Managing Aging Facilities: Strategies to Maximize Building Life
We understand that while infrastructure may seem like a non-revenue producing investment, it has a tremendous impact on the ability of service lines to produce revenue. Aging healthcare facilities infrastructure represents significant cost and risk. Download PDF of the full article here: Managing Aging Facilities
For instance, a malfunctioning or under-performing engineering system can result in postponed or canceled procedures, dissatisfied patients, loss of revenue, and additional expenses such as patient transfers or legal defense.
With extensive experience working in existing healthcare buildings, our team investigates infrastructure problems, assesses the risk implications of “non-action,” develops repair and prioritization plans, provides optimization of existing systems operations, and identifies energy savings opportunities to offset capital costs. As part of an overall Facility Optimization Plan, we bring the expertise, tools, and integrated approach that help clients prioritize strategic capital needs.
Facility Condition Assessments
FreemanWhite Facility Conditions Assessment provides a functional and asset inventory assessment and analysis to determine capacity, efficiency, remaining useful life, risk of failure, potential for growth, and overall compliance of facility engineering generation and delivery systems. To demonstrate the outcomes, we use a proprietary interactive software tool, Building Symphony, to quantify the proposed strategy for upgrading inefficient, outdated equipment. Building Symphony clearly and concisely depicts the information decision-makers need to develop and prioritize capital budgets and determine fiscal viability for long range planning.
Existing Building Commissioning (RetroCx)
With ongoing changes to facilities, we frequently discover that the original design intent for engineering systems is not sufficient for current operations. And when an MEP system has suboptimal water or energy performance, sometimes the cause lies in how multiple systems work together as well as how they perform individually. As an accredited commissioning provider, FreemanWhite assists in modifying systems operations to perform optimally for the application and extend the life of the building components. FreemanWhite evaluates existing plant equipment and HVAC systems and provides recommendations for controls modifications that will enable them to function at peak efficiency.
Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs)
Healthcare-related research figures from the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program indicate that energy consumption in hospitals is much higher than other types of buildings, primarily due to the demands of air exchange and filtration, plus continuous operating hours. Inefficient equipment and processes are a burden on critical resources. Through ECMs, Performance Contracting services, and EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program, we help hospitals achieve up to 25% energy savings on select systems and reduce operations and maintenance costs. As part of calculating your return on investment, we identify potential Performance Contracts to purchase energy savings equipment and upgrade processes as a creative way to avoid capital outlay. Through new controls sequence of operations and modern energy efficient equipment upgrades, we help clients achieve electric energy savings, conserve water, and evaluate renewable energy opportunities. The goal of EPA’s ENERGY STAR® certification is to determine the relative energy performance of facilities, including hospitals. FreemanWhite’s engineers are familiar with the EPA Portfolio Manager, the tool used to measure the electrical and water consumption of a building. This tool benchmarks a facility’s consumption against similar facilities, providing a way to measure and improve your energy efficiency and improve the bottom line of hospital operations.
At FreemanWhite, our team of engineers is 100% focused on the complex issues facing healthcare. We are leading the way on analysis, reporting, and prioritization, and we bring innovative solutions to risk assessment and energy conservation. It’s no secret that healthcare is experiencing tremendous change. Prioritizing systems infrastructure investment is a key to success in reducing operating expense and cost of care.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Charlie Hall PE QCxP
Charlie Hall is skilled in complex healthcare campus engineering infrastructure and works effectively with architects and other engineers to integrate engineering systems into the total project design. His expertise in commissioning gives him a holistic view of complex systems, maximizing the potential for energy savings on our projects.