St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney has successfully reduced energy consumption by 1.7 million kWh within 14 months.
Using a three step process of establishing a historic energy consumption baseline, learning the building’s thermal dynamics and optimizing energy usage with BuildingIQ’s Predictive Energy Optimization (PEO) platform, the 409,000 square foot Xavier Building on St. Vincent’s medical campus in Darlinghurst was able to increase energy efficiency.
It was accomplished with no disruption to hospital operations. For this installation, BuildingIQ’s PEO software seamlessly integrated with the facility’s existing building management system (BMS), managed by Entro.py.
Within weeks of the initial deployment, total energy savings increased from five per cent to 10 per cent and continued to rise over several months.
Total savings – not just HVAC savings – reached as much as 20 per cent. In the first 14 months of installation, savings reached 12 per cent of total energy consumption.
The incorporation of BuildingIQ’s platform overcame major challenges, such as the hospital’s long-time practice of overcooling the building in order to ensure optimal comfort for patients and staff.
By learning the building’s performance patterns and taking into account variables, such as weather forecasts, occupancy comfort, energy prices and demand response events, BuildingIQ optimized HVAC operations and enabled St. Vincent to meet its peak load using two chillers instead of the three that had been used historically.
BuildingIQ CEO, Michael Nark said the medical facility is a world-class hospital that is always finding new ways to lower energy usage and ensure the comfort of its patients and staff in day-to-day operations.
“Our work with Entro.py has allowed the hospital to see significant savings in a short amount of time,” he said.
“Now, St. Vincent’s is able to meet peak load using one less chiller and generate additional cash flow that can be redirected to any number of the hospital’s various offerings in clinical care, research and education.”
St. Vincent’s owns and operates a large public and private hospital network in Australia with facilities concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne. Redevelopment of St. Vincent’s medical campus in Sydney began in 2000 and included upgrades to the Xavier Building, a 38,000 sq. m. (409,000 sq. ft.) facility designed for both outpatient and inpatient services.
The firm, Entro.py, which has managed the building management systems (BMS) on the Darlinghurst campus for the past few years, called upon BuildingIQ to help reduce the building’s energy consumption.
The challenges included establishing good working relationships with the diverse areas of responsibility in a public hospital, ranging from facilities management and environmental staff, to finance and IT. The hospital’s approach was one of caution due to the significant impact HVAC disruption could have on patient care and emergency procedures.
Even working in partnership with the hospital’s trusted service provider, Entro.py, preliminary discussions and agreements took the better part of a year. BuildingIQ’s baseline analysis concluded they could save the hospital about 10% of total power usage without disruption. Hospital management felt an accomplishment of that magnitude was overly ambitious and unobtainable.
They said they would be more than satisfied with a five per cent savings of HVAC power usage.
Key technical challenges revolved around the hospital’s long-time practice of overcooling their interior space 24/7. St. Vincent’s facilities staff had largely overlooked the beneficial thermal properties of their building’s structure, and was used to manually turning the chillers on during hot days.
BuildingIQ formed a strategic partnership with Entro.py and entered into a shared energy savings contract based upon the deployment of BuildingIQ’s Predictive Energy Optimization (PEO) software.
The first phase of PEO was the establishment of an historic baseline of energy consumption, which was the 10 per cent estimate presented to St. Vincent’s management when the project was authorized. The second phase was learning the thermal dynamics of the building while the third phase, optimization, began a few weeks later.
Early results were promising and as the PEO model continued to refine the parameters, savings continued to climb.
The massive heat-retaining walls of the older Xavier Building were brought into play, and used to keep the interior space cool without additional forced cooling.
Results were immediate and dramatic with total savings, not just HVAC, reaching 20 per cent. A total net peak demand reduction of 10 per cent was achieved.
A thorough review was conducted of the baseline with savings calculations presented to the hospital’s management. Since transparency is one of the strengths of BuildingIQ’s platform, hospital management were quickly convinced that the results were genuine and spectacular.
There was no disruption to hospital operations. Nurses and doctors made unsolicited comments about how much more comfortable the hospital felt now that the overcooling had been brought under control.
BuildingIQ is a leading provider of advanced energy management software that actively predicts and manages HVAC loads in commercial buildings. Entro.py helps its customers to reduce their energy footprint by providing software and hardware tools designed to save energy.
With more than 25 years of experience in BMS with an emphasis on system integration, entro.py has positioned itself as a 'big data' expert helping building owners to make sense of the chaos of their data.