LEED Firsts Offer Energy-Slashing Ideas

Aug. 26, 2013
How two newly certified projects harnessed affordable green technologies.

Two newly certified LEED projects not only set records, but also provide a model for energy-conscious FMs who want to harness affordable technologies to save dollars.

The Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, which became the first LEED Platinum hospital in 2008, recently earned the first Platinum designation in LEED for Health Care for its new bed tower.

The expansion, dubbed the W.H. and Elaine McCarty South Tower, houses 72 beds, an epilepsy monitoring unit, and several family-centered play and lounge areas. It increases Dell Children’s patient capacity by 40%.

In addition to the state-of-the-art medical technology inside, the project features:

  • High-efficiency glazing
  • An outdoor air unit with an enthalpy wheel
  • Air handling units with fans and variable frequency drives
  • PV and solar thermal panels
  • A district energy heating and cooling system that includes a co-generation plant
  • Controls in each patient room that set lighting, temperature, and ventilation according to occupancy

Utah’s first Gold-certified university residence hall, the Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community, opened at the University of Utah for this school year.

Among the energy-efficient solutions implemented in the 167,000-square-foot building is an electricity-tracking dashboard system designed by honors student Jessica Batty, who recently completed an MBA and a master’s degree in architecture at the university.

The dashboard and a green demonstration room pushed the dorm from Silver – the requirements of which were mandatory for new state buildings in Utah when the dorm was designed in 2009 – to Gold.

In fact, the residence hall exceeds minimum efficiency standards by over 30%, resulting in annual savings of $55,000 over a conventional building.

Its other sustainable features include high-efficiency HVAC, a heat recovery system, occupancy sensors for lighting, and natural daylighting and ventilation.

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