The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital with its ENERGY STAR® certification for superior energy performance over a 12-month period. The certification is given on an annual basis and is verified by a third party.
ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency created by the EPA in 1992 to deliver cost-saving solutions and fight climate change. On average, ENERGY STAR® certified buildings use 35% less energy than typical buildings nationwide and are less expensive to operate.
“It is essential for UF Health to provide the best possible experience for both patients and employees, and this begins with a sustainable mindset and resources,” said Mark Dykes, UF Health Shands Facilities energy manager, who has committed his career to the optimization of health care building environments and has seen millions of dollars in savings and energy efficiency.
Over the past four years, UF Health’s energy improvement projects have saved an aggregate of about $4 million.
To Dykes, the ENERGY STAR® certification is a natural result of what our organization has been doing for decades to accumulate and maintain such savings.
One of the conservation methods used by UF Health is the unique system of automatization, where a tracking system records movement data in 300,000 censored locations to optimize airflow and environmental conditions. The system also has led to improved space occupancy and temperature control.
An example of the airflow optimization can be found within operating rooms at the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital.
“We use sensors that detect humans based on body temperature.When no one is in the OR, the air automatically backs down while remaining within the pressurization requirements of administrative codes. This reduces maximum cooling and heating, which creates big savings,” Dykes said.
Brad Pollitt, A.I.A, UF Health Shands Facilities vice president, added, “Weaving efficient resource utilization into the fabric of UF Health enhances the patient experience and supports our clinical missions. We are constantly reinventing the workplace to ensure that sustainability is a part of it and the ENERGY STAR® certification reflects that.”