis have enabled more intuitive
decisions regarding ECMs and operational improvements.
"I’ve been in the energy conservation area for many years,"
stated Johnny Morris, senior director of engineering, Carilion
Clinic. "Over the years, we haven’t always made the best
decisions because we didn’t think it through. We have a much
more thorough thought process now."
Increasing awareness increases results
Trane provides ongoing training for CRMH staff on various
HVAC troubleshooting techniques and the functions of the
Tracer Summit building automation system. The training
helps quantify staff impact on energy use and the energy
penalties caused by malfunctioning equipment. It also fosters
teamwork, as CRMH and Trane work together to identify
potential energy saving opportunities. "We have a good
relationship with Trane," said Morris. "Their enthusiasm
carries over to our people and vice versa. We have general
staff wanting to help in any way they can from recycling to
looking for new ways to conserve energy."
Identifying energy conservation measures is an ongoing
project for CRMH. "You can make a huge difference with
energy conservation. For every dollar saved, that’s money you
can put back into your operation to give people a good place
to go for their healthcare," said Morris. "Plus, it’s fun to be
able to take a piece of equipment and make it work better.
One of the largest hospitals in Virginia, the 703-bed CRMH provides
premiere healthcare services. CRMH is a teaching hospital and features the region’s only Level I trauma center.