Green Clinical Academic Campus is golden

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Last fall, the Clinical Academic Campus (CAC) at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) was recognized as Kelowna’s first LEED Canada Gold certified building. KGH is one of two tertiary referral hospitals within the Interior Health Authority in Kelowna, British Columbia

The Clinical Academic Campus at KGH is the home of the UBC Faculty of Medicine Southern Medical Program and UBC Rural Family Practice Residency Program. This 34,000-square-foot stand-alone facility officially opened on January 25, 2010 and includes a 180-seat lecture theatre, and specialized video-conferencing rooms and clinical skills areas for medical undergraduates and post-graduate residents. The Interior Health Dr. Clifford B. Henderson Library is also located in the CAC.

“While Interior Health’s goal is to improve the health and wellness of its residents,” says Norman Embree, Interior Health Board Chair, “we understand the linkage between health and the environment. The Clinical Academic Campus is a good example of reducing our environmental impact while at the same time expanding facilities and services.”

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

The LEED program promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water and energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. To meet these high standards, Infusion Health, together with their supply chain, designed and built the CAC using recycled and regionally sourced materials and wood certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s Principles and Criteria. An aggressive construction waste diversion program saw nearly 84 per cent of construction, demolition and land-clearing waste diverted from the landfill.

Kelowna is located in the Southern Interior of B.C. and experiences desert-like conditions during the summer months. To save water, a water reduction system was designed for the CAC that includes harvesting rainwater in the winter months and using drought-tolerant and native plants.

Visitors to the CAC can read about the different LEED measures used throughout the building (e.g. low emission paint, flooring and furniture) on educational wall plaques that are located throughout the facility, which also provides secured bicycle storage, a reduced rate for carpool parking and electric vehicle charging stations.

Interior Health is recognized provincially and nationally for its environmental accomplishments. Interior Health was named the Energy & Environmental Stewardship Award recipient for 2011 from the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL), the first organization in Western Canada to receive this award.