Community Regional Medical Center recently partnered with Enovity, engineer and energy consultants, to reduce operating costs and improve the sustainability of its 685-bed hospital campus. Photo contributed

published on July 27, 2021 - 12:29 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

Community Regional Medical Center is making strides conserving energy and saving money while doing it. 

It recently partnered with Enovity, engineer and energy consultants, to reduce operating costs and improve the sustainability of its 685-bed hospital campus. Enovity took home a 2021 Environment + Energy Leader award for its project with Community Regional, and was recognized for its efforts to upgrade to more energy efficient systems. 

The company consults with several entities, including health care systems, to provide energy efficient solutions and advance buildings with updated technology. It has three locations based in California: San Francisco, Irvine and Sacramento. 

“These projects have reduced electricity use on our campus by 10% and cut annual energy costs by nearly $678,0000. But even better, the improved outdoor lighting and cooling helps reduce carbon emissions. The energy we’re saving with these projects is equivalent to taking more than 290 cars off the highways for a year or powering 126 households for a year,” said Dru Walker, director of facilities planning and construction for Community Medical Centers. 

Community Regional retrofitted LED lighting in the parking lots and garage, updated the HVAC systems in the Trauma Critical Care Building and converted the constant-flow chilled water distribution system to variable flow. The variable flow meets the demand for chilled water distribution, rather than overproducing and using more energy than needed.

Placing LED lighting in the parking areas greatly improves safety by making stairwells bright throughout. Before the lighting changed to LED, the bulbs were fluorescent.

The new 1,000-ton chiller is noticeably quieter, reduces noise pollution, and helps extend the life of the remaining four chillers needed for the ever-growing medical center, said Walker. The $2.2 million project was completely funded through a program with PG&E to take savings to pay off the costs within three to six years. 

The chiller plant – a centralized system in HVAC units for cooling buildings – was also optimized to handle cooling during peak temperatures. The energy saved also cut back on cost, saving over $600,000 for the medical center.

The Environment + Energy Leader program is now in its ninth year and is judged by unaffiliated experts in the field and honors advancements in energy and environmental management. 

“We’re excited to be recognized for our efforts to not only be more efficient but also reduce costs for our largest hospital. Community always strives to be a greener healthcare system. We know helping create a cleaner, greener environment improves the health of those who live in our region,” said Walker.


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