World's First LEED for Healthcare Certification

A Group Health clinic in Puyallup, Washington, has become the first building in the world to achieve LEED for Healthcare (LEED–HC) certification. The CollinsWoerman-designed outpatient medical center provides a relatively nontoxic indoor environment while also using equipment and exterior products that avoid polluting outdoor air and groundwater. The project attempts to reduce patient and staff stress through better design.

Group Health is touting the facility as “the medical center of tomorrow” and plans to use the building design — created with hands-on involvement of both patients and staff — as a prototype for future development.

Introduced by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in January 2011, LEED–HC aims to mitigate the intensive energy and water needs of medical buildings while honoring the health-focused mission of the organizations that build and operate them. Unlike other LEED rating systems, LEED–HC requires an integrative process intended to include the entire project team in creating and following through on human-health-focused design and construction strategies.