Most-Wired Hospital Saves Big

Major Health Partners medical center saves $360,000 annually.

Ranked among the Top 100 “Most Wired Hospitals in America”, Major Health Partners Medical Center, Shelbyville, IN, relies on state-of-the-art technology to provide quality care. Photo: Tony Frederick Photography

Ranked three times in the Top 100 “Most Wired Hospitals in America” with the most advanced computer systems, according to Hospitals and Health Networks magazine, Major Health Partners (MHP), Shelbyville, IN, relies on state-of-the-art technology to provide quality care. This commitment to technology for patient well being extends to the healthcare provider’s choice of building controls for its MHP Medical Center. The Alerton, Lynnwood, WA, Ascent building-management system they rely on, along with other building design features, helps MHP save close to $360,000 in energy costs annually while providing a comfortable indoor environment for patients and staff.

The new MHP Medical Center—opened in January 2017—replaces the 59-year-old Major Hospital in Shelbyville. The full-service, replacement hospital occupies 305,000 sq. ft. and houses 55 inpatient beds and 38 outpatient rooms, along with operating rooms and medical office suites. Located outside Indianapolis, the hospital serves patients from throughout southeast Indiana and beyond.

Upgrades were added to help improve the system efficiency at the existing cancer center, and Btu metering was added in the hot- and chilled-water mains feeding the cancer center.

MHP’s design objectives for the new medical center included using conventional heating and cooling systems in unconventional ways for significant energy-efficiency gains. To this end, the project team targeted an aggressive Energy Star goal of 95 or higher. “It will be one of the more efficient hospitals in Indiana,” said Douglas R. Hundley, Jr., PE, principal with CMTA Consulting Engineers, Louisville, KY. Hundley predicts the facility will use 53% less energy than the national average for hospitals (125 kBtu/sf/year vs. 266 kBtu/sf/year).

One of the key challenges in meeting the project’s energy-saving goals is the new building connects to an existing 46,000-sq.ft. cancer center. Because the existing building was designed as a more conventional system, and energy was not a significant consideration when it was built, the new hospital central plant had the challenge of back feeding the existing heating and cooling systems. “Some minimal upgrades were added to help improve the system efficiency at the existing cancer center and Btu metering was added in the hot- and chilled-water mains feeding the cancer center, so we could monitor energy usage and inform the owner if additional system adjustments need to be made,” said Hundley.

CMTA recommended numerous control strategies to help achieve the energy-savings goal for the new medical center. Among these was integrating operating room occupancy sensors with the supply and return air terminals in those spaces to allow the airflow to be reduced while maintaining a positive pressure. The project team also specified a heat-recovery chiller to reclaim waste heat generated from chilled-water production and provide the hot water for all summertime reheat.

Alerton controls help MHP Medical Center saved a projected $360,000 in energy costs.

To help cost-effectively optimize building operations for energy savings, the project team chose the Ascent building management system. The system includes Ascent control modules, Compass software, and Microset 4 wall units. “Ascent’s features and ease-of-use were the perfect fit for a sophisticated building owner operating a critical facility,” said Ed Ransom, vice president of operations for the Envelop Group’s, Indianapolis, Open Control Systems (OCS) division. Of particular benefit to the hospital is Compass software’s alarm management, scheduling, and trending capabilities, noted Ransom.

“We couldn’t have achieved the energy targets we set for this buildings without a sophisticated building-management system,” said Jeff Williams, vice president of facility operations for Major Health Partners. “This is a critical facility that will be used around the clock, and we wanted to ensure energy savings and comfort throughout—from the ORs to patient rooms to physician offices.”

Commenting on the power of the product suite, Hundley noted, “Recently, I was on site helping the owner evaluate a system deficiency, and using the controls, we were able to quickly diagnose the problem and fix it in a matter of hours. Typically, we would have had to have the controls contractor, mechanical contractor, and T&B contractor on site to correct this problem. With just some phone support, we were able to make the adjustments needed and address the problem.”

— Read about the hospital opening.

— Learn more about the Ascent BAS.

— Learn about the Energy Star Commercial Buildings Program.

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