In April 2013, Group Health Cooperative’s new medical office building in Puyallup, Washington became the first in the nation to be certified under a brand new rating system, LEED for Healthcare (LEED-HC). LEED-HC was developed to reward the highest-performing and healthiest medical buildings.
The Puyallup Medical Center is a 53,000-sq. ft. two-story medical office building with services including a lab, eye care, pharmacy, PCP exam rooms and a mobile MRI integrated into the building. The building earned LEED Gold by leveraging several new credits unique to LEED-HC.
Most notably, it was conceived using a deeply integrated process. Group Health Cooperative and its facility manager, CBRE, brought together a wide variety of experts to optimize the design and construction process, efficient service delivery, and a healthy indoor environment. O’Brien & Company was brought in to assist with LEED certification, and recognized the opportunity to use the new LEED-HC rating system. LEED-HC is the first LEED rating system to help institutionalize this critical process component with a prerequisite for “Integrated Project Planning and Design”. The rating system includes both a prerequisite for a minimum amount of integrated project planning, as well as an additional innovation credit for advanced coordination, which the project earned for its exemplary collaborative process.
O’Brien & Company also helped the project analyze and achieve other new credit opportunities and meet their requirements. These include:
- Connection to the Natural World. The project includes two spaces for this connection: a landscaped area on the ground level for patients and visitors to relax, and a green roof and covered patio that is an extension of the staff lounge.
- Water Use Reduction for Cooling Medical Equipment. This project used a special temperature sensor to get just the right amount of cold water added to cool the hot water from sanitizing equipment.
- Community Contaminant Prevention – Airborne Releases. The project installed a steam generator boiler that is below half the maximum level of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) required by LEED, providing hot water for the entire building with less pollution.
- PBT Source Reduction. The project used a number of lead-free products, as well as mechanically crimped copper joints to avoid joint-related copper corrosion.
Because Group Health Cooperative is also committed to sustainable operations, O’Brien & Company helped revamp the existing green housekeeping plan which not only earned credit under LEED-HC but will be used in other buildings.
Photo: Sozinho Imagery