thresholds and are well above current federal and state clean air
standards for the southeastern United States.
The combination of energy efficiency provided by the CHP system,
hospital energy efficiency measures and sustainable construction
techniques have helped the hospital achieve LEED Gold certification
in the New Construction rating category. This achievement exceeded
initial project objectives of LEED Silver.
The Shands-GRU partnership structure is an attractive one for
municipal-owned utilities serving community mission-critical facilities.
As the South Energy Center gains a track record of performance, more
and more publicly owned utilities will look at district energy and the
integration of CHP as a proven means to meet community, economic
and environmental objectives.
This energy partnership is achieving success because of the
qualifications, competence and commitment of each partner. It’s a
partnership that offers significant opportunities and benefits to each
entity. There are challenges from the CFO office because of traditional
accounting methods. There are complications with local AHJs due to
introduction of new codes from differing industries and novel design
approaches. There are challenges due to traditional utility industry
barriers and dated business models. But for groups that are willing
to put forth the extra effort to overcome these obstacles, the rewards
Brad Pollitt, AIA, is vice president of facilities for Shands
HealthCare and its seven-hospital network. During his
10-year tenure in this position, Shands has implemented
more than $450 million of construction, renovation and capital
improvements. With the company since 1989, Pollitt has also
served as hospital architect and directed major construction
projects, facilities planning and facilities development.
A licensed architect in the state of Florida, Pollitt holds
bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the
University of Florida College of Architecture.
Chuck S. Heidt, PE, is asset manager for the South Energy
Center, a business unit of Gainesville Regional Utilities
(GRU). Employed by GRU for 25 years, he served as project
manager during the development and commissioning of the
South Energy Center. Heidt holds a bachelor’s degree in
environmental engineering from the University of Florida
and is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Florida.
His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ed Mardiat is principal of Burns & McDonnell’s OnSite Energy
& Power group. He was principal in charge for the South
Energy Center project. With more than 25 years’ experience
in design and project management, Mardiat has focused
his efforts over the past 14 years on project development
of on-site energy projects. Mardiat can be contacted at
District Energy / Fourth Quarter 2010 17 Changing Standards Health care facilities everywhere are under increasing pressure to remain up and running, even during natural disasters that may interrupt power service on the surrounding grid. Though Florida has long had experience with hurricane contingency planning, requirements for grid independence came to the fore only in the early 1990s, in the wake of statewide devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew.
Today, hospitals are required by state and local
Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and the Joint
Commission, an independent body that accredits and
certifies U.S. health care organizations and programs,
to plan for 96 hours of continuous operations in the
event of a utility outage. (That requirement extends to
168 hours, or seven days, for Veterans Administration
facilities located within 10 miles of the Gulf of
Mexico or the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean.)
Hospitals are required by AHJs to have essential
power. The Florida Agency for Health Care
Administration (AHCA) had not previously approved
the outsourcing of this function. For Shands’ new
cancer center project, however, the AHJ gave its
approval because the owner of the energy center
would be the local municipal utility and because of
contract provisions ensuring the AHJ would have
access, approval and authority.
All hospitals are required to have a diesel generator
as essential backup for life safety systems, though
these have proven to be unreliable. On-site storage
of large quantities of diesel fuel for extended
periods of time presents fuel quality and quantity
issues. According to one study of the 2003 blackout
in the northeast, most diesel emergency generators
at affected facilities started within the required
10 seconds, but 67 percent failed to operate for
prolonged periods of time.
Courtesy Burns & McDonnell.
Shands set out to meet and exceed the 96-hour
requirement by developing a power resource that
could give the health care center an unprecedented
level of energy security and improved reliability
to ensure a fully functional hospital under all