Green Valley

Valley Medical Center Receives Environmental Excellence Award
RENTON, WA - The Association of Washington Business (AWB) has awarded Valley Medical Center (VMC) a 2010 Environmental Excellence Award as a Resource Conservation/Pollution Prevention champion.
The AWB award recognizes companies demonstrating initiative, innovation and outstanding achievements in environmental compliance, protection and conservation.
“Several years ago we realized the positive impact we could have on our community and the environment by making improvements to our hospital campus that lessen its footprint,” said Paul Hayes, RN, Executive Vice President. “We are thrilled to receive this award from the AWB and are committed to being environmental stewards and continuing to make improvements to further reduce our impact.”
Specifically, VMC was recognized for implementing environmentally-friendly features at key campus buildings, including:
Central Utilities
  • Older and less efficient central water chilling units were replaced with highly efficient centrifugal chillers utilizing variable frequency drives;
  • To save a significant amount of energy, a plate and frame heat exchanger system was installed to cool process loads during cooler weather;
  • A new variable-primary pumping system circulates chilled water and optimizes the use of water pumps while reducing the total horsepower required;
  • A new sophisticated energy management control system operates the chiller plant in the most efficient configuration possible by considering the current loads and outside weather conditions.
Mechanical Systems
  • To date, 90 percent of the air-handling units (AHUs) in the hospital have been replaced with extreme high efficiency models, and have been installed in all new construction;
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures and motion sensing faucets have been installed wherever possible in all new construction.
  • The new South Tower was designed with a “saw-tooth” face and shading of the south facing windows to significantly reduce the exposure to solar heat gain and thus reduce the cooling load in the summer months;
  • Materials used for all new construction and remodel projects at VMC have long life expectancy and require low or no maintenance;
  • Medical Center roofing material has been replaced with light-colored roofing membrane and high R-value insulation for maximum energy efficiency.
Electrical Systems
  • In all new construction the facility lighting density has been designed at 1.2 watts/ft2, meeting LEED certification standards;
  • Natural or high efficiency lighting sources are used in all areas of the hospital;
  • All new construction uses daylight controls to reduce lighting levels during daytime hours;
  • Mercury-based fluorescent lighting has been eliminated from all VMC facilities;
  • LED lighting is used for backlighting on art glass walls and for all exterior signage for long life and low energy use;
  • Parking garage lighting has been upgraded to energy-efficient light sources.  Additionally, exterior lighting on the top floor of the parking garage has been replaced with LED fixtures for maximum energy efficiency.  This project had a financial payback of less than one year, including the rebate from the power utility;
  • Individual control of lighting fixtures allows energy reduction when appropriate.
Green Practices
  • All of VMC’s courier cars have been replaced with Honda Civic Hybrid models;
  • VMC is currently implementing a program that significantly expands the Medical Center’s recycling program. When fully implemented in June 2010, this program will capture all recyclable waste streams generated in the Medical Center to ensure these materials are recycled.

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