Patients’ comfort, energy savings among the benefits of upgrades
It may not be visible, but nine buildings in CIUSSS West-Central Montreal have undergone major changes. As a result, our CIUSSS has reduced its environmental footprint while substantially increasing its properties’ energy efficiency.
In August, 2019, the CIUSSS launched a broad-based initiative to minimize the environmental impact of delivering healthcare services, with the objective of meeting and even surpassing provincial goals for sustainable-development. To carry out this project, the CIUSSS retained the services of Énergère, a Quebec-based energy efficiency firm.
Over the past two years, more than 40 innovative measures were implemented in the nine buildings, including the Jewish General Hospital. In addition to considerably reducing the properties’ environmental footprint, the measures have eased problems related to outdated material, such as heating and air conditioning equipment. This will allow patients and employees to feel more comfortable.
To carry out the project, the CIUSSS invested close to $18.8 million, of which $6.7 million came from the Government of Quebec, Hydro-Québec and Énergir. “The strategies that were put into place will allow us to save close to $1.4 million a year in energy costs,” says Georges Bendavid, Director of Technical Services.
Among the most notable measures: Modernizing the lighting and the boiler rooms, and implementing new systems for automation, heat pumps and aerothermal power.
“Even though these changes aren’t visible to the naked eye, they’ll bring positive changes in the daily lives of patients and staff,” says Emilia Fernandes, Project Manager on the Technical Services team.
The work will also have a positive impact on Technical Services staff. “Thanks to this new automated system, we can spot and solve problems remotely and no longer have to go on-site as soon as there’s an alarm. It allows our team to be more efficient,” says Joel Bohadana, Chief of Physical Facilities.
Another innovation was the conversion of the steam-heating system to a warm-water network kept at low temperature. “Not only does this let us recover energy that’s expelled by the building, it allows us to increase the comfort of patients, since the temperature of their rooms will be better controlled,” Ms. Fernandes adds.
The project’s impact is impressive. Our CIUSSS expects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49 per cent annually, the equivalent of removing nearly 2,128 cars from the road. The CIUSSS’s annual energy consumption will also be reduced by 39.3 million kilowatt hours, the energy of energy consumed by about 1,637 households.
“This project really is a step toward a greener future for our CIUSSS,” Mr. Bendavid says.
The energy efficiency projects were carried out in these nine buildings: the Jewish General Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, Richardson Hospital, Catherine Booth Hospital, Henri Bradet Residential Centre, Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre, Saint Margaret Residential Centre, Saint Andrew Residential Centre, Father Dowd Residential Centre and Miriam Home and Services.