First LEED Certified Hospital in the United States Built in Boulder, Colorado
BOULDER, Colorado, Jan. 26 - /EWire/ -- Boulder Community Hospital's newly constructed Foothills Campus recently received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(TM)) certification.
The certification marks the first time a hospital facility has been recognized with this designation, which is awarded for environmental leadership in the building industry. Boulder Associates, one of the two architectural firms involved in the project, provided key leadership on sustainable design and material selection, significant factors in the LEED(TM) certification. Specifically, the hospital was awarded a v2 Silver rating.
Based on rigorous scientific standards, LEED(TM) certification emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Members of the U.S. Green Building Council representing all segments of the building industry developed and oversee LEED(TM).
Regulatory requirements make LEED(TM) certification more difficult to achieve for hospitals than it is for general commercial building, according to Nick Rehnberg, Principal of Boulder Associates. "Hospitals have more stringent health and safety standards, such as outside air change and high domestic water temperature, which made LEED(TM) certification an even greater challenge. Along with our client, we believe LEED(TM) is worth the effort because green/sustainable environments are healthier all around, a perfect fit for the healthcare industry," he said.
The concept of building "green" seeks to capitalize on future energy savings while enhancing a building's air quality and promoting health. According to Rehnberg, the new Boulder Community Foothills Hospital will realize annual energy savings over 21 percent, even after applying the city of Boulder's required 2000iecc energy code.
"From the beginning, the hospital's leadership team was committed to a vision of creating a 'healthy' healthcare facility for the Boulder Valley community," said Rehnberg. "This dedication enabled our design team to be creative and aggressive in finding solutions that support sustainable design," he added.
The design team, which included architects from Boulder's OZ Architecture along with those from Boulder Associates, focused on building a sustainable facility that improves the health of the patients and staff, incorporating as many green building techniques and materials as possible.
Part of the LEED(TM) process includes flushing the air in the building for two weeks prior to occupancy to eliminate airborne contaminants, in addition to using materials with low VOCs which reduces new product off-gassing, according to Rehnberg.
Other sustainable design elements incorporated into the new Foothills Campus include cost-saving motion-activated lights, an energy-saving central utility plan, recycling rooms, extensive xeriscaping and waterless urinals. In addition, the architects minimized the hospital's footprint to avoid disturbing more land than necessary.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System(TM) is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED(TM) recognizes achievements and promotes expertise in green building through a comprehensive system offering project certification, professional accreditation, training and practical resources.
Boulder Associates is an architecture and interior design firm headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, with offices in Sacramento, California. Founded in 1983, Boulder Associates provides comprehensive planning, programming, architecture, interior design, and construction administration services to clients in the health care and senior living industries. For more information, visit www.boulderassociates.com.
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