Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas began constructing a new addition to its 500,000 sq. ft. medical center in November 2011. It had specific lighting and energy requirements for its new 85,000 square-foot, 72-bed patient tower and children's hospital, including the installation of an LED lighting system that would perform advanced controls functions with ease.
Affordable LED Lighting and Controls
The hospital set three goals for the project: create a “green” hospital, achieve LEED for Healthcare Platinum certification and use more than 90 percent LED lighting throughout the new tower. It then selected Lithonia Lighting® VT Series LED fixtures and controls from Acuity Controls to achieve the goals.
“The Acuity Brands LED luminaires and controls – compared to the original specified high performance fluorescents – resulted in an initial cost reduction of $75,000,” said Brian Horras, Project Manager at Beck, a leading lighting and controls solutions designer.
To achieve additional energy savings and maintenance costs, the hospital installed 2,878 nLight® devices that also track energy use in the facility.
Seeing the Green
The VT Series LED luminaires installed in the hospital's hallways are set at a constant 40-50% light output to match the look and light levels of the lighting throughout the hospital. Meanwhile, the nLight-enabled luminaires installed in the new patient tower reduce maintenance and energy costs while increasing patient safety by achieving a desired light level and color that provides adequate lighting without disrupting patient sleep cycles.
Between May 2013 and February 2014, Dell Children's Medical Center reported a total savings of approximately 180,000 kWh of energy and became the first hospital in the world to achieve LEED for Healthcare Platinum certification.
“It's a high bar,” explained Brendan Owens, Vice President of LEED Technical Development US Green Building Council. “LEED platinum, which means a project team achieved at least 80 percent of the available points, requires an integrated approach to building design, construction and operations.”
Horras agrees that this is a notable achievement, not just for the hospital, but for the industry at large. “This is one of only two medical centers that have achieved any level of certification based on the new healthcare guidelines,” said Horras.
For Dell Children's Medical Center, the achievements to date are just the beginning, as further energy savings are expected as lighting and controls strategies are adjusted over time.