After more than seven years working toward achieving superior energy efficiency, Children's Hospital Central California met stringent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements and received certification as an ENERGY STAR building.
Under the leadership of Jessie Hudgins, vice president, facilities and support services, and Neal Pearson, director, engineering, Children’s Hospital began the process of obtaining ENERGY STAR certification in 2005. Since then, Children's has reduced its carbon footprint by 3,436 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of removing 674 passenger vehicles from California’s roads. Today, the facility saves more energy and operates more efficiently than 93 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
“Two of the energy-saving measures we’ve implemented account for most of our improved efficiency,” said Pearson. “Replacing constant-speed motor drives with variable-speed drives cuts energy use, but the greatest improvement came from retrofitting lighting to LED technology.” LED lighting is known for its efficiency, reliability and longevity. Other cost-saving measures include upgrading to digital environmental controls, implementing a new energy-management program and conducting an employee awareness campaign.
Efforts to become more eco-friendly received immediate acknowledgement. Children’s Hospital won the California Flex Your Power Award in 2005 for improvements in energy efficiency. In 2007, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), an organization dedicated to enhancing healthcare through engineering excellence, recognized Children’s with an award for reducing energy intensity by 15 percent.
The announcement of the Hospital’s ENERGY STAR designation coincides with the ASHE-sponsored National Healthcare Facilities and Engineering week. Observed annually the fourth week in October, it recognizes the important role facility managers and engineers play in keeping the nation’s healthcare facilities safe and operational.
“We acknowledge our facilities team for their dedication to keeping our buildings and plant operations running smoothly and efficiently,” said Todd Suntrapak, president and chief executive officer, Children's Hospital Central California. “Their efforts to help us achieve ENERGY STAR certification deserve recognition, and we commend them for this major achievement.”
Sky-blue logos with stars at each entrance indicate the Hospital’s designation as an ENERGY STAR certified building. In addition, Children's is included in the EPA’s online registry of buildings.