Consulting Engineering

Clark Regional Medical Center

Kentucky Hospital LLCWinchester, Kentucky

Completed in 2013, Clark Regional Medical Center was CMTA’s first all-electric hospital, as well as one of the first acute care hospitals in the nation to utilize a ground source geothermal heat pump system for its primary heating and cooling needs. The full-service, 137,000 square foot hospital has 79 inpatient beds, an emergency department, a radiology department, and a surgical suite with six operating rooms. CMTA provided MEP engineering, technology, and security services for this energy efficient hospital. The owner prioritized long-term operational costs and impact over initial first cost expenses.

The hospital’s fully electrified building systems are based on 217 geothermal wells, drilled 400 feet deep. Fresh air is distributed to the heat pumps by five dedicated outside air units, with one dedicated to the operating rooms. The heat pumps serving the surgery department’s operating areas and patient care areas are provided with final filtration, ensuring an optimal sanitary environment. Heat pump chillers provide chilled and hot water to the outside air units, while a central plant provides domestic hot water to the building using water-to-water geothermal heat pumps. Steam for humidification is provided by dedicated electric humidifiers. Sterilization equipment is provided with integral steam generation to minimize energy losses in piping and distribution.

By implementing energy efficient systems, Clark Regional Medical Center had an Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of 129 after one year of operation—less than half the energy use of an average hospital in 2023. At the time of the project’s completion, it was one of the most energy efficient hospitals in the nation and utilized 60% less energy than other comparable acute care facilities. Total energy costs in the first year came out to $2.25 per square foot, saving the hospital over $240,000 in the first year. These energy savings allowed the geothermal system to pay for itself in just 14 months. Due to the utility cost savings afforded by the geothermal HVAC system, the hospital can further invest in providing quality medical care to the surrounding community for years to come.