How Trane Solutions Maintain Cost-Efficient Healthcare Facilities
February 17, 2015
When operating a large medical facility, it is essential that heating, air, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) systems provide a comfortable and safe patient experience while satisfying the needs of its employees, including physicians and medical staff.
For Hardin Medical Center in western Tennessee, an outdated HVAC system affected its ability to create an optimal environment of care, especially in the critical labor and delivery areas.
Outside of basic comfort and reliability, there were benefits the hospital could realize by investing in a more efficient HVAC system. Efficient solutions could help combat rising operational and energy costs, which are more important than ever to constrain as healthcare costs continue to rise.
To get to the root of the issue, hospital administrators embarked on several initiatives before determining which upgrades would best meet their needs.
First, the hospital conducted an environment of care study to identify ways to increase patient comfort, physician and staff satisfaction, and the hospital’s bottom line. Building information modeling was then used to create an energy model for the facility, evaluating opportunities to implement energy conservation measures.
Once upgrades were determined and implemented, the results were comprehensive — installing new lighting, boilers, and temperature/humidity controls could combine to cut energy consumption by 25 percent.
These improvements were financed by a performance contract. Through this financing mechanism, expenses for structural improvements would be covered by funds previously budgeted for energy consumption using outdated, inefficient systems.
As it turned out, not only did the hospital reduce its future budget for operational costs related to its HVAC systems, but the region's public utility chipped in as well. The Tennessee Valley Authority rewarded Hardin Medical Center with a rebate of $11,500 for easing its strain on the TVA's power grid.
For committing to these improvements, Hardin Medical Center was honored with the Trane Energy Efficiency Leadership Award. Hardin Medical Center is providing a blueprint for how facilities of similar size and age can improve not only a building's environment, but also the efficiency of maintaining that environment.