Environmental stewardship has long been an important initiative for us. With each new building and renovation project, we look for innovative opportunities to preserve and protect our environment and its resources. Our latest update was made to the parking ramp at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
Prior to the retrofit, the four-story parking ramp used enough energy to power one of our entire clinics – its annual consumption was 248,720 kWh, or enough electricity for 21.4 homes! Energy consumption for the ramp has been steadily and consistently rising each year since its construction in 2005. We knew we had to make a change.
After researching the root cause, we found that the loss of heat in the stairwell during cold seasons caused the electric heaters to kick in. As more patients, visitors and staff utilized the 458-car structure, a direct correlation resulted in more energy usage. The electric heaters, along with outdated lighting fixtures, were the two sources of energy that needed updating.
Controls for the electric heaters were adjusted in 2011 resulting in a significant load reduction, and the installation of new LED lighting fixtures in 2012 anticipate a 75 percent energy reduction to an annual consumption of 60,000 kWh, or 5.2 homes. LED fixtures use 41 watts compared previous to 210 watts while offering better light coverage and lighting color temperature.
We anticipate an energy savings of 188,00 kWh from this project. That savings is the same as one of the following:
- Greenhouse gas emissions from 25.5 passenger vehicles
- 14,589 gallons of gasoline
- Electricity from 16.2 homes in one year
- Total energy for 11.3 homes for one year
- Carbon sequestering from 1.3 acres of forest preservation from deforestation
- 5,422 propane tanks used for home barbeques
- Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 45.3 tons of waste
When we use our resources wisely, we ensure our ability to continue to help the needy. This value directly correlates to green design. When we put the environment at the forefront of our construction decision-making processes, we help create a sustainable community for our patients and staff.