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Energy Savings and Maintenance

maintenance management, energy

I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is energy savings and maintenance.

Organizations that undertake substantial renovation or construction projects to supplement an existing, building portfolio always work to ensure the rigors of the development do not affect operations or occupants. But when those projects take place in a health care environment, that focus becomes even more critical.

The challenge of melding existing operations with construction projects has not impeded the unprecedented Vision 2010 expansion by Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. The $1.5 billion expansion coincides with a renewed focus on energy efficiency in the hospital's mechanical and electrical systems.

Two big components of the hospital's energy-management strategy are its building-automation system, or BAS, and its enterprise asset management system, or EAM. Milton spearheaded efforts to upgrade both the BAS and the EAM for the Vision 2010 expansion.

"In the transition, all of the new assets will be loaded into that database, and more information will go in with the asset than with the older system," says Skip Milton, the hospital's assistant director of facilities operations, energy, maintenance and operations. "We’ll be able to link that asset tag to an operations and maintenance manual for that asset. We'll be able to link that asset tag to a floor plan on a computer-aided design drawing of where it's sitting."

For example, consider the challenge of maintaining filters on a 40-ton air-handling unit. When the differential pressure across the filter bank reaches a level at which technicians need to replace the filter, the EAM generates a work order so technicians know to perform preventive maintenance on the unit.

Says Milton, "We're saving a lot of money just by optimizing operations. We haven't spent any capital yet for energy management. We reduced energy consumption by $1.2 million."

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