Since opening its new facility at Pantops in 2011, Sentara Martha Jefferson has been committed to be a “green” facility.
“The hospital, from the moment it opened, has seen a continued decrease in our utility bills as a result of all the energy efficient systems we put in place from the beginning,” noted Bill Weigold, facility services manager.
From big-ticket items, such as a state-of-the-art heating and ventilation system and an on-site retention pond for irrigation needs, to smaller initiatives like automated lights, Sentara Martha Jefferson has always been focused on reducing usage.
In some cases, automation please a large role in assisting.
“Many of our rooms, offices especially, have motion sensors that will turn lights on and off so that if you forget to turn off the lights, the technology will take care of it for you,” noted Weigold.
But, staff at the hospital also plays a role in helping to make it possible.
“We encourage all the staff to at least walk up one set of stairs and walk down two. It’s good for the environment, it uses less energy, and it’s also good for your health,” said Weigold.
What’s even more impressive is that through the constant decreased usage, the hospital has actually expanded services and cared for more people than the day the new facility opened.
“Due to our building automation systems and our teams that are constantly monitoring our usage, we actually perform in the top 10% of facilities our size,” said Catherine Hughes, executive director of support services. “It’s important to be a good financial steward, and also a good environmental partner with the community.”