Imperial County has two licensed hospitals, both classified as short-term acute care facilities, with one located in Brawley and the other in El Centro. The proposed project will be the first healthcare facility in the City of Imperial, as well as the first facility for a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in the Imperial Valley region. PACE is a program created with the intent to provide comprehensive medical and social services to older adults with chronic care needs while maintaining their independence at home for as long as possible. Innercare is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with 52 years of experience serving the low-income, homeless and migrant/seasonal farmworker populations of Imperial and Riverside Counties in southern California.
Due to the nature of health care services, water and energy are key for infection prevention and control within the healthcare facility and the surrounding community. This obligation limits the actions available in this subsector to reduce the use of critical local resources and control related costs. Consequently, healthcare facilities, such as clinics and hospitals, are one of the top energy and water users in the building industry. In this context, Innercare is seeking to build a water- and energy-efficient medical complex that complies with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification criteria.
The project entails the design, construction and operation of outpatient medical facilities, consisting of the following major components:
The facilities will be built using energy- and water-efficient equipment and will incorporate sustainable construction techniques and thermally efficient construction materials—which is especially important in a region with intense heat and constrained water supplies—along with site improvements to achieve a more climate-resilient investment.
The new medical facilities will increase access to healthcare services in Imperial Valley and, in particular, will serve a socioeconomically disadvantaged population vulnerable to health issues related to extreme heat and other related environmental hazards in a region with few primary health care providers. They are also expected to generate approximately 150 new healthcare jobs onsite and approximately 250 permanent, indirect jobs.
Moreover, in comparison with international standards for a conventional building with similar operational characteristics, the complex is expected to use about 43% less water, equivalent to 286,399 gallons/year, and about 25% less electricity, which represents a savings of 262,235 kilowatt-hours/year. The energy savings will help displace approximately 59,951 kg/year of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 101.8 kg/year of nitrogen oxides (NOx).