The Elizabethtown Community Hospital (ECH), located in Elizabethtown, New York, executed a strategic process to determine future healthcare needs in the region. An analysis of the communities’ requirements provided a roadmap for the building renovation and expansion project that would help ECH increase services to patients. The hospital needed to address core problems with its utility and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) infrastructure, including reliance on a nearby nursing home for hot water and heat, insufficient capacity, growing operating costs, and comfort issues for patients and employees.
Carrier was selected based on their total system solution approach. Analyses of the hospital lead Carrier to recommend the replacement of a broad range of equipment and systems to reduce operating costs while improving patient comfort and system reliability. The solution included the installation of high efficiency boilers; a Carrier 30 series water-cooled chiller, a cooling tower, a Carrier 39 series air handling unit; pump motors; variable speed drives for pumps and the air handler; and high efficiency lighting. Carrier also installed a new Carrier Comfort Network® digital control system to maximize the efficiency of each component and the entire system. Carrier delivered turn-key implementation including project management installation, integration, start-up, and commissioning.
Elizabethtown Community Hospital is a 25-bed facility designated as a critical access hospital (CAH) by the Federal government. CAH designations are given to hospitals with 25 or less in-patient beds that are 35 miles or more from the nearest healthcare facility. Elizabethtown Community Hospital's services include a 24-hour emergency department, acute, sub-acute and long-term inpatient care, physical therapy, laboratory, and radiology services. To provide more competitive and higher quality services, ECH opted to reduce operating costs.
To reduce its energy consumption and improve comfort while planning for future expansion, Rodney Boula, CEO and administrator of Elizabethtown, approached several major firms that specialize in HVAC systems and building controls, seeking the best possible solution for the hospital. "Carrier really stood out during the selection process," said Mr. Boula. "They responded quickly and with accurate answers."
Tim Foley, Carrier sales engineer, took a holistic approach that included in-depth interviews of hospital staff and computer modeling to uncover space temperature and humidity problems. Said Foley, "The key to project success was the generation of positive cash flow while upgrading the existing infrastructure and preparing for the new addition. The hospital was able to invest their limited capital on the needed building addition."
The interviews and modeling indicated that there was substantial room for improvement by using a combination of infrastructure modernization and enhanced environmental control. Each potential improvement was analyzed against the hospital’s reduced operating cost requirements. An additional opportunity was maximizing incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development authority (NYSERDA) and other agencies that reward institutions for accelerating the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy resources in the design, construction, and operation of hospitals and institutions.
The improvements that made financial sense included replacing the reliance on outside hot water with a high efficiency boiler; replacing an older chiller plant with a new high efficiency chiller, cooling tower, and associated system components; replacing aging air handling units with a new unit to reduce maintenance, downtime, and increase comfort; replacing motors with significant run hours with high efficiency motors; adding variable speed drives to specific components to allow them to match air and water flow to actual load conditions; and finally, the installation of a new digital control system that eliminated multiple control systems and zoning problems that reduced system efficiency and comfort. In addition to the replacement of key HVAC systems, Carrier also replaced lighting units throughout the hospital.
The improvements are expected to reduce the total utility cost per square foot from $4.68 to $3.27, a reduction of over 30 percent in energy costs, and a figure that is substantially lower than the cost for similar facilities in upstate New York.
"We are a small hospital, and everyone on the Carrier team, from the local salesperson all the way up to the regional supervisor really treated us like a large customer," added Boula. "Carrier’s performance on this project was outstanding, and I recommend Carrier to my peers."
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Hollistic approach yields much higher savings than simple equipment replacement.
"Outstanding job form start to finish. Carrier is a great team to work with and I am very pleased. I would absolutely recommend Carrier to other organizations, and in fact I have."
CEO and Aministrator,