2020 Summit: Dispatches from the Healthcare Sector

Healthcare energy efficiency was a popular topic throughout this year’s Better Buildings Summit. To kick off the four-day Virtual Leadership Symposium, Associate Professor Dr. Joseph Allen of Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health highlighted the importance of promoting human health and safety within the built environment. His remarks were timely for all attendees and resonated especially with partners and other stakeholders in the healthcare sector.

Better Buildings partners and affiliates in the healthcare sector hosted a meet-up to discuss energy efficiency challenges, solutions, and opportunities. Here are some highlights:

  • The program congratulated Cleveland Clinic Foundation on achieving its Better Buildings Challenge Goal, reaching 22% energy savings across more than 18 million square feet.
  • DOE provided an update on the Waste Reduction Pilot, featuring UW Health as the first healthcare pilot participant.
  • Shanti Pless from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) discussed the state of the market for zero energy buildings (ZEBs) and shared tools and resources to support implementation.
  • Travis English from Kaiser Permanente used the Santa Rosa Medical Office Building as an example of how ZEB technology can be applied to the healthcare sector. Santa Rosa is Kaiser’s first net zero building and was completed in 2018. English stressed the importance of data and building validation to ensure buildings perform up to design standards.

The Summit also featured healthcare partners in other sessions. Daniel Mastin from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital discussed the importance and challenges of energy efficiency in hospitals during “Stump the Chumps: How to Optimize Critical Facilities.” In the closing plenary, Jon Utech from Cleveland Clinic Foundation focused on the human health benefits of increasing efficiency and reducing pollution.

The 2020 Better Buildings Progress Report was also published during the Summit, highlighting accomplishments from Better Buildings partners and allies. The Healthcare Sector Spotlight on page 27 features case studies from partners who are solving innovative energy efficiency challenges while maintaining patient health and wellness. Explore the 2020 Report and previous reports here.