Controls upgrade, energy services, and a mindset of continuous improvement optimize operations, reduce energy costs, and improve the environment of care; save health system approximately $600,000 over a nineteen-month period.
When Owensboro Health replaced its seventy-five year old flagship hospital with a new medical complex, patient comfort, energy efficiency, and cost reduction were key priorities. With a new infrastructure in place, the healthcare system began looking
for ways to further improve efficiency. “We purchased energy efficient equipment and installed advanced controls that gave us flexibility to make adjustments if we needed,” said Joe Taylor, executive director of Facilities, Owensboro Health. “Our new facility was performing well, but we wanted outside expertise to help us get the most out of our new technologies.”
Having an established relationship with Trane that spanned many years, hospital leaders contacted the company for assistance. Trane proposed the use of controls optimization programs and its Intelligent Services to help the healthcare system improve equipment operation to further increase energy savings.
Enhancing productivity and comfort
Using a web-enabled Trane® Tracer® Ensemble™ building management system to obtain an enterprise view of its hospital and medical buildings, trained facility engineers access HVAC systems from any mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, to address comfort issues, make schedule changes, adjust set points, manage alarms, and troubleshoot issues. Operators use the system to monitor temperature and humidity data from sensors installed throughout the facility to help ensure comfort
and manage energy use. With full visibility to equipment operations, the healthcare facility and Trane worked together to identify and implement controls optimization programming to drive continuous improvement. The programming included supply
fan optimization, discharge air temp resets, and VAV scheduling, as well as free cooling, chilled water temperature resets, and chiller sequencing.
With an energy awareness mindset, the Owensboro Health team meets with Trane quarterly to brainstorm ideas and discuss actions for high reliability and continuous improvement. Data from the building management system is turned into useful information through intensive analysis by Trane Intelligent Services. With Building Performance, Trane evaluates equipment operations to identify ineciencies, uncover opportunities for improvement, and provide insights and solutions to help reduce operational costs and energy consumption. “We put together a list of opportunities and prioritize that list based on the cost and return of each project,” said Taylor. “Some projects cost very little and have a great return. Others might require access to capital funds.”
Working with Trane as its trusted advisor, Owensboro Health has implemented controls programming, Intelligent Services, and a mindset of high reliability and continuous improvement to optimize equipment operations, improve comfort for patients and sta8, and reduce energy costs. The improvements at the hospital and medical once buildings have saved the healthcare system approximately $600,000 over a nineteen-month period. Due to this significant savings, Owensboro Health was awarded the Kentucky Excellence in Energy Leadership Award. The healthcare facility has now set its sights on obtaining ENERGY STAR® certification from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for energy efficiency improvements resulting in costs savings and a reduction in pollution. “A couple years ago, we had a significant utility price increase,” said Taylor. “Were it not for the energy saving improvements we’ve implemented, the impact to our facility operating budget would have been huge.”