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Virginia Mental Health Hospital Improves Patient Comfort, Receives Award for Energy-Saving Renovations

ROANOKE, Va., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Catawba Hospital, a state-run psychiatric hospital in the Catawba Valley of Virginia, recently completed extensive renovations to its indoor comfort systems to make the buildings more energy efficient and improve patient and staff comfort.

The hospital anticipates $1 million in savings over five years from reduced power usage and decreased maintenance costs associated with the new heating, ventilating and air conditioning system.

Furthermore, the upgraded system satisfies Gov. Tim Kaine's Executive Order 48, mandating that state institutions reduce energy costs and instill performance contracting practices that help pay for building upgrades over time.

For its success in reducing energy use, Catawba Hospital will be recognized with the Trane Energy Efficiency Leader in Healthcare Award. Jason Bingham, district manager for Trane in Virginia, will present the award to Jack Wood, Catawba's director and Charles Law, its chief operating officer, at noon on Nov. 14 at the hospital.

Tours and interviews are available after the award presentation upon request.

The Catawba Story

Set amid the rolling meadows and wooded slopes of Roanoke County, Catawba Hospital offers patients a serene setting. But the buildings themselves suffered from a number of serious problems: aging infrastructures, an outdated building-automation system and an inefficient steam-heating system. For Wood and Law, it was clear renovations were necessary.

"Catawba Hospital is an integral part of the state's mental health system," Law said. "It is critical for us to provide our patients the most comfortable environment to heal while also being good stewards of our natural resources. We selected the Trane solution because it allowed us to accomplish these goals, while working within our budget constraints."

Putting more pressure on the situation was Executive Order 48, issued by Gov. Tim Kaine. It mandates that all state agencies and institutions reduce energy consumption and use performance contracting to complete these energy conservation projects. Performance contracting is a tool that allows organizations to upgrade existing buildings without up-front capital budget. Instead, the organization uses projected energy savings to pay for the project over a number of years.

The Catawba improvements will be significantly funded through a performance contracting project with Trane. The $2.7 million system is anticipated to pay for itself in 15 years through the savings in energy and maintenance. Those savings are projected to rise to more than $4.4 million over the system's predicted lifespan.

The project employs a number of solutions to make the hospital's 21 buildings more energy efficient, reducing Catawba's energy use and operating costs. A new control system helps building operators maintain ideal environmental conditions inside the hospital, which saves energy and prolongs the life of the building's comfort systems. The team also replaced the hospital's chilled water plant with a new energy-efficient plant, installed new energy-efficient lighting, and repaired leaky steam lines and replaced those lacking insulation to maximize effectiveness of the heating system.

"We look forward to working with Trane on future energy projects that will further improve the operational efficiency of this state facility's campus," Law said. "Our goal is for organizations around the country to discuss our success story as a small hospital where vision and implementation came together to produce measurable results and improved performance in the eyes of patients and staff."

About Catawba

Part of the Commonwealth of Virginia public mental health system, Catawba Hospital specializes in serving adults including geriatric individuals who are in need of mental health care. The hospital offers both short-term "acute care" units and dedicated geriatric units. Catawba Hospital is affiliated with the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where staff psychiatrists may have faculty appointments and help train psychiatry residents and medical students. Surrounded by natural beauty, Catawba Hospital is located ten miles from the city of Salem and seventeen miles from Roanoke.

About Trane

Trane, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand (NYSE: IR), provides systems and services that enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings around the world. The business offers a broad range of energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; dehumidifying and air cleaning products; aftermarket service and parts support; advanced building controls; and building and financing solutions including those that allow energy-efficient systems to pay for themselves through energy savings. Trane's systems and services have leading positions in premium commercial, residential, institutional and industrial markets; a reputation for reliability, high quality and product innovation; and a powerful distribution network. The business has more than 29,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit and

Trane has served customers in Virginia for over 30 years, with 12 sales offices, parts centers, and service centers. Trane in Virginia has over 700 associates serving the needs of education, healthcare, government, manufacturing, lodging and retail, along with other businesses in Virginia.

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