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Press Releases: Northern California

July 31, 2009

Kaiser Permanente's Regional Headquarters Building in Oakland Earns the Energy Star® for Superior Energy Efficiency

1950 Franklin Street tower now ranks among the top 25 percent of buildings in the nation for conservation of energy, lowered emissions

OAKLAND, Calif. – Kaiser Permanente's 20-story regional headquarters at 1950 Franklin Street in downtown Oakland has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. This signifies that the building’s energy performance rates in the top 25 percent of facilities nationwide.

"Kaiser Permanente is pleased to accept EPA's ENERGY STAR in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts," said Julie Petrini, senior vice president and chief administrative officer, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals of Northern California. "We believe that being environmentally responsible is vital to any health care organization. As an organization, we are committed to reducing the amount of energy consumed, minimizing toxins in the environment, and improving the practices used in the construction of new facilities, among other environmental initiatives."

The ENERGY STAR honor is part of an ongoing effort by Kaiser Permanente to make all of its facilities more energy efficient. The effort to achieve ENERGY STAR status began in downtown Oakland and will branch out eventually to all facilities in Northern California.

These energy-efficiency efforts are part of a larger Kaiser Permanente green buildings initiative that involves growing use of solar energy; greater use of natural light in new construction, low-water landscaping and use of low-emission flooring, carpeting and paints.

Commercial buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR use an average of 40 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

"Improving the energy efficiency of our nation's buildings is critical to preserving our environment and our natural resources," said Kathleen Hogan, director of EPA's Climate Protection Partnerships Division. "From office buildings to hotels, supermarkets to schools, the ENERGY STAR distinguishes those organizations who are taking environmental responsibility into their own hands."

To earn the ENERGY STAR, Kaiser Permanente took the following actions at 1950 Franklin Street in Oakland:

  • Energy Performance: Installed energy efficient building equipment that has lead to 1950 Franklin being in the top 25 percent of similar existing buildings, as indicated by a minimum rating of 75 out of 100 determined through EPA’s Portfolio Manager.
  • Thermal Comfort: Replaced non-energy efficient boilers with high efficiency boilers to reduce energy consumption while providing adequate heating. Also added exterior window blinds to reduce heat inside the building from sunlight outside. This results in less demand on the air-conditioning system.
  • Indoor Air Quality: Replaced the building automation system that conserves energy while modulating fan speed to deliver the appropriate amount of air to each floor. It also modulates the pump speeds to deliver the appropriate amount of water flow to each floor, thereby using less energy.
  • Lighting Levels: Installed motion sensors and reduced lighting in office and common areas by 50 percent. Lighting levels, while reduced still provide sufficient illumination for work.

EPA's national energy performance rating system provides a 1-100 scale that helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a rating of 75 or higher is eligible for the ENERGY STAR. Commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, and warehouses.

Kaiser Permanente is working with the EPA on an effort to devise improved standards for granting ENERGY STAR status to hospitals.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 50 different kinds of products, new homes, and commercial and industrial buildings. In 2007, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved about $16 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 27 million vehicles.

For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.