New Hospital Will Be Energy Efficient; Warmth and Comfort Present

Posted 21 January 2015 12:33 PM by TCAuthor3

By Dorothy Erdmann, CEO, Shawano Medical Center

On these cold winter nights, I leave Shawano Medical Center and can feel the warm air coursing through the building, as it should for a medical center that runs 24/7. Admittedly, it gets a lot quieter at the hospital in the overnight hours, yet our heating system still exchanges cool air for warm air at the same rate. It’s called a constant volume system. When we move to the new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, we’ll make the switch to a much more efficient variable air and volume system, one that can sense the occupancy of parts of the hospital and heat or cool it accordingly.

Together with low-flow plumbing fixtures to save on water consumption and optimal use of daylight to preserve electricity, we will be saving money and natural resources in a manner that’s impossible for SMC’s complex maze of heating and cooling systems that were added on over the years in 1931, 1954, 1976 and 1993. The boiler systems alone will jump from 85 percent efficiency to 96 percent efficiency and cooling will be accomplished by magnetic bearing chillers (our air conditioning system). We will be one of the first medical facilities in the state to opt for this type of high-efficiency air conditioning method.

Saving money and resources is fantastic, but we can also be proud of the low impact that ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano will have on the environment around us. We are striving to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification, a Green Building certification that requires a set amount of local building materials, maximized construction waste recycling, use of low VOC (volatile gas) paints and coatings, and the consistent healthy flow of fresh air throughout the building for patients and staff.

As we spend our last winter along the river at SMC, the crews will be busy building our new place in preparation for our arrival later in the fall. Regardless of the season, warmth and comfort is present wherever people come together to care for one another. My best wishes to you and your families for a safe and healthy 2015.