Monroe Clinic’s replacement hospital in Monroe, Wis. has been awarded LEED Silver certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance “green” buildings.
For an interactive feature article on the construction of the Monroe Clinic, click here to access Sustainable Construction magazine.
The hospital joins the small number of LEED-certified buildings that are health-care-related. As of May 1, there were only 515 LEED-certified health care projects worldwide, representing only three percent of all LEED-certified commercial projects worldwide. And most of those facilities are not as energy-intensive as hospitals.
The 225,000-square-foot, four-story, $83 million hospital opened its doors in March 2012 and features 50 acute- and critical-care beds, an expanded emergency department, imaging, a surgery and procedure center, birthing and women’s health services, a cardiology department and cardiac rehabilitation services.
LEED Certification Rare for Health Care Facilities
Hospitals’ large size, always-open status, and stringent operating requirements make achieving the energy and water savings required to achieve LEED certification particularly difficult, said Kahler Slater’s Jake Gehring, M.Arch, EDAC, a facility planner and designer and member of the project team. The team at Monroe Clinic was undaunted by the challenge.
“They saw the big picture and the variety of benefits of implementing the strategies and practices necessary to achieve LEED certification,” he said. “At the outset, they set a goal of having the hospital become LEED-certified and were committed to finding creative ways to achieve that goal.”
Monroe Clinic President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Sanders said, “It’s not just about the accountability and proof that LEED certification brings, but being stewards of the Earth. It’s a source of pride for our community and the organization. We hope by adding these calming touches of natural lighting and views of nature, we heal not just the body but the mind and spirit, too.”
Green Strategies, Practices and Products
Among the sustainable strategies, practices and products designed and built into the replacement hospital were:
- The most visible sign of the hospital’s commitment to sustainability is its three intensive vegetative roofs, totaling 11,000 square feet. Two are near patient rooms and the third, by the chapel, is accessible to staff, patients and visitors.
- Leading-edge boilers and chillers that are more than 30 percent more efficient than code requirements were installed, reducing the hospital’s annual energy costs by over $200,000.
- Modular heat recovery chillers allow heated supply air to be returned to warm incoming fresh air, further cutting heating and cooling costs by 30 percent to 35 percent.
- Excess heat from the data center is captured and funneled to the helipad’s coiling ice-melt system during Wisconsin’s cold, snowy winters, helping ensure safety and eliminating the need to spread chemical de-icing agents on the landing area and walking paths.