Norton Healthcare invests $18 million in Norton Audubon energy plant

Posted: Jun 04, 2018 4:51 PM EDT Updated: Jun 04, 2018 5:16 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Norton Healthcare invested $18 million in thermal storage and a cutting-edge hybrid energy plant at Norton Audubon Hospital.

Although it’s a hefty investment, the hospital system’s energy initiative will help save nearly $1 million a year in energy costs, using natural gas to heat and cool the hospital instead of electric.

“We constructed a new hybrid energy plant that combines gas air-cooled chillers and a thermal ice storage system that produces cooling capacity for the building,” said Anthony Mathis, Director of Energy at Norton Healthcare. “Ice is made at night when utility costs are at their lowest, since demand is down. And then ice is melted during the day for the hospital’s cooling needs during the peak hours when utilities are at their maximum cost.

“In addition, the system runs off of natural gas. The heat generated by the natural gas engines is then collected and stored to be reused by a heat recovery process that provides heat and hot water for the building. We should reduce our emissions, which is our carbon footprint, close to 30 to 40 percent.”

The new plant also makes it easier to individually control the temperature in each room using a computer, which is a luxury for patients but a necessity for surgery.

“If room A is 65 degrees, but room B needs to be 72 degrees, the addition… gives us the opportunity to control the rooms as a nurse or as the patient wants it,” Mathis said.

Norton Healthcare started the energy initiative at Norton Audubon Hospital because of its aging infrastructure and rising energy costs. The initiative has resulted in reduced energy and maintenance costs, a smaller carbon footprint and better indoor air quality.

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With growth of 575% in two years, how is this company still under the radar?

Feb 18, 2016, 2:51pm EST

There is a chance you have never heard of this local construction firm, but it has its hands on some of the biggest projects in Louisville, including two major renovations at Churchill Downs Racetrack and the blockbuster Omni hotel project in downtown Louisville.

Louisville-based Calhoun Construction Services Inc. was formed in 2012, and its revenue grew 575 percent in two years — from $4 million in 2013 to $27 million last year.

John Hinshaw is the new president of Louisville-based Calhoun Construction Services.

Calhoun Construction Services Inc.

The company ranked No. 14 on our list of the Louisville area’s largest general contractors, with $25.8 million in work billed out of local offices in 2014.

Calhoun specializes in construction management, general contracting and trade contracting. Employment at the company has grown from two salaried employees to 25. It also employs about 100 contractors, such as carpenters, laborers, construction workers and other specialty positions.

President John Hinshaw credits Calhoun’s growth to the company’s flexibility — it specializes in all forms of commercial construction but also has expertise in construction management. And, he said, the company’s skilled workforce leads to a lot of repeat customers.

About 100 of Calhoun’s employees and contractors are based in the Louisville area, but the company is active across Kentucky, including Lexington and Owensboro, and in Tennessee, particularly the Nashville area.

As I previously mentioned, Louisville-based Churchill Downs Inc. (NASDAQ: CHDN) is well-acquainted with Calhoun’s work. The construction firm was the general contractor for the construction of 20 private, open-air owners suites near Churchill Downs Racetrack’s trackside Winner’s Circle last year, a roughly $4 million project

And Calhoun has returned to the track this year to lead the $18 million renovation of the Turf Club, Stakes Room and other premium seating areas — a project that is slated to be finished before the start of the Spring Meet on April 30.

Hinshaw said a lot of the company’s repeat customers are public institutions, with the company having done work for the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Indiana University Southeast in New Albany. Currently, Calhoun is the drywall contractor for a new training facility for the UK football team, a roughly $2.5 million project,

Hinshaw said the company also has done the general contracting work on multiple Blaze Pizza locations in Louisville, Lexington and Brentwood,Tenn.

According to the company’s website, Calhoun has been a trade contractor for the Speed Art Museum renovation and expansion, is an ongoing maintenance contractor for General Electric Co.’s (NYSE: GE) Appliance Park in Louisville and was a trade contractor on a 53,808-square-foot bourbon warehouse in Shelbyville for global alcoholic beverage giant London-based Diageo PLC. (You can find a full list of the company’s projects here.)

And the company’s profile should only grow — it is working with Birmingham, Ala.-based general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie on construction management of the nearly $300 million Omni Louisville Hotel project that just broke ground in downtown Louisville.

New leadership team

In the midst of this growth, the leadership team has changed for the company.

Calhoun was founded by multiple investors in 2012 who serve as silent partners and remain active in the company, said Calhoun marketing manager Shannon Haste. She declined to identify the investors.

Kevin Harpring led the company as president until he retired last month, turning over the reins to Hinshaw, who joined Calhoun in 2013 as director of operations, where he specialized in managing projects from start to finish.

Harpring was out of the state on Thursday and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Hinshaw also became a co-owner in the company in January, along with two other new co-owners, Mike Williams, Calhoun’s operations manager, and Kurt Meadors, vice president and senior estimator.

When I spoke to Hinshaw earlier this week, he confirmed the ownership change but declined to disclose any further details about the ownership structure of the company.

Hinshaw, an Indiana native, has more than 20 years of experience in the commercial construction industry and has worked on numerous projects, including hotels and apartment complexes.

“We’ve built an elite team of professionals here in our community that have the experience and ability to build almost anything,” Hinshaw said.

This article originally ran in the February 18th edition of Business First.