Mercy One of Four U.S. Hospitals to Earn Sixth Consecutive ENERGY STAR Certification

Nov 06, 2014

Mercy One of Four U.S. Hospitals to Earn Sixth Consecutive ENERGY STAR Certification

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Mercy Medical Center has earned its sixth consecutive U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.

"Mercy Medical Center is proud to be one of four hospitals in the entire U.S. to have received ENERGY STAR the past six consecutive years,” said Thomas E. Cecconi, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center. "Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.”

Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Mercy Medical Center improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its building.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment, “ said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”

To earn the ENERGY STAR, Mercy Medical Center took the following actions:

  • Utilization of Siemens Build Automation System to control air handling units, including temperature set points, economizers, night/weekend setback. Load shed select air handlers to reduce chiller plant electrical usage.
  • Control each operating room, including verification of air exchange rates and pressurization.
  • Control all isolation/negative-pressure rooms, including monitoring of alarms.
  • Control chiller plant, including use of free cooling option; resetting chilled water temperature based on outside air temperature/dew point; and managing of electric demand in real time via a gateway tied into our Siemens electrical switchgear. If additional chillers are needed, they are programmed to load over time, which in turn has lowered our demand charges.     
  • Installation of variable frequency drives on air handling units and pumps.
  • Retrofitting of T-12 style fluorescent light fixture with T-8s and T-5s, and LED technology.           
  • Elimination of incandescent bulbs, replaced with compact fluorescents and/or LED.
  • Power Factor Correction, presently at 96 percent.

In addition to lowering energy use and cutting related costs, Mercy has also implemented many green initiatives over the past decade, including:

  • Annual electronic recycling, document shredding and drug take-back events
  • Hospital-wide recycling of glass, aluminum, plastic, cardboard, light bulbs and lab chemicals
  • Water conservation, reusable sharps containers and reduction of pharmaceutical waste
  • Use of CFLs (compact florescent light bulbs) instead of incandescent bulbs in most applications
  • Electronic charting, imaging and paystubs, as well as real-time results and reports for physicians
  • Partnerships with businesses and community partners that support environmental stewardship

EPA’s ENERGY STAR energy performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. Commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, data centers, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship, and warehouses.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes, and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past twenty years, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR. For more information about ENERGY STAR Certification for Commercial Buildings, visit www.energystar.gov/labeledbuildings.