EcoStruxure™ for Healthcare helps rural hospital achieve an affordable energy efficiency makeover

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Originally constructed in 1948, Odessa Memorial Healthcare Center, a 25-bed critical-access hospital opened its doors in 1950 in the small farming and retirement community of Odessa, Washington—just 72 miles west of Spokane. As the only local hospital for 30 miles around, Odessa Memorial serves 2,500 citizens in Odessa and the surrounding area.

Over the years, Odessa Memorial expanded its capabilities,

energy efficient rural hosptial

adding a rooftop helipad and a nursing home. By 2006, though, the pneumatic control system had outlived its useful life, and the hospital needed a cooling system.

Expanding with minimum cost impact

Schneider Electric met with hospital officials and proposed a performance contract that would help finance the necessary improvements. In addition to incorporating system design, construction, and commissioning, this turnkey solution guarantees the energy savings typically generated by replacing or upgrading building systems.

A performance project is funded in a variety of ways, including general obligation bond funds, maintenance reserve funds, and financing, secured against guaranteed energy savings.

A tailored renovation

Although Schneider Electric originally approached the hospital solely about a performance contract, Odessa Memorial asked Schneider Electric to serve as general contractor for other renovations as well. As a result, Schneider Electric assumed dual responsibilities. Renovating a facility that had passed the half-century mark presented many challenges. The hospital would be occupied throughout the renovation process. Construction crews would have to work around hospital staff and patients, and Emergency Room (ER) services would require relocation during the renovation.

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Schneider Electric staff visited the hospital many times and solicited input from the facilities services staff before beginning the renovation process. Based on field investigations and interviews, Schneider Electric developed a project plan tailored to Odessa Memorial’s needs, as well as its budget.

A penthouse for performance

Acting as the general contractor, as well as the performance contracting provider, Schneider Electric directed the entire team involved in the renovation process—from the hospital staff and the architect to the engineering consultants and subcontractors. Moreover, Schneider Electric was able to minimize disruption to hospital services during the entire renovation process by designing construction phases and schedules with the hospital’s patients and staff in mind.

Under the performance contract, Schneider Electric installed new, high-efficiency heating and chilled water systems, added two air handling units (AHU) and direct digital controls (DDC), and commissioned all equipment. With limited space inside the hospital for new equipment, especially in the ceilings, Schneider Electric constructed a penthouse to protect the new air handling units from the elements and to facilitate maintenance.

More than just an upgrade

Schneider Electric tightly monitored conditions at Odessa Memorial during construction and developed precautions to ensure that the final project met all applicable health care codes for HVAC. The focus was not only on comfort but also on indoor air quality. Improvements to meet fresh air requirements, and thorough air filtering, helping maintain adequate facility temperatures during emergency power operation.

After upgrading its facilities and mechanical systems, Odessa Memorial reduced its utility costs by more than $21,000 in the first six months of 2007 – 18 percent higher than the amount Schneider Electric had guaranteed. Individual rooms now have independent temperature control, and all valves and thermostats are tied into the EMS. A centralized EMS provides full-color graphics, allowing the facilities staff to monitor and manage the heating and cooling systems.

Learn more about Odessa Memoria’s energy efficiency journey by accessing the full case study.

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  • What a great project by yourselves working as main refurbishment contractor!

    Energy efficiency is playing a much wider role as part of projects we get involved in as part of our works as a commercial electrical contractor.

    Whereas in years gone by the functionality of the installation was always the prime concern, we are now being asked to design electrical systems with energy efficiency built in from the ground-up.

    It’s great to see how you have worked around the operations of the hospital. Downtime of ‘commercial’ clients is always a huge concern, and obviously with something as critical as healthcare then this cannot be overlooked. Continuity of services is not an easy thing to ensure during large renovation works such as these and that requires careful planning.

    Well done Schneider on an excellent job!

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