"The original construction techniques are outdated," said Jodi Fox, director of plant operations with PCH.
A Bloomington construction company, Weddle Bros Building Group, LLC, will install energy-efficient windows along with replacing the brick and roof. Through the upgrades, PCH should see a 20 to 40 percent annual savings in its energy costs.
In July 2008, the US Department of Energy launched its EnergySmart Hospital plan to help new and existing hospitals reduce energy consumption and operating costs. Under the plan, hospitals' goals are to reduce energy use and operating costs; create healthier healing and work environments; ensure reliable backup power during disasters; and improve environmental performance.
That initiative played a role in the decision to proceed with the project, said Jennifer Bedwell, marketing coordinator with PCH. "Discussion about the upgrade started about two years ago."
It was put on hold by PCH partly due to economic timing and to give them more time to be better prepared and educated on what was necessary for the upgrade. At the end of the nearly nine-month project, the hospital will have exceeded some of the energy-efficient requirements.
During the construction, safety measures will be taken around the hospital. Windows will be covered while approximately 80,000 bricks are removed, and areas will be roped off.
"Patients will be moved as needed, but not until necessary," said Bedwell. "And there will be noise. It is the nature of construction."
In addition to the construction company being from Bloomington, about 80 percent of the workforce will be from within a 30-mile radius of Greencastle, said Fox.
The center of the goal will be communication. Daily meetings with construction management will take place during construction and staff and patients will be kept up to date on what is happening.
"We will work around patients and staff's needs," said Bedwell.
Activity will start taking place within a few weeks and, weather permitting, construction on the original building will be finished by the end of the year.