Hackensack Meridian Health: Medical Plaza


The Medical Plaza is one of the largest adult ambulatory care facilities in the northeast, and is a nine-story building that houses physicians’ offices and medical center programs. The Medical Plaza was funded in a large part by donations made to the HackensackUMC Foundation, a member of Hackensack Meridian Health. There are 12 outpatient operating rooms in the Medical Plaza and in 2015 there were a reported 13,356 cases. The Hackensack Meridian Health Radiology Department serves approximately 4,300 patients annually.


The Medical Plaza has its own utility meters and has shown the potential for some of the greatest savings on campus, as it is operating an outdated building automation system with limited control logic. The facility serves as an outpatient facility which eases some of the difficulties of implementing energy efficiency projects in hospitals.  Without a 24-hour emergency department, there is more flexibility for scheduling the installation of energy conservation measures without putting patient care at risk.



The Medical Plaza is currently undergoing a Building Automation System (BAS) upgrade. The existing BAS is outdated and not connected to the other buildings on campus, limiting the operator’s ability to set and control the building and requiring a separate BACnet system to operate. BACnet is a data communication protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks (BACnet). The transition to the upgraded BAS will replace floor level network wiring, control panels (including variable air volume (VAV)/fan-powered box (FPB)) controllers, and all networked main-level panels. New software is being installed to control the system, which will communicate seamlessly with the rest of the campus. Upgrading the BAS will allow for better control of the building, decrease run time of mechanical system and lighting, and decrease the building’s current energy usage. 


Hackensack Meridian Health has been highly involved with Public Service Energy & Gas’ Carbon Abatement Program. This program provides hospitals with upfront funding to implement energy efficiency projects with a buy-down incentive and on-bill repayment at zero percent interest. In efforts to increase energy efficiency and sustainability at the Medical Plaza, Hackensack Meridian Health is pursuing a project to create a bridge to pipe chilled water from the central chiller plant to the Medical Plaza. The central chiller plant was upgraded and now produces chilled water at a much more efficient rate than the chiller at Medical Plaza, and the bridge would eliminate the necessity of the separate chiller.

Another project in the Carbon Abatement Program that is anticipated to reduce energy usage on site is a campus-wide steam trap repair and replacement. About 40 percent of the steam traps in the Medical Plaza are broken or operating inefficiently, and the repair and replacement of the steam traps is anticipated to save the hospital about $15,000 annually in energy costs.



When the implementation of this project is complete, the Medical Plaza’s ENERGY STAR® score is expected to improve as a result of decreased energy consumption. The Medical Plaza will stand as an example of energy efficiency and sustainability for other hospitals in Hackensack Meridian Health.


Annual Energy Use

Baseline (2013)
398.9 kBtu/sq. ft.
Actual (2019)
319.0 kBtu/sq. ft.

Energy Savings:


Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2013)
Actual (2019)

Cost Savings:


Sector Type



Hackensack, New Jersey

Project Size

325,000 Square Feet

Hackensack UMC Medical Plaza
Hackensack UMC Medical Plaza