Hamilton on target for sustainability

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

 From left, Don Meeks, operations manager, and David Bailey, HVAC specialist, check a control panel on Hamilton’s newest chiller. 
 From left, Don Meeks, operations manager, and David Bailey, HVAC specialist, check a control panel on Hamilton’s newest chiller. 


 “Green” at Hamilton Medical Center
 • Installed timers on all air handlers to go off during off-peak hours

• Installed a new plate-frame exchanger in boiler plant to provide free cooling in fall and winter months (do not have to run chiller)

• Installed new energy efficient York Chiller that replaced 30-year-old boiler

• Replaced 40-year-old cooling tower with new efficient Marley tower

• Installing motion switches in most public restrooms and one-shift offices

• Member of Energy Star (score of 75 in highest energy star rating by EPA)

• Using water wells for landscaping watering when possible

• Applied for and received air emissions from Georgia Environmental Protection Division

• Test underground fuel oil tank annually to insure no leaks

• Use GoTo meetings when possible to reduce travel times for architects

• Collecting cardboard for recycling

• Recycling small batteries

• Purchasing Energy Star rated appliances

• Using low-flow water fixtures when and where possible

• Installed new air handlers, replacing two 30-year-old air handlers

• Use variable speed drive on all handlers to reduce start up electricity

• Monitor equipment through Maintenance Management System

• Shutting off unnecessary lights throughout campus during off-peak, evening, weekend hours

• Using condensate water for cooling tower

• Future projects: complete lighting retrofit to reduce energy and adding modernization on all elevators to reduce energy

 DALTON, Ga.– Hamilton Medical Center has been embracing a more “green” concept. Several initiatives have improved the sustainability of the facility.

In recent years, Hamilton has been faced with aging assets of its physical plant. Some equipment either needed significant maintenance or to be replaced. Hamilton engaged Sodexo, the company that oversees the hospital’s facilities, to perform an in-depth engineering study to provide analysis and make recommendations for all facility assets, forming the basis of Hamilton’s capital improvement plan.  The initiatives focused on sustainability and reducing energy consumption.

According to Don Meeks, operations manager, it has been a four-year process. Projects included upgrades to Hamilton’s chilled water plant and air handling units, replacement of the emergency generator (to increase reliability and capacity to support growth), and integrating upgrades into the building automation system.

In addition to efficiency and operational savings for Hamilton, these upgrades improve patient and employee comfort.

Regulating temperature is a much more efficient process now, according to Meeks. “Hamilton’s new automation system allows for quicker response because it’s now web-based,” he said. “Instead of calling in someone when there’s an issue, the system can be accessed online, and many issues can be corrected in a matter of about 5 minutes instead of 45 minutes.”

Sodexo’s turnkey solution to the air handler system involved splitting the system into two parts with a wall that kept one side running while the other side was being built. The switchgear project was equally innovative and ensured no interruptions to the hospital’s operation. When the Sodexo team was ready to change out electrical panels, the work was scheduled so that every hospital department could operate with no downtime.

The upgrades provide $495,000 of annual savings, which allows Hamilton to reallocate funds toward infrastructure renewal, focusing on sustainability for the future.