Infrared technology upgrades also allow lighting in other areas to sense movement, and turn off lights after a set amount of time when no movement is detected. The hospital estimates up to 60% in energy savings through sensor technology alone. Approximately 150 light fixtures were outfitted with these controls, saving 48,000-kilowatt hours of electricity per year, and more than $8,000 in savings.
The NYHQ’s green retrofit program also targeted the central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, which is controlled through a centralized computer called the Building Maintenance System (BMS). The hospital saved 150,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and $25,000 in utility costs by shutting down air handling units through the BMS when they are not in use.
Finally, the NYHQ is launching a comprehensive recycling program, which now accounts for 15% of all waste being recycled. The hospital has also acquired a biodigester machine that uses microorganisms to decompose food, waste, and other organic material into sewer-safe water. The hospital is looking into the feasability of combined heat and power (CHP), which would generate power within the building through the use of heat. By using a clean source of power, consuming the power on site, and capturing the waste heat for use inside the hospital, CHP offers a powerful source for alternative energy and environmental sustainability.
“Only three-and-a-half years into the challenge, many institutions are on track to achieve their 30% reduction well in advance of the ten-year timeline,” reported the April 2011 PlaNYC report. “Several universities and hospitals have already surpassed the goal and are eager to commit to a more ambitious target.” No doubt NYHQ will be looking for a bigger target, as the hospital has already reduced emissions by 28 percent.