Hospitals are an essential part of a community. They help save and improve lives. But in order for them to keep operating and providing the services their community needs, hospitals require a lot of energy which can have negative impacts on the environment. In fact, Richard F. Moorer of the Department of Energy mentioned that hospitals are among the nation’s most complex and energy-intensive facilities. However, this does not mean that hospitals shouldn’t make efforts to minimize their environmental impact.
HCA is glad to be a part of the solution. We’ve talked before about the work we’re doing with Practice Greenhealth and this infographic highlighted the positive impact HCA’s sustainability efforts are having. The good news is we’re not finished. We’re currently building two brand new facilities in Texas that will be LEED silver certified. Alliance Hospital is currently being built in Dallas while the second facility, Pearland is being built in Houston. And we’re building them at the same time.
What exactly is LEED? LEED is a green building certification program which aims to recognize the best-in-class building strategies and practices. For building projects to get LEED certification, they must meet stringent prerequisites and earn points to denote different levels of certification. In a nutshell, LEED certification works like a grading system. Buildings are awarded points for complying with items in several ecological categories such as sustainable site development, water savings, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design process and regional priority. For Alliance and Pearland to become LEED silver certified, we took extra measures to bring down our impact on the environment.
Below, you can review a list of some of the steps we’re taking to reach LEED silver. This list, although not all-inclusive, highlights some of the extra steps we’re making to reduce our impact on the environment.
- Wood materials used in constructing the two buildings are all from certified sustainable resources.
- Certified recycled materials are also being used
- 20% of the total cost for construction materials was from materials regionally sourced or materials that contained recycled content
- Special fixtures are being installed in both facilities decreasing water use by 40% compared to other non-LEED facilities.
- HCA’s standard recycling practice will divert 95% of the construction waste during construction away from landfills
Promoting Fuel-Efficient Vehicles
- 5% of the total parking space for the two building projects is dedicated to low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles.
No Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) for refrigeration
- CFC based refrigerants are commonly used in the chiller of AC equipment but not at Alliance and Pearland. CFC or freon is a known culprit for depleting the ozone layer.
So why is HCA doing this? Our answer is simple. We believe that it is important to make an effort to reduce our impact on the environment. And the more we invest in this area, the more we can apply what we learn to future projects.
Alliance Hospital and Pearland are scheduled to open by the end of 2014. You can see up to date progress pictures below. These pictures were taken between January 2014 and June 2014.