Munson Healthcare Center is the largest employer in Grand Traverse County. The head of facilities management for the center, who oversees building and maintenance projects for the building facilities of the center, is quoted as follows:
“I have been upset about the energy inefficiency of the dialysis center ever since it was built, and no one has been able to tell me what’s wrong with it. The HVAC contractor has inspected it, I have added insulation, the architect couldn’t tell me why the ice was forming on the eves and the building contractor can’t figure out the problem!”
Further, the nurses who worked in the facility were complaining that they had to cover the patients with wool blankets on cold days, and while there is no shortage of wool blankets in Traverse City, this was a significant inconvenience that complicated patient care and increased patient discomfort. If the nurses simply turned up the thermostat, the patients would be more comfortable but the physicians in other parts of the building structure would be overheated and uncomfortable. The result of fluctuating temperatures, and associated discomfort, made for a very tense working environment. This all added up to a difficult situation for the patients and the professionals.
The powers that make the decisions for Munson Medical facilities authorized that options for fixing the building be investigated and estimates obtained. The first option proposed was to construct a false roof. This option carried an estimated cost of 1 million dollars. For obvious reasons, that option was declined.
Munson ice on back window.
Fortunately, our trained professionals, who are skilled at finding the source of the problem, were able to perform a diagnostic test to discover the problem source. With simultaneous building pressurization and thermographic readings of the building shell, our experts were able to properly diagnose the structural problems that were causing the energy inefficiency. Based on a correct and complete diagnostic approach, we were then able to design the most effective solution to determine how to fix the building and solve the air flow problems once and for all.
Unfortunately, this scenario of energy inefficient building structures is not an isolated one. Historically, building specialists have been unable to diagnose energy inefficiency problems because they have simply not been trained to look at the building as a system. Our company was contracted to repair the thermal envelope, which was effectively accomplished without any disruption of the medical professionals or patients. Through correct and concise diagnostic procedures and repairs, our company was able to solve the energy efficiency problems of this Munson Medical facility.