Ascension Health

At a Glance


Health Care

Project Type

Commercial Energy Efficiency




St. Louis, MO

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Net Present Value:


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Annual kWh Savings:

40,000,000 kWh

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Annual CO2 Reductions:

38,000 metric tons


Sara Brown determined ways to save energy in the operating rooms in Ascension's 81 acute care hospitals.


Ascension Health enlisted Sara Brown to help reduce its energy use 20 percent by 2020, a goal it committed to in 2011 as a founding member of the Better Buildings Challenge.


Brown determined that the operating rooms in Ascension's 81 acute care hospitals offered the most promising opportunities to reach this goal. Due to their strict air exchange and pressure requirements, operating rooms are one of hospitals' biggest energy draws. Furthermore, Brown determined that Ascension's rooms are used only 40 to 80 hours a week. Retrofitting operating rooms with occupancy sensors could make a large impact on the hospitals' energy consumption. 

Potential Impact

Over their lifetimes, Brown's projects could save Ascension $18.9 million in net operational costs. Annually, they could save 40 million kilowatt hours of electricity, 19,000 therms of natural gas and 38,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

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