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Atlantic General Hospital Finalizes Green Upgrades

Energy savings project lessens facility’s environmental impact

Aside from the war in Iraq, increasing health care costs and global warming are hot topics among experts and concerned citizens alike. In January, Atlantic General Hospital took on a facility-wide project to do their part in lessening these crises.

While seemingly unrelated, these issues were both top-of-mind for hospital leadership when they contracted with Johnson Controls, a global leader in energy efficiency products and solutions that create a more comfortable and sustainable world. The 15-phase project, which includes upgrading to high efficiency lighting fixtures, increasing insulation, installing passive occupancy sensors, and using low flow water fixtures among other retrofits and upgrades, will realize an estimated energy savings of 20 percent or more over the next decade.

The savings will cover the expenses associated with the contract and will in time result in reduced operating costs, an outcome that can translate to lower costs for patient services.

Atlantic General Hospital is taking a leading role on the Eastern Shore with this broad-scale effort to “go greener.” Over the next 10 years, the improvements are guaranteed to reduce CO2 emissions caused by electricity generation and the burning of fossil fuels by more than 4790 tons.

This reduction in released CO2, the primary greenhouse gas culprit in global warming, translates to over 14,000 trees planted; it would take this number of trees to absorb the over 10,500,000 saved pounds of CO2. The CO2 savings is also the equivalent of removing the emissions of over 1,000 cars. Over the life of the contract, the conserved electricity, in particular, would supply enough power to 935 houses for one year. And, the upgrades to the bathroom and sink fixtures throughout the facility will save 860,000 gallons of water each year, meaning that over the 10-year haul, 8.6 million gallons of water saved or the equivalent of almost 500 in ground swimming pools.

So far, the process has been a smooth one, with no deviation from the planned completion date early this spring.

“As a not-for-profit community hospital, it is our duty to ensure that we are contributing positively to the community environment, and that we are judiciously using community resources,” said Michael Franklin, president and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital. “An effort such as this demonstrates our commitment to our responsibility for the communities we serve.”

Atlantic General Hospital will receive a report from Johnson Controls annually during the contract period detailing and verifying the actual energy savings and reduced impact on the local and global environments.