University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences

When most people think about energy efficiency, they think about their homes and the steps they can take to save on their electric or gas bills. These steps may include changing the type of light bulbs you use to monitoring the temperature in your home for heating and cooling. These are some of the same ideas that the University of Chicago Medicine has to consider when providing care for patients and a comfortable work environment for employees. The Medical Center has implemented measures that will save energy and reduce costs.

In FY16, UChicago Medicine completed several energy conservation projects on the medical campus:

·         The replacement of 78 failed steam traps, which regulates steam condensate for sterilizing equipment and more in 15 buildings including Comer Children’s Hospital, the Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery (KCBD) and Donnelley Biological Sciences Learning               Center (BSLC).  More than 1200 steam traps were inspected across the medical campus.

·         Installed light mercury-free lamps in the north wing of the Billings building that will last 80,000 hours longer and generate less heat than traditional lamps.

·         Installed daylight sensors in all of the perimeter spaces of the Parking “B” Garage to utilize daylight where possible, lessening the number kilowatts needed per square foot to illuminate the space.

These projects are estimated to save UChicago Medicine $446,805 in FY17 (which begins July 1). See the chart below.

Energy Conservation Measure

Electrical Energy Savings (kWh/yr)

Electrical Cost Savings

($/yr)

Steam Energy Savings (Mlb/yr)

Steam Cost Savings

($/yr)

Total Cost Savings

($/yr)

Steam Traps

 

 

19,463

$350,714

$ 350,714

Parking “B” Garage

858,443

$60,091*

 

 

     60,091

Lighting Retrofit

196,600

  36,000

 

 

     36,000

 

1,055,43

$96,091

19,463

$350,714

$ 446,805

*A rebate from participation in ComEd’s New Construction incentive program.

“The savings that the Medical Center will receive far outweigh the costs to perform these measures,” said Steve Grbavac, Facilities Engineer. “It will continue to see the savings for years to come.”

In FY17, FPD&C will continue to deploy energy conservation activities across the medical campus. Many projects are planned but one in particular – the retro-commissioning of the building automated system (BAS) in the Center for Care and Discovery (CCD) – will yield huge energy and cost savings in FY18. The BAS is a technology that will automatically centralize the control of the building's heating, ventilation and air conditioning, lighting and other functions.

Once installed, the total estimated cost savings in FY18 is $601,324. See the chart below.

Electrical Energy Savings (kWh/yr)

Electrical Cost Savings

($/yr)

Steam Energy Savings (mlb/yr)

Steam Cost Savings

($/yr)

Total Cost Savings

($/yr)

1,719,982

$130,719

26,748

$470,605

$601,324

Expansion on the medical campus presents an opportunity to evaluate energy savings in the development of new facilities.

With the assistance of ComEd and People’s Energy, FPD&C have started energy planning for the renovation of the Bernard R. Mitchell Hospital (Mitchell), which will eventually become the Medical Center’s cancer hospital. The transformation of Mitchell is a component of Get CARE, a plan to increase access to care for South Side residents that was recently greenlighted by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (IHFSRB).

“Understanding the energy requirements of new structures in advance will help us to forecast a building’s consumption and identify cost-efficient energy supply options to meet those needs, said Judd Johnson, Executive Director of Facilities Operations.

Employees can also get involved in the energy conservation efforts. Grbavac encourages employees to be more mindful of unplugging machines, turning off lights, computers and other devices that will pull on the Medical Center’s energy sources.

“These little tasks really do help in a big way and have zero cost,” Grbavac said.   

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