Increasing efficiencies and decreasing energy costs at a Pennsylvania hospital

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By Fawn Staerkel, Director, Healthcare Strategic Accounts, Johnson Controls
Decreasing capital and fund reductions have become increasing issues in the healthcare industry. As a result, some healthcare systems have been forced to consolidate in an effort to maintain financial resources and, most importantly, help ensure that their environments remain optimal for healing. This strategy directly affects hospitals that would have otherwise benefited from an acquisition and poses new challenges for hospital directors as they must seek more creative, budget friendly options to organically build their network.

In Pennsylvania, a level one adult and pediatric trauma center and teaching hospital for the local university’s medical school found that growing the facility’s footprint could help increase capital. The hospital decided to take on several building expansions and retrofit projects, such as updates to their children’s hospital, new medical clinics and centers, office buildings, and additional lab space for researchers. In the long-term, the improvements would assist with growth and differentiate the breadth of offerings the hospital can provide to the community. However, hospital directors quickly learned that operating such an expansive campus came with new challenges, including increased energy consumption and the associated costs.
Building a foundation of trust and reliability with a systems integrator is crucial for hospitals, especially when they are in need of facility upgrades.

The value of a trusted systems integrator
Having been a customer for over 45 years, the hospital called upon their trusted systems integrator – Johnson Controls – for help with the new construction. The hospital’s HVAC operations and maintenance contract were already being supported by a full team of Johnson Controls technicians. In addition, calibration of automatic temperature control systems, fire alarm testing and inspection were all being provided on a regular and compliant basis.

For the new developments, the hospital invited Johnson Controls to planning and internal project management meetings. The early engagement helped Johnson Controls provide expert input upfront to determine the best technology implementations to meet the hospital’s goals and objectives. The discussions identified energy consumption as the top concern for the hospital. Directors knew that if they could limit the amount of energy used, then lower costs could follow.

Integrated building solutions for improved energy efficiency
The hospital decided to enter a large-scale plant centralization and optimization project with Johnson Controls. This included the installation of new 1000 Ton YORK® YMC2 magnetic bearing chillers, air handlers and VAV boxes, all designed for the highest possible efficiency. To help control the entire building environment, Johnson Controls implemented the Metasys® Building Automation System (BAS) to standardize and maintain energy and operational productivity. The BAS can connect controls from HVAC to fire and enable communication between the different building systems using a single platform for seamless data collection. Ultimately, the integrated approach and actionable insights can help hospital leaders make smarter decisions to increase operational efficiencies, lower energy expenses, and enhance patient comfort and safety. Today, the plant centralization investment has allowed the hospital to receive the largest utility rebate in Pennsylvania history and has outperformed the energy payback projection by 30 percent.

Building a foundation of trust and reliability with a systems integrator is crucial for hospitals, especially when they are in need of facility upgrades. The unparalleled results from the renovation project helped the Pennsylvania hospital leaders make the long-term decision to partner with Johnson Controls across all of the company’s offerings – from HVAC controls and security solutions to technology contracting – in order to help ensure a cost-effective, safe and comfortable healing environment for their patients and operations.

Could your healthcare facility benefit from similar energy efficient updates? Learn more about how Johnson Controls can help here.

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