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Cleveland Clinic’s Path to Better Buildings Goal Achievement

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 25, 2020

In 2011, Cleveland Clinic Foundation became one of the first healthcare partners to join the Better Buildings Challenge, committing to reduce its energy use intensity by 20% by 2020. Right on schedule, in 2020 the organization reached 22% energy savings across 18+ million square feet. Through these accomplishments and its ongoing commitment to energy efficiency, Cleveland Clinic is able to save money on energy and reinvest these savings back into patient care.

The clinic’s journey to goal achievement involved changes big and small. Some key efficiency projects included:

  • Upgrades to LEDs
  • Optimizing air exchange rates in operating rooms
  • Setting back temperatures in unoccupied areas
  • Keeping temperatures between a range of 68-74°F in non-clinical areas
  • Maintaining and replacing steam traps
  • Maintaining and optimizing air filters
  • Installing occupancy sensors
  • Installing high efficiency building systems
  • Retro-commissioning equipment

These solutions are demonstrated in Cleveland Clinic’s Showcase Projects Hillcrest Hospital and Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center. At Hillcrest, a centralized efficiency action plan drove implementation of these energy conservation measures while also inspiring engagement across departments. This has empowered leaders and caregivers to develop innovative ways to combine efficiency with improved patient care – all with an eye to increased affordability. Together, efficiency measures save the hospital more than $500,000 annually in energy costs.

After construction of the Twinsburg center, building commissioning and optimization found that the building was not performing as well as expected. The team set to work optimizing air change rates, maintaining and optimizing air filters, setting temperature ranges for non-patient care areas, and optimizing the rooftop unit. Similar to Hillcrest, Twinsburg staff also engaged with caregivers to cut energy waste while making patient care more affordable.

Cleveland Clinic’s EcoCaregiver program is a significant component of its efficiency success. Launched in 2014, the program delivers mandatory energy efficiency training to caregivers. It also drives operational savings through behavioral changes – leaders in all departments are empowered to prioritize energy efficiency projects and initiatives. Green teams across the organization also drive positive changes and organize sustainability events.

The clinic also undertook a “Greening the OR” Initiative to reduce waste and increase energy efficiency in operating rooms portfolio-wide. Read more and learn how to harness these savings with its Implementation Model.