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Here’s a prescription for instant savings: According to a new study from the University of Washington, using an integrated design process that addresses energy consumption from the beginning of a project—combined with systematic strategies such as daylighting, thermal energy storage, and vacancy air control—can reduce the energy use of a new hospital built between 2010 and 2015 in the Northwestern United States by 60 percent to meet 2030 Challenge carbon reduction goals. It is estimated that these energy reductions would save around $730,000 per year in a newly constructed, code-compliant hospital.

The study, titled “Targeting 100! Envisioning the High Performance Hospital: Implications for A New, Low Energy, High Performance Prototype,” is the result of a three-year research effort from the University of Washington in collaboration with NBBJ, and in association with Cameron Macallister Group, Mahlum, Mortenson Construction, Solarc Architecture and Engineering, and TBD Consultants. Funded by the BetterBricks initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, the study derives its name from the impact of the 2030 Challenge on a hospital’s Energy Use Index (EUI). A facility’s annual EUI is estimated by compiling the annual energy use of all fuels on site and converting the total number to KBtus. This individual number can then be compared to that of similar facilities in order to gauge efficiency.

It is estimated that a 225-bed, 520,000-square-foot acute care hospital in Seattle would have a baseline EUI of 270 KBtu per square foot per year. To reduce this energy use by 60 percent to meet 2030 Challenge goals, the average hospital would have to reduce its EUI to 108 KBtu per square foot per year. Rounded down, this number became “Target 100.”

Some of the suggested design strategies to achieve the 60 percent reduction in energy consumption are highlighted here. To download the full study, visit betterbricks.org.

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