Ahead of Earth Day, the six hospitals of The Valley Health System are sharing some of the green practices currently in place.
When Henderson Hospital opened its doors on October 31, 2016, it had some of the latest technology and green practices available.
As part of its design and construction process, low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, adhesives and flooring were used, which helped decrease the amount of toxins in the air. VOC materials have a large vapor pressure that release at room temperature.
Contributing to improved air quality and good health are 36 bicycle racks that employees and visitors can use to bike to the hospital or, in the case of the security team, ride around the campus during their patrols.
The environmental services team is using some water-based products like stainless steel cleaners, which are safer for both human health and the environment.
LED lighting is used in the majority of the hospital. LED lights don’t generate as much heat as traditional light bulbs, which means they require less cooling.
On cooler evenings, the hospital uses plate cooling instead of the chillers, which reduces electrical cost. Some common areas are set up on “economizer,” so on cool nights, 100 percent outside air is supplied, also bypassing the chillers and reducing the electrical cost.
Henderson Hospital has its own chilled water loop specifically for the operating rooms within the surgery and maternity departments. Because operating rooms are often cooler than the rest of the hospital, having a separate loop means it won’t drive the demand for the chilled water temperature of the entire hospital, which contributes to energy savings.
The energy recovery system involves vapor barriers and energy recovery units. Vapor barriers are a type of wall construction that keeps humidity from leaking. Without these barriers, humidity can diffuse out of a space more quickly. Humidifying a space takes a lot of energy since water molecules like to stick together as a liquid. Energy recovery units take conditioned exhaust air and exchange both humidity and energy with fresh outside air. That means less humidification and mechanical conditioning is needed. This system enables the hospital to reduce its energy footprint and costs to humidify hospital spaces.
Henderson Hospital also has tankless water heaters, which reduces gas consumption via boilers and are used in a supply and demand format.
Within their private rooms, patients can operate their thermostats for preferred room temperature.
Best of the Rest Within The Valley Health System
Centennial Hills Hospital will begin its lighting retrofit to LED lights in 2017, which include the parking lots and most of the interior and exterior lighting. This practice helps reduce total energy consumption. Other Valley Health System hospitals have completed lighting retrofit projects in the past several years.
Desert Springs Hospital installed three high-efficiency hot water boilers for the main patient tower, and also built a new central plant with high-efficiency chillers and cooling tower, which helps reduce energy costs.
Onsite cardboard compactors are available, allowing the hospitals to recycle all cardboard and corrugated waste, which reduces the percentage of regular trash to be disposed.