U-M Health System projects to improve energy efficiency


A $3 million project for new occupancy sensors and a $1.3 million air handler upgrade project will improve energy efficiency at the U-M Health System’s University Hospital.

The two projects were approved Thursday by the Board of Regents.

The $3 million project for new occupancy sensors and controls is one of the health system’s largest sustainability projects. The project calls for installation of sensors that will automatically reduce ventilation and lighting in specific areas that have no impact on patient care when they are unoccupied.

While the hospital is continuously operational, there are large areas that function only during normal business hours and are frequently unoccupied. The health system expects this energy conservation measure to result in cost savings of at least $500,000 per year.

This sensor system was fully implemented in C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, and piloted within the University Hospital building. Patients were unaware it was happening, officials report.

Funding for the project will be provided from U-M Hospitals and Health Centers resources. This project is expected to be completed in summer 2016.  

The $1.3 million upgrade to two air-handling units servicing the surgical suite within University Hospital also is expected to provide energy efficiency with new variable speed fans and fresh-air controls, while also enhancing space ventilation and environmental control.

Funding will be provided from UMHHC resources. The project is expected to be completed in fall 2016.


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