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Customer Stories

Spectrum Health


Spectrum Health is the largest not-for-profit health care system in West Michigan with nine hospitals, more than 180 service sites and 1,983 licensed beds system-wide. As the region’s leading health care system, Spectrum Health touches thousands of lives each year and continues to grow and build on its strengths by renovating existing facilities and opening new ones, including a state-of-the-art cancer pavilion and a new children’s hospital; bringing leading-edge technology and medical treatments to the region; and supporting exciting new initiatives for medical education and research. In addition, Spectrum Health was named a Top 10 Health System in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters.


Spectrum Health’s vision is to be the national leader for health by 2020. With this vision comes responsibility, not only for the health of their patients, but also for the health of the environments they impact. Their mission, therefore, includes a commitment to sustainability, which refers to meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. To sustainably provide the kinds of buildings and facilities needed to efficiently and economically deliver the best in healthcare and patient outcomes, Spectrum Health required a building systems partner with solid experience in providing systems expertise, high-efficiency and reliable equipment, controls, service and parts to the health care industry.


Trane has earned Spectrum’s trust through many years of providing high-performance equipment and outstanding service. After Trane became an awarded supplier of Novation, the leading health care supply contracting company for the members of VHA Inc., UHC and Provista LLC, Trane and VHA-member Spectrum Health signed a formal business relationship agreement. Its full offering, long list of health care references and status as a Novation-awarded supplier made Trane an ideal partner. Trane has provided systems and services for numerous Spectrum Health projects, including:

Butterworth Hospital Chiller Plant
In-depth analysis by Trane engineers identified a chiller plant and controls upgrade that is providing Spectrum Health $127,000 in annual energy savings. The upgrade included modifications to two existing chillers to increase efficiency, installation of variable speed drives on existing chilled water pump and cooling tower fan motors, and installation of a Trane chiller plant sequencing and control system to coordinate and optimize the operation of multiple chillers throughout the facility.

Butterworth Hospital Energy Center
Spectrum Health decided to significantly reconfigure the infrastructure in the energy center. Once again, Spectrum maintained a focus on increased energy efficiency and reduced operating cost. The project included an extension of the Trane Tracer Summit® building automation system (BAS) and installation of a new high-efficiency Trane CenTraVac® centrifugal chiller. The new chiller was optimized to take advantage of an existing cooling tower to provide exceptional energy efficiency, and qualified for over $50,000 in utility rebates. Trane also provided a 1,000-ton rental chiller for backup purposes during construction. Energy savings from all of the upgrades are estimated to be $300,000 per year.

Butterworth Hospital Absorber
As part of a previous project, Spectrum Health had eliminated a cogeneration turbine that provided low-cost steam to an absorption chiller. Consequently, operation of this chiller was no longer cost effective. Spectrum selected Trane to provide a complete turnkey project to replace the existing absorption chiller with a new high-efficiency centrifugal chiller. The project included engineering design, construction management, and mechanical and electrical installation, as well as new equipment and controls. The entire project was purchased through the Novation agreement to leverage the purchasing power of the Spectrum Health organization. As before, the new chiller was optimized for energy efficiency, qualified for over $50,000 in utility rebates, and is estimated to save $150,000 per year.

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
After extensive research, Spectrum Health and Turner Construction selected Trane controls over another well-known supplier, along with Trane CenTraVac® chillers and other equipment for this $300 million facility. The building features a high performance HVAC system, including heat recovery chillers and numerous other energy-saving measures. This facility has achieved LEED Gold certification.

Blodgett Hospital
As part of a $98 million renovation and expansion project, Spectrum Health replaced the existing control system with a new Trane Tracer Summit building automation system (BAS). As with all of Spectrum’s new facilities, the addition to Blodgett hospital is designed to LEED standards. Estimated energy savings of $300,000 per year have been realized to-date in the renovated portion of the facility as well.

Blodgett Hospital Chiller Plant
In addition to the renovations and expansion of the Blodgett facility, Spectrum Health upgraded the existing chiller plant. These upgrades included installation of two new Trane high-efficiency CenTraVac chillers to supplement one existing Trane chiller, variable speed pumping, a Trane chiller plant sequencing and control system, and a free cooling system to utilize cool outdoor temperatures during cold weather. An ice storage system was installed to provide additional energy savings for Spectrum Health. A Trane chiller builds ice during the night when electricity costs are low. During the day, when electricity costs are high, the ice is used to provide air conditioning for the building. Energy savings from the chiller plant upgrades are estimated to be $200,000 per year.

Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion This facility opened in 2008 and has been certified to a LEED Gold level by the U.S. Green Building Council. Spectrum selected Trane high-efficiency CenTraVac chillers, Trane factory-installed controls on the HVAC equipment, and a Tracer Summit™ building automation system. The factory-mounted controls saved significant jobsite installation and testing costs while meeting the engineer’s requirements for an open protocol, integrated, user-friendly, Web-based graphical interface. The building is also extensively submetered to provide Spectrum with detailed information on energy and utility consumption.

Spectrum Continuing Care
In response to a request for updating an existing control system, Trane engineers reviewed the building systems and determined that by installing a heat recovery system in the kitchen exhaust and makeup air systems, enough energy savings could be achieved to pay for replacing the existing control system with a new Trane building automation system -- with a payback of less than two years. Annual energy cost savings are projected to be approximately $50,000.

Trane Service Agreement
Spectrum Health also selected Trane as their long-term service provider for both equipment and controls. The agreement was finalized through Novation and provides select coverage for Spectrum’s chillers as well as service and support for both Trane and non-Trane building automation systems.


"The knowledge, experience and progressive thinking of Trane align well with our organizational priorities and drive value throughout our health care system," said Tom Theoret, director, facility support services, Spectrum Health. "Their solutions strike a balanced approach that enhances safety and quality, reduces operating expenses, augments environmental conditions and most importantly, provides exceptional experiences for our patients and staff. It’s great to have a trusted partner assisting our team in achieving our mission, vision and values."


About Spectrum Health

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, one of Spectrum Health’s nine hospitals, has achieved LEED Gold certification.

Optimized for energy efficiency, a centrifugal chiller replaced the Butterworth absorption chiller.

The Blodgett Hospital chiller plant includes free cooling during cold weather and an energy-saving ice storage system.

A Trane Tracer Summit building automation system provides an integrated graphical interface with HVAC equipment.