Bluewater Health has been selected as one of the first Canadian hospitals – and the first acute care hospital in Ontario – to achieve LEED certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is the preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).
Bluewater Health’s construction of a 588,000-square-foot complex at the hospital’s Sarnia location consisted of a new addition attached to the fully renovated existing facility. Led by London-based contractor, EllisDon Corporation, the construction was the largest public sector redevelopment project in Sarnia-Lambton’s history.
“Our goals were to enhance the natural healing environment of the hospital, and minimize our ecological footprint,” says Mike Lapaine, Vice President, Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Bluewater Health. “This is very much aligned with Bluewater Health’s Mission to create exemplary healthcare experiences for patients and families every time.”
By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for organizations and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for patients, staff and the larger community.
Bluewater Health achieved LEED certification for its reduced energy use, lighting, water and material use, as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. “We used healing gardens, large windows with outside views, fresh and friendly colours, task and ambient lighting, earth-tone fabrics, and soothing textures like wood and stone to enhance the patient experience, “says Alex Sullo, Director, Facilities Services, Bluewater Health. “At the same time, we focused on specific features to enhance our environmental sustainability.”
These features include:
- Using a cistern to provide all irrigation water for outdoor landscaping;
- Reducing water use by over 30%,
- Maintaining good indoor air quality during construction;
- Diverting 96% of construction waste from landfill;
- Using fly-ash, a by-product of coal fired power plants, to reduce the amount of cement needed in the building concrete, resulting in a 20% reduction in carbon emissions compared to regular concrete;
- Putting into effect a fragrance-free policy;
- Complying with Eco-Logo and Green Seal certification standards for cleaning products;
- Extracting and manufacturing 26% of construction materials from within 800 km of Bluewater Health; and Providing bicycle racks and shower facilities for building occupants who choose this mode of transportation.
“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “Bluewater Health’s project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”
The LEED certification will be presented to Bluewater Health in the Spring.