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The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: A Case Study of IRA Funding for Sustainable Design

October 10, 2023
Solar Panels

Healthcare institutions and universities have key roles to play in advancing climate action. Healthcare has a unique vantage point as it is a sector both with healing in its mission and directly impacted by the health impacts of climate change on its patient population. The impacts of extreme weather on healthcare facilities and the supporting public infrastructure can have devastating effects on community health in the short and long term. Further, healthcare systems are responsible for 4-5% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and in the United States, it’s projected to be between 8-10% of national emissions, which means healthcare providers are contributing to the very diseases they are trying to treat.

Health Care Without Harm, an America Is All In coalition partner, connected The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center with other All In partners to evaluate how new federal incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) can reduce the up-front costs for possible sustainability features for a new outpatient clinic, consisting of a medical office building and ambulatory health center. This evaluation helped Ohio State adjust the design to include a heat recovery chiller, EV charging in the parking lot, and solar-ready roof design, and has yielded valuable lessons in how healthcare systems and others can best leverage the incentives of the IRA to improve their sustainability. A key takeaway from this process is the importance of taking a wholistic and early review of the project for funding opportunities so that sustainability can be maximized by incorporating it into the budget and design from the start. The cost-savings analysis and Ohio State’s insights on the design process, can be used as an example of how actors can leverage federal funding to advance sustainability goals.  

America Is All In recently launched the IRA Bonus Mapper that helps subnational actors check their eligibility for additional clean energy incentives under the IRA's Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC). For a deeper explanation of strategies and tactics, read our recent reports linked below.