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Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas

The Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas is a member of the Seton Family of Hospitals. Designed to be forward-thinking for an efficient, functional, and healing pediatric healthcare environment, the new 170-bed, 475,000 sf Medical Center incorporates innovative green design features unique to a healthcare facility. Energy conservation is a global concern and leaders at Dell Children’s Medical Center desired sustainability when they talked about the benefits of energy efficiency.

Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas

In the early design stages, our firm modeled the building energy use to optimize three essential components: the hospital program requirements, the indoor environment, and energy conservation. Not only is the hospital facility one of the most energy-efficient in the world, it saved $8M in capital outlay by outsourcing power, heating, and chilled water needs to Austin Energy. In turn the hospital will purchase their power, steam, hot water, and chilled water from Austin Energy’s on site combined heat and power (CHP) plant over a 30-year term. The heart of the plant is an on-site, 4.3-megawatt combustion turbine generator and components that recycle waste heat including a steam generator and an absorption water chiller.

Our firm utilized energy modeling to optimize the equipment in the CHP plant. Through the use of daylighting, efficient lighting design, heat recovery, and ventilation optimization based on carbon dioxide monitoring, Dell Children’s Medical Center was able to reduce net energy use by 50 percent compared to a similarly occupied building located in the same climatic conditions. In addition, we developed and wrote the commissioning plan model for use on this project. The plan included the development of section 15995 and 16995 testing requirements in conjunction with test forms for integrated systems, pre-function and functional testing. 

We provided the oversight of the Construction Manager’s commissioning process and assisted the owner, who “self-commissioned” the project.