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©2015 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 57, no. 6, June 2015

Mark W. Stavig, P.E., Member ASHRAE; Eric Anderson

About the Authors
Mark W. Stavig, P.E., is a principal and Eric Anderson is a business development director at Mazzetti, in Lynnwood, Wash.

It started with a vision to create a place of healing for an island community of 2,287 inhabitants. But island resources are limited, making sustainable choices vital and simple system design essential. For PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center (PIMC) in Friday Harbor, Wash., the design team used the Living Building Challenge as a road map and developed sustainable strategies through simplified systems that a single facility manager can operate.

The 40,000 ft2 (3700 m2) facility includes emergency, imaging, surgery departments; 10 inpatient beds; and an ambulatory outpatient clinic with a cancer care center. The hospital is about 33,600 ft2 (3100 m2) and the clinic is about 6,400 ft2 (600 m2).


Team Approach

The phrase “doing more with less” set the tone for the project. Using the Living Building Challenge and LEED building rating system as road maps meant that many design alternatives were considered for lighting, HVAC systems, water use, and plug loads. 


Energy Challenge

The mechanical system was designed to use only electricity, the only available energy source on the island. This enabled the design team to arrive at a target energy budget for the project to meet the site‘s potential PV generation capacity EUI of 65 kBtu/ft2• yr (205 kWh/m2• yr). The project uses the following energy-efficiency measures and achieves an average EUI of 87.7 kBtu/ft2 • yr (276.7 kWh/m2 • yr). The design complies with the local 2009 Washington State Energy Code that is more stringent than ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007. The energy modeling software “eQuest” was used for the early design energy model to support design decisions.

The project uses passive design strategies that provide for load reductions and facilitate natural ventilation. The major program functions are housed in a series of bars that are oriented along the east-west axis programmed by load intensity. A conscious effort was made to reduce cooling demandresulting from building envelope and plug loads. The orientation allows for controlled penetration of sun for passive solar heat in exam and waiting areas. Unwanted heat gain is minimized on the east and west exposures. Heat gain from solar is further controlled with the use of appropriate overhangs. Roofs are sloped to the south allowing for future installations of solar collectors.

Natural ventilation works with the narrow floor plan and the orientation to prevailing breezes. A high-performance envelope was specified and carefully detailed to minimize heating and cooling loss. Glazed areas were reduced to less than the allowed 30% of wall area (Figure 1). Windows are high-performing wood-framed units.

A major contributor to energy reduction was the use of decentralized systems sized to specific loads. This approach allows systems to be tailored to the individual needs of each program area. The emergency department and spaces use four pipe fan coil units to decouple heating/cooling from ventilation loads, which significantly reduces reheat. Public spaces and outpatient areas have radiant heating systems and natural ventilation with fan assist for cooling. Mechanical and other facilities spaces are served by two pipe fan coil units. The surgery and inpatient bed spaces use a VAV system.


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