On Saturday, more than 100 patients at UVM Medical Center will be moved to the new Miller Building. It will create private rooms and also use sustainable technology that reduces the hospital’s environmental footprint.
“We couldn’t accept the status quo,” said project manager, Dave Keelty. “We wanted to do better than that.“
Hospitals are one of the biggest commercial energy users. Keelty said the new building will use about 50% of the energy that a typical hospital uses.
“That has huge benefits for our patients and the community at large,“ Keelty said.
UVM is the only hospital in New England to implement smart glass technology. It means the windows along the Miller Building will be self-tinting and controlled by weather feeds and computers.
“As the sun comes across the facade of the building, the glass automatically tints,” said Greg Swan, the owner of St. Albans Glass. “It’s like they have sunglasses on and can still enjoy the view and be connected with the outdoors.“
At the same time, this cuts down on heating and cooling costs for the hospital. Much of the project was also built offsite using 3-D mapping. Contractors say it improved the quality of the project and allowed them to finish months ahead of schedule.
“We knew before we even started how things were going to fit,” said Randy Kimball, the owner of Vermont Mechanical. “Every single wall in this building is exactly the same as the wall next to it.“
The heating and cooling system in the building will recycle air from outside and can allow every room to be controlled individually so patients can be at their ideal temperature. In terms of electricity, the building will also feature LED lighting and a lighting control system.
“It’ll dim or brighten the lights at different times of the day to allow for better patient care and also energy efficiency,” said Daniel Bartlett of Benoit Electric.
More than 35 Vermont contracting companies were involved in the Miller Building Project. That makes up more than 85% of the project’s workforce.