Case Study: Achieving high-performance operation with energy alarms

More than 400 validated corrections to energy operations have been reported translating to $600,000 in savings for Partners Healthcare Systems.


More than 400 validated corrections to energy operations have been reported translating to $600,000 in savings for Partners Healthcare Systems. Courtesy: Cannon DesignPartners Healthcare Systems, a not-for-profit, integrated Boston health care system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, asked its Utilities and Engineering Department to develop a Strategic Energy Master Plan in 2008. Seeking help developing and executing such a plan, Partners Healthcare Systems teamed with Cannon Design Facility Optimization Solutions (FOS) on a results-driven commissioning project for the system’s six buildings.

The team believed it could realize significant savings through the implementation of an energy alarms system that would monitor the facilities’ MEP systems and report failures or out-of-ordinary operations. While buildings are often designed to deliver energy savings over time, they often fall short due to human error, simultaneous heating and cooling or an overbearing operation schedule. Energy alarms ensure these deviations from the building’s original energy goals do not occur.

Four years after its implementation, the energy alarms plan is realizing an average savings of $2.77 utilities cost per sf across Partners Healthcare facilities. The team has determined the introduction of one air-flow alarm can translate to savings exceeding $2,600, while one heating coil alarm is worth $175 in annual savings and occupancy alarms can create $19,200 in savings.

To date, more than 400 validated corrections to the energy operations have been reported translating to $600,000 in savings realized for Partners Healthcare Systems. These savings allow the system to operate more efficiently, effectively and best create strong healing environments for its patients.

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