Industrial Controls » Hospital Energy Efficiency Case Study: Improvements for a Large, Long-Standing Hospital

Hospital Energy Efficiency Case Study: Improvements for a Large, Long-Standing Hospital

Location: The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), Ottawa, OntarioTOH 1

Problem:  Lack of visibility into building systems compromises hospital’s ability to manage energy consumption.

With three campuses totaling approximately four million square feet and buildings ranging from 30 to 90 years old, The Ottawa Hospital found it extremely difficult to reevaluate their automation strategies. Years of deferred maintenance due to tight budgets hindered their ability to manage facilities in an efficient manner. Without modern building systems, air regulation in critical areas such as isolation rooms was impossible.

Solution:  During the summer of 2004, Honeywell and TOH, which had a service and maintenance relationship, began a year-long process of implementing energy conservation measures such as:

•  Installing an Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI) automation platform, which covers approximately 20,000 points of control for all three campuses.
•  Replacing several chillers with more energy-efficient, chlorofluorocarbon- (CFC-) free units.
•  Retrofitting more than 45,000 light fixtures across all three campuses.
•  Upgrading lighting in two parking garages.
•  Installing high-efficiency hot-water and heating boilers.
•  Replacing motors and adding variable frequency drives.
•  Implementing power-factor-correction systems.
•  Making building-envelope improvements to reduce drafts and prevent energy leakage.
•  Installing water-conservation fixtures.
•  Establishing an ongoing awareness program to educate staff members and the community.


The EBI system allowed the facilities staff to see an integrated view of a campus’ HVAC system and optimize operations depending on variables such as temperature and time of day. In many cases, it helped the staff identify a problem ahead of building occupants. On the 1.5-million-sq-ft General campus, tie-in and control via the EBI system allowed TOH to operate new CFC-free chillers more efficiently. With upgraded controls, temperature-related service calls dropped sharply.

Expanding Energy Savings

In 2008, TOH and Honeywell replaced two outdated boilers that required a considerable amount of maintenance with a central heating plant on the Civic campus. The success of the project led TOH and Honeywell to begin a CA$3 million cooling-plant retrofit, which included the replacement of five chillers and three cooling towers in an effort to improve efficiency and refrigerant-quality levels and reduce ozone-depleting-refrigerant emissions.

A Focus on Air Quality

In bringing each of its disparate air-handling control systems onto a single platform, TOH gave building operators the power to manipulate air control in a much simpler manner. This allowed TOH to visualize its entire system and adjust the temperature or humidity of certain areas to maintain ideal levels.

In the most recent round of energy improvements, TOH analyzed the amount and type of air needed in each hospital space. This improved the control of air quality and movement. The project, which involved the retrocommissioning of all major air-handling systems, enabled TOH to manipulate systems to ensure appropriate levels of temperature, moisture, etc.


Since the overarching efficiency and conservation program began, TOH has achieved approximately CA$15 million in energy savings and cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 55,000 tons, which is the equivalent of removing 8,300 cars from the road. Additionally, the initial lighting retrofit resulted in the recycling of fluorescent tubes and magnetic ballasts totaling 10.8 tons of glass, 271 lb of aluminum, 339 lb of phosphor, and 2.24 lb of mercury.


Adapted from


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