So what exactly makes a building “green”? Well, although painting a building green could make it considered a green building, that isn’t the kind of green I’m talking about. I’m talking the kind of green meaning environmentally friendly. Having a white roof that reflects sunlight and heat is one example of how to make a building very energy efficient. In fact, if every building had a white roof, the world would actually be a few degrees cooler!
The Hanover and District Hospital building is dedicated to making their eco-footprint as small as possible. I live in a small town in Grey County, so you can imagine that my town isn’t the most environmentally friendly, what with all the boys and their big trucks, our two factories and more farm equipment than I can name, however I found out recently that a place you wouldn’t think would be considered green is actually the greenest place in town- which also happened to have recently celebrated its 90th anniversary; Hanover and District Hospital!
Hanover and District Hospital took the challenge to “be green” in 2005. Over the past 8 years, it has implemented millions of dollars in energy-saving retrofits such as; new water softeners that use no electricity which means 76.2 kilowatt hours of reduced electricity, water consumption reduction of 4,544 cubic meters, and uses less salt in its regeneration cycle, meaning 34,161 pounds less salt being sent to drain and back to the water source, water collection from plant humidification- or where warm air that passes over air conditioning cooling coils condenses and falls to the bottom of air handling units where the the water is then collected and saved in holding tanks where it is reused for other processes and irrigation for flower gardens, UV systems to protect the hospital water from being contaminated (which no one seemed to be able to explain to me), as well as simple things like adding a composting bin in the cafeteria and removing bottled water, although those are just some of the many steps the hospital has taken to become greener!
The biggest two most innovative projects that the hospital has taken on in my opinion are the replacement of the old 33 year-old Trane Chiller, which uses the most environmentally friendly products available for its cooling operation as well as passive solar collectors being used to decrease fuel consumption for hot water. The Trane chiller line was developed with industry leadership and includes rotary and scroll compressor chillers as well as absorption chillers, ranging in capacities from 10 to 3,950 tons. Trane liquid chillers are relied upon for both comfort and
applications excellence. Not only do the chillers provide the right temperature,humidity and ventilation, they also help reduce cost of operation, provide energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact. With passive solar collectors, the goal is to redistribute the energy collected according to a law of thermodynamics, which states that heat moves from warm to cool areas and surfaces. The simplest method of transferring the heat from passive solar collectors is through convection. Think of a sun room, as sun rays travel into the room through the glass the heat is directed into the room. It then rises to areas where the air is cooler, including other rooms. Passive solar systems do not involve mechanical devices or the use of conventional energy sources beyond that needed to regulate dampers and other controls, if any.
Now if you don’t think that’s green enough to be considered a green building, they have proof that it is, as the Hanover and District Hospital received the Green Health Care Award in 2008. This amazing achievement was reached through hard work and a mission- as being green is in the hospitals Mission, Vision and Values. I’ve been to this hospital
many times (I’m quite accident-prone), and I can honestly say that I’d never known any of this up until a few days ago. Talk about a modest home town hero eh? If they had an embedding code for their video I would have put that in here, but if you’d like to watch it to see how unbelievably amazing they actually are you can click on this link here! It’s things you find out about your town like this that makes you proud of where you come from!