Hospital water heater redesign to save Benefis nearly $20K annually


As CTA’s health facilities design specialist, Cory Jassen continues to pioneer environments in healthcare design, and his recent hospital water heating system retrofit demonstrates CTA’s commitment to helping clients develop efficient systems that withstand the test of time.

During a Montana Society of Healthcare Engineers (MSHE) conference in mid-May, Jassen presented his recent work with Benefis Health System in Great Falls, MT — a hospital-wide hot water heating system retrofit. The purpose of the project was to replace the equipment in Benefis’ water heating plants that had reached their end-of-life cycle. The existing plant pumps were over 36 years old, and the retrofit presented many challenges, including additions to the plant and hospital that had taken place over the previous four decades.

Jassen put to use his knowledge of complex pumping systems and hot water systems to solve problems the existing heating system presented. He designed an energy-efficient system for Benefis that ensures occupancy and user comfort in all environments.

In his design, Jassen eliminated as many secondary and tertiary systems as possible to streamline the system to have as few pumps as possible; this reduced the number of pumps from 30 to only three! Consolidating the hot water heating system’s design had the benefit of using less equipment overall — Jassen’s design used half as many heat exchangers and half as many control valves, resulting in a less complicated system for the hospital’s maintenance staff. Completed in 2014, Jassen’s design has produced an estimated annual energy savings of $19,217. At a project cost of $250,000, the design will pay for itself in 13 years, and will continue to provide energy efficiency for the life of the system.

Mike Battleson, Maintenance Operations Supervisor at Benefis Health System, had some kind words about the experience of working with our team:

The Great Falls office of CTA, Cory Jassen, and supporting staff, have done an outstanding job of design and engineering for us here at Benefis Healthcare. One of the largest projects most recently completed was the heating water upgrade done in in two phases over two years. This was a very complex project and was completed on time and on budget, which Benefis management is adamant about having happen. Benefis appreciates all the hard work CTA has accomplished for us over the years and looks forward to having a strong working relationship with them on future projects.

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