Energy savings study targets local hospital

first_imgA national effort to squeeze energy savings out of power-hungry hospitals is under way, and Vancouver’s Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center is on the forefront of the movement.A federally funded study of the Salmon Creek facility’s energy usage has dug up data that capsize long-held assumptions about which parts of a hospital use the most energy.Imaging equipment, hot water and elevators are not, as it turns out, large consumers of energy.The single biggest user of energy at Legacy Salmon Creek? Air-reheating equipment, accounting for more than 40 percent of energy consumption.The 57-page study, scheduled for release Monday and led by the University of Washington’s Integrated Design Lab and Eugene, Ore.-based SOLARC Architecture and Engineering Inc., likely will have a national impact, influencing both the design and construction of hospitals, and retrofits of existing ones.That’s because the data was gathered from the 220-bed Legacy Salmon Creek, a relatively new, state-of-the-art facility that “provided a good foundation” for understanding how a hospital “uses electricity and natural gas for its complex operations,” according to the study.Heather Burpee, research assistant professor of health design and energy efficiency at the UW’s Integrated Design Lab, said everyone from engineering firms and the U.S. Department of Energy to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers will be able to use the data to make better energy saving decisions when it comes to hospital design.last_img read more