5 things to know about Epic's sustainable campus

Epic's Verona, Wis.-based headquarters might sprawl across 1,100 acres, but the EHR giant is taking serious steps to ensure its 25-building campus leaves as little an impact on its environment as possible, The Country Today reports.

Derek Schnabel, director of facilities at Epic, and Steve Dickmann, Epic's chief administration officer, explored Epic's sustainability efforts at the company's home with The Country Today.

Here are five things to know:

1. Epic uses one of North America's largest geothermal heating and cooling systems, 6,200 photovoltaic solar panels and six wind turbines, for its energy sources.

2. The geothermal system, which works via holes drilled deep into the ground to tap the year-round temperatures beneath the earth's surface, is the company's only source of heating and cooling at most of its buildings. A series of pipes make up a closed-loop exchange system where water is cooled or warmed as it goes nearly 500 feet into the drilled wells before it is collected and used in an above-ground heat exchanger. Epic's geothermal system has about 6,100 bore holes, each drilled 300 to 500 feet into the ground.

"It changes how we operate the system, knowing it is the only source of heating and cooling that we have," Mr. Schnabel told the publication. "The geothermal system is really about efficiently dealing with our heating and cooling needs. The first step in sustainability is reducing our heating and cooling loads to begin with, which really comes down to how we construct buildings and the technology we install with them."

3. Solar panels span 18 acres, making Epic one of Wisconsin's largest generators of solar power.

"The photovoltaics located here on campus are really a low- or no-maintenance item," Mr. Schnabel said. "It's nice to have that to take a couple megawatts off the bottom line before you pay the energy bill. It's really a minimal ongoing [time] investment by our facility team."

4. Located on farms about 11 miles north of the the company's headquarters near Middleton, Wis., is Epic's Galactic Wind Project, which involves six industrial-sized wind turbines that have been used since 2012.

5. Stormwater collected on the company's property is collected and treated on-site wherever there is surface parking; however, the company primarily uses underground lots, where about 9,000 cars park daily.

To access the full The Country Today report, click here.

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