Environmental Stewardship


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Environmental Stewardship – Local Successes and Lessons Learned from System Wide Energy Efficiency Efforts Providence Real Estate Strategy and Operations (RESO) rolled out an effort to control heating and cooling systems in medical office buildings based on occupancy. By connecting to central computers, these systems can be automatically shut down when the buildings aren't in use, which is usually at night or over the weekend. Below are some results and tips from local ministries that are part of this effort. Success at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska Providence Alaska Medical Center (PAMC) was able to save energy without any impact to caregivers through this program by assessing their current system operations and adjusting overnight setpoints through the central computers where possible. Advice for other ministries from PAMC: o Review how the system is currently operating. See if there is anything that can be changed to make it more energy efficient – look at both software settings and hardware. o Learn the system, find out the existing programming and corresponding equipment. Look and see how automation system is controlling the system. Can it shut down at night? Is it capable? o Collaborate as a team with property management to ensure you understand the occupants' schedules. For more information, please contact Bill Frost, Building Automation Engineer, PAMC at William.Frost@providence.org Lessons Learned from Providence St. Vincent's Hospital in Oregon Providence St. Vincent's Hospital was also able to successfully implement this program in many of their office buildings that already had direct digital control (DDC) for their heating and cooling system, which means the system is controlled by a computer. However, they have one building that still requires manual control, but there are plans to upgrade that building as soon as possible, and hopefully with the help from an incentive package from the Energy Trust of Oregon. Advice for other ministries from St. Vincent's: Contact the property manager to understand the current situation, and how the heating and cooling system (HVAC) is controlled overnight. Essentially ask the question: what happens to HVAC when we go home? Be sure to evaluate how each building is being used. For instance, some of our tenants have researchers working overnight and/or need to preserve tissue specimens and laboratory experiments, which necessitates specific temperature and humidity requirements. If we were to simply turn off the HVAC overnight, we could potentially compromise the laboratory experiments, causing critical specimens to deteriorate so our goal is to try to shut down as much of the HVAC as possible and still maintain critical temperature parameters for spaces that need it. For more information, please contact Willy Heston, Oregon Building Systems Manager, Engineering at William.Heston@providence.org

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