Sharing Energy Efficiency Strategies in Healthcare Facilities

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Energy Efficiency ideas were every where this spring at Texas Association for Healthcare Facility Managers (TAHFM)’s conference called Interlink 2013.  We experienced two and half days full of premier educational programs.

The theme of the conference was “Driving Value through Efficiency – Weathering the Storm” which I thought was so appropriate for healthcare these days as most U.S. hospitals need to finds ways to do more with less.

For every dollar that a director of facilities can save in energy, that is $20 in new revenue that the organization does not have to produce. That is significant when the average margin in today’s hospitals is 5%.

One organization that really stood out to me at TAHFM was Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in the greater Houston.   Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital , Memorial Hermann The Woodlands,  Memorial Hermann Northwest  are just some of the hospitals in their system that have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious “Energy Star”–the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. The label signifies that the hospital building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency

To earn the ENERGY STAR label, a building must be in the top 25 percent of its peers in energy efficiency according to the EPA’s energy performance scale.

Projects at these hospitals have included high-efficiency HVAC systems and state-of-the-art lighting control systems.  Extensive energy management changes were made to reduce energy consumption and improve indoor air quality while maintaining a patient-friendly environment.  Among the energy savings initiatives were a recalibration of every temperature.

Larry Newlands, Manager of Energy Systems and Delbert Reed, Director of Facilities Engineering both from Memorial Hermann spoke about the importance of using the EPAs Energy Star Benchmarking process to know where you are and to know where you need to go.

Mike Hatton, System Executive, Memorial Hermann shared their case study about  new lighting strategies to improve aesthetics and drive the bottom line.  He also moderated a panel that discussed demand response for hospitals as a strategy for improving the bottom line.

Terry Scott, Director of Engineering /Construction Services spoke on how Directors of Facilities need to be able to develop their business accumen personally in order to manage in their extremely demanding, changing environment.

Marshall Heims, Facility Services Officer shared his view of the future of healthcare and a large part of his discussion was about the need to measure, benchmark and deliver energy efficient strategies to help his organization achieve its objectives.

What was so impactful is despite the fact these systems do compete for patients, when it comes to the facilities world, these facility managers are willing to share their  best demonstrated practices with one another.

What can you share? Let us know in the comments.


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