Building Efficiency

Energy Efficiency: The Cure for Struggling Hospitals

Why hospitals CEOs are thinking about the A/C bill

Crain’s Chicago Business, August 25, 2014

As Advocate Health Care moves ahead on a $92 million expansion of Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, it’s primarily concerned with adding three stories of private patient rooms. But it’s also focusing on the air conditioning system.

In an industry being pushed to reduce everything from overnight stays to nursing staffs, energy efficiency is a largely untapped area for cutting costs, experts say.

It’s more than just switching out old light bulbs. North Shore University Health System is overhauling operating rooms to make them less power-hungry, while Swedish Covenant Hospital uses structural beams channeling chilled water to cool its new outpatient building and LED lighting in its garage. Meanwhile, virtually all of the new hospitals built in the area in recent years have been certified as “green” buildings.

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