The three-story addition underway at Mayo Clinic’s Generose Building in Rochester is a showcase — and an experiment — in a new way to reduce energy consumption.

For the first time at Mayo Clinic, energy efficiency targets were detailed in contracts for the project design and construction in a strategy called "performance-based procurement."

Karen Finneman Killinger, a member of Facilities Project Services and leader of the Generose project team, says that energy efficiency is often not seriously considered until after the building design phase. "By having the goals and shared accountability laid out at the beginning, we’ll be able to work together to reduce the building’s energy consumption in ways that might otherwise have been overlooked," she says.

The Generose Building, part of Mayo Clinic Hospital on Saint Marys Campus, offers a controlled experiment of sorts. Built in 1993, the Generose Building has an energy use intensity, or EUI, of 153. Energy use intensity is a standard measurement of energy use per square foot per year. The Generose team benchmarked energy use of other Mayo Clinic buildings in Rochester and other healthcare buildings in similar climates, and found the EUI benchmark for a new building similar to the Generose Building is 130.

The Generose team set a 122 EUI target, which is a 20 percent reduction from the existing Generose Building and lower than a similar new build.

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A 20 percent reduction is significant, says Brett Gorden, who is responsible for energy management on the Rochester campus. Mayo Clinic set a goal in 2011 to reduce energy consumption 20 percent by 2020. That goal, which was reached two years ahead of schedule, has already saved Mayo $35.5 million and will save Mayo up to $7.9 million annually.

The new goal for the Rochester campus is a 30 percent energy consumption reduction by 2025. "As our facilities become more efficient, it will be more of a challenge to find ways to improve," says Gorden. "This type of creative project underway at Generose will help get us there."

In addition to using performance-based procurement and setting aggressive EUI targets, the Generose team is implementing other environmentally sustainable elements into the addition. The team looked at various combinations of windows and metal that would be attractive, comply with weight restrictions, and meet energy efficiency goals. The result is a combination of a tinted glass wall on the building’s north side to take advantage of natural daylight and windows and panels that minimize heat gain from the sun during warmer months. The expansion also takes advantage of the most efficient LED lighting, heating, and cooling control systems available.

Amanda Holloway, Director of Mayo Clinic’s Office of Sustainability, says "innovative projects like this are helping Mayo Clinic improve and standardize green building practices across the organization. It’s a great example of Mayo’s value of stewardship in action."

Final results of the experiment will be measured a year after the new space is occupied. The building is on track for completion this fall.