A new offering from Johnson Controls integrates a hospital's building automation system with surgery scheduling to optimize air-exchange rates and energy use.

"Typically, a high volume of air is being moved through the operating room around the clock, even when the room is vacant," Richard Smith, director, health care, Johnson Controls, said. "This wastes energy and valuable dollars, but with Healthcare Environment Optimization, we can now control the airflow in an efficient and safe manner."

Developed through a collaboration with HDR, an architecture, engineering, and consulting firm, Healthcare Environment Optimization translates and routes data from surgery scheduling to a building automation system and determines which of two HVAC-system modes—surgery or setback—should be used.

"Healthcare Environment Optimization enables our customers to ... reduce energy usage and operational costs based on real-time surgical schedules, which we all know can change on a rapid basis," Smith said.

Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Ind., is a beta test site for the new software solution. The hospital's new five-story, 500,000-sq-ft facility features a surgical suite with 10 operating rooms. Healthcare Environment Optimization will be integrated with the Metasys building-management system.

With Healthcare Environment Optimization, a HVAC system operates at a reduced rate at the appropriate time. The new offering also provides:

• The ability to track air-exchange rates and temperatures for recordkeeping purposes.

• An optional user-interface display that gives surgical and facility staffs control of room conditions.

• Real-time alarms, which allow occupants to immediately address HVAC-system problems.

• The ability to earn credits toward LEED and ENERGY STAR certifications.

Healthcare Environment Optimization can integrate with Metasys or other building automation system.

With Healthcare Environment Optimization, Johnson Controls projects annual savings of up to $10,000 per operating room.