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Aviano Air Base hospital receives ENERGY STAR rating

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Brian Wagner
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The Aviano Air Base hospital has received the Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR rating, the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection.

The base hospital is the first U.S. facility overseas to receive this distinction, and joins 96 other hospitals in the United States as part of the ENERGY STAR family.

During the past few years, the hospital staff here has been credited with improving its energy performance while maintaining comfort for patients and visitors by conserving and managing energy and by making cost-effective improvements to its buildings.

"The 31st Medical Group is excited about this achievement because we put two years of hard work into reaching our goals," said Lt. Col. John Savage, 31st Medical Support Squadron commander. "We started off with smaller projects like timers on lights and then focused on major projects that dramatically reduced our energy use."

These projects have saved more than $150,000 since 31st MDG officials began the ENERGY STAR process, equaling 579,185 kilowatt-hours saved and 88,026 cubic meter of natural gas.

Some of the base hospital staff's no-cost ways of saving energy included:
- Implementing illumination control measures
- Raising chilled water set point to increase chiller coefficient of performance
- Modifying direct digital communication system logic to link indoor/outdoor temperature
- Modifying thermostat set points on weekends in air handling units for admin areas
- Modifying indoor temperature during winter and summer months by one degree

Along with the no-cost savings initiatives, the hospital staff further reduced energy usage through funded projects, some of which included:
- Installing lighting sensors in bathrooms
- Adding a cooling system to existing an chiller
- Replacing existing air handling units in Building 121 with new units that have energy efficient motor fans

"We have more projects planned that will continue our energy reduction," said Manuela Solda, 31st MDG facility manager. "We will continue to find ways to reduce our energy consumption and share our ideas with others."

The hospital staff is exploring a range of additional energy-saving measures such as improving the operating room heating, ventilation and air conditioning system; adding a cogeneration plant; and using photovoltaic energy to supply supplemental power to the hospital.

"Everyone benefits from our initiatives," said Col. Patrick Storms, 31st MDG commander. "These projects yield savings that help us fund patient care programs."

Air Force officials released a new energy plan Dec. 9, that will serve as the framework for communicating Air Force energy goals and to further expand a culture shift "where Airmen make energy a consideration in everything we do."

To learn more about the Air Force Energy Plan, visit the Secretary of the Air Force Installation, Environment, and Logistics public Web site at http://www.safie.hq.af.mil/esoh/index.asp.