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Healthcare

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The U.S. healthcare system contributes 10% of the nation’s carbon emissions and 9% of harmful non-greenhouse air pollutants, and the industry continues to grow. Better Buildings Healthcare sector partners represent 700 million square feet of space, collectively saving $340 million since 2011. These leading healthcare organizations are developing strategic cost reduction programs to improve the environment of care for patients, employees, and their communities.

2023 Better Buildings Progress Report

To date, 900+ Better Buildings, Better Plants partners have saved more than 3.1 quadrillion Btu, saving more than $18.5 billion and 189 million metric tons of CO2.

COVID-19 Resource Center

Dealing with COVID-19 presents an unprecedented scenario for building owners, plant managers, and employees. Better Buildings has collected resources from partners, affiliates, and other organizations that may prove useful.

Get Involved

There are many different ways to work with DOE through the Better Buildings Initiative. Explore our partnerships to find the best fit for your organization, whether your focus is energy, water, waste, or carbon.

Other Resources

Case Study

Madera Community Hospitals: Ground-Mounted Solar Array Case Study

Madera Community Hospital completed the installation of a 1,140 kilowatt ground-mounted solar photovoltaic array through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The array produces 2,183,220 kWh annually and offsets approximately 40% of the hospital’s electricity consumption.

North Shore-LIJ: Roof-Mounted Solar Array Case Study

The North Shore-LIJ Healthcare System installed a 50 kilowatt solar array on one of their auxiliary buildings, producing 55,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, ensuring continuous energy cost savings and a cleaner energy resource.

CHRISTUS Health Saves with LED Troffer Retrofit Case Study

CHRISTUS Health cut lighting energy use 61% at St. Michael Hospital by replacing fluorescent lamps with LEDs. This was part of a larger lighting retrofit which achieved a 58% reduction in energy use.

SEA Campaign Case Study: Kaiser Permanente Case Study

Kaiser Permanente received national recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy for exemplary energy performance using an FDD for a portfolio, part of their plan to reduce their facility energy use as much as possible by implementing data analytics.

Integrated Lighting Case Study: Bryan Health Case Study

Bryan Health was recognized by DOE's Integrated Lighting Campaign for the innovative use of lighting sensors and controls at its East and West Campus locations in Lincoln, Nebraska. This case study describes the project and its outcomes. 

Guidance

Low Carbon Technology Strategies for Small Office Buildings Guidance

This document includes steps that building owners and operators can implement to achieve smart, healthy, and low-carbon small office buildings within their existing building portfolios. Small offices are typically less than 50,000 square feet and often use packaged rooftop units for heating, cooling, and ventilation.

Low Carbon Technology Strategies for Outpatient Healthcare Guidance

This document includes steps that building owners and operators can implement to achieve smart, healthy, and low-carbon outpatient healthcare buildings within their existing building portfolios. Outpatient healthcare includes diagnostic and treatment facilities for outpatient care, and these buildings often use packaged rooftop units for heating, cooling, and ventilation.

On-Site Commercial Solar PV Decision Guide for the Healthcare Sector Guidance

This document provides guidance for implementing Solar PV in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Implementation Model

Ascension's Facilities Infrastructure Pool for Securing Energy Saving Projects Implementation Model

Ascension dedicates an annual budget from their Facilities Infrastructure Pool for energy efficiency upgrades at its hospitals to overcome the “first-cost” hurdle or insufficient access to capital, resulting in energy and cost savings.

Cleveland Clinic's Plan to Engage Clinicians and Reduce Resource Use in Operating Rooms Implementation Model

Cleveland Clinic Foundation ramped-up energy and water efficiency in operating rooms through employee engagement, targeted calls to action, and resource tracking resulting in heightened staff awareness and measurable savings.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Gallery Walks Implementation Model

New York-Presbyterian Hospital launched a retro-commissioning program that blends energy management with improving the quality of patient care for a holistic approach that engages all hospital staff and has resulted in energy and cost savings year-over-year.

UPMC: Centralized Energy Management And Capital Set-Aside Fund Implementation Model

UPMC created an Energy Management and Engineering Department with an annual energy budget to prioritize efficiency improvements to reduce energy use, costs, and emissions.

Presentation

Hospitals Use Data Analytics & Monitoring-Based Commissioning Presentation

Hospitals face an especially challenging energy problem – how to operate 24/7 in a strict control environment for lighting and HVAC? One way to manage usage is through EMIS, a broad family of tools and services. Learn how two hospital projects successfully controlled their complex buildings through the use of data analytics and monitoring based commissioning.

Better Buildings Program Overview & Engaging Your CFO Presentation

Learn from hospital CFOs who have made significant and replicable investment in energy projects. The CFOs review energy investment strategies and their approaches to bringing financial, environmental, and social aspects of energy alterations to the forefront of fiscal operations of healthcare facilities.

Report

Healthcare Energy End-Use Monitoring Report

DOE commissioned NREL to partner with two hospitals (MGH and SUNY UMU) to collect data on the energy used for multiple thermal and electrical end-use categories.

Showcase Project

Cleveland Clinic: Hillcrest Hospital Showcase Project

Leaders at Hillcrest Hospital prioritized energy conservation initiatives and projects through a centralized action plan with engagement across all departments, saving 23% in energy usage and nearly $530,000 annually.

Hackensack Meridian Health: Medical Plaza Showcase Project

Hackensack Meridian Health found 20% energy savings at the Medical Plaza ambulatory care facility due to a Building Automation System (BAS) upgrade, chiller plant optimization,campus-wide steam plant replacement, and strategical local utility partnership. 

Cleveland Clinic: Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center Showcase Project

Cleveland Clinic's Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center implemented several low-cost and no-cost energy conservation measures to ensure the building met LEED Gold certification expected performance. The upgrades showed 36% energy savings and $246,000 in cost savings.

University of South Alabama Medical Center Campus Showcase Project

Leveraging the partnership with Alabama Power, USA Medical Center implemented a variety of efficiency measures across the medical campus that benefited the bottom line, improved overall energy and water efficiency, and maintained or improved patient and staff comfort.

Ascension: Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas Showcase Project

Through improved lighting systems, occupancy sensors, a 4.5-megawatt combined heat and power plant, solar, and building automation, this medical center reduced annual energy use by 25% and saves $324,00 annually.

Ascension: Saint Thomas Hospital Showcase Project

Saint Thomas Hospital implemented a mix of low-cost behavior change measures and large-scale infrastructure projects to save more than $150,000 on energy costs annually.

JBG Smith: National Cancer Institute Showcase Project

In addition to many lighting and systems upgrades, the project team at the National Cancer Institute used building information modeling to coordinate critical base building systems and tenant space build-out requirements to avoid system redundancy and ensure maximum efficiency. These measures help to save more than $2 million annually in energy costs.

Will County: Sunny Hill Nursing Home Showcase Project

In addition to improved occupant comfort, facility improvements to Will County's Sunny Hill Nursing Home included window and roof replacements, insulation, and LED installations and are expected to yield $71,000 in annual energy cost savings.

City of Columbia: Sanford-Kimpton Building Showcase Project

The Sanford-Kimpton Building, housing the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department, received a complete recommissioning of its HVAC systems and lighting retrofits. Upgrades to these systems led to 33% in annual energy savings as well as improved tenant comfort.

Solutions at a Glance

UW Health: Savings Through Real-Time Data and Incentives Energy Management Program

In a single summer, UW Health saved $9,000 on utilities and earned $22,000 in incentives by participating in a utility-led program that offered incentives for reducing peak energy usage coupled with free energy dashboards providing real-time energy usage data.

Video

Zero Energy Buildings: What are they and how do we build them? Video

Zero energy buildings combine energy efficiency and renewable energy generation to consume only as much energy as can be produced onsite through renewable resources.

Cleveland Clinic Foundation Video

The Better Buildings Challenge supports commercial and industrial building owners by providing technical assistance and proven solutions to energy efficiency. Hear from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, a Better Buildings Challenge partner.

Cutting Edge Building Technologies Video

This webinar describes how the DOE helps move energy efficiency opportunities in buildings from ideas to mass-market uptake by identifying and developing high impact technologies.

Webinar

Healthcare Sector Peer Exchange: Lighting for an Improved Environment of Care Webinar

Have you dreamed of having broad support internally for energy efficiency projects? This webinar highlighted ways to persuasively present lighting efficiency projects to different audiences in your organization, including management, human resources, and clinicians.

Ventilation Setbacks for Healthcare Facilities Peer Exchange Webinar

This Better Buildings Alliance healthcare sector peer exchange had ASHRAE expert Jeff Boldt explain changes in ASHRAE Standard 170-2013, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities.

Sector Priorities

The Better Buildings Alliance Healthcare Steering Committee helps to set priorities for Alliance work in the sector each year. This year, sector activities focus on the following priorities:

  • Highlight partners that are enabling occupant-centric energy efficiency projects. Engage the National Laboratories to identify and disseminate existing resources on low carbon new construction. Explore pathways to integrate heat recovery into healthcare design.
  • Publish and disseminate resources and solutions that highlight on-site renewable energy and beneficial electrification projects that enable climate resilient hospital complexes.
  • Identify and address barriers to implementing submetering strategies across portfolios.

Steering Committee Members

  • Jed Thompson, University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) (Chair)
  • Alan Eber, Gundersen Health System
  • Austin Wallace, American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE)James Symanski, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Amanda Holloway, Mayo Clinic 
  • Gary Mullaney, Kaiser Permanente 
  • Jon Utech, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • Kyle Tafuri, Hackensack Meridian Health
  • Mary Statz, UW Health
  • Richie Stever, University of Maryland Medical Center