e3 Solutions and GBA conducted a comprehensive sustainability assessment for UC Health. UC Health includes the 1.68 million-square-foot University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC), West Chester Hospital, the Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care, and ancillary facilities. Facilities considered in this project encompass 3.57 million square feet.
The project included analysis of the main medical center (UCMC), an affiliated hospital, a long-term acute care home, and a business center. The analysis covered organizational aspects of sustainability (such as culture, leadership, and engagement) and processes, including operations and facility resource use.
GBA’s work focused on benchmarking the buildings’ energy and water management. Buildings were compared with 111 participants in the latest round of GBA’s annual Hospital Energy and Water Benchmarking Survey.
- Analysis of energy consumption and costs revealed that UCMC’s numbers were much higher than those of other benchmarked organizations. Costs for West Chester Hospital, the long-term care center, and the business center appeared to be more reasonable. Setting targets of 15% energy reduction for UCMC and 10% reduction for the other three facilities would produce annual savings of nearly $2.5 million.
- Energy efficiency audits (with likely subsidies from a local utility) were recommended. At similar facilities, such audits have identified savings potential in the range of 15% to 20% ($1.1 to $1.5 million), with payback of six years or less based on implementation of recommended improvements.
- In addition, retro-commissioning was suggested. RCx — focused on low- or no-cost changes, such as controls adjustments — has produced 5% to 7% savings for similar facilities, with a payback of less than 18 months.
- The client has generally managed MEP infrastructure replacements on an emergency basis. GBA suggested creation of an MEP Infrastructure Master Plan. This type of study reveals the condition and likely “expiration date” of equipment, helping owners understand (and budget for) replacement needs.
- Water management strategies related to infrastructure would include an audit and identification of conservation opportunities, including water used for heating and cooling. A 5% reduction was projected to save about $33,500 a year.