University researchers offer model for slashing energy costs by 60 percent

Many hospitals that are prospering are on a building spree. Now there are some viable options for building new facilities that significantly reduce energy use while adding little to up-front costs. University of Washington researchers and the architectural firm NBBJ have received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to take their hospital energy-reduction model national. The model achieves a 60 percent reduction in energy, primarily related to heating, at "an overall premium of about 2.7 percent of the total project cost without any utility or other incentives," according to the study's executive summary. With potential incentives, "the total cost premium for energy efficiency strategies ... would be approximately 1.7 percent of the total project cost." University article