Leading the way through LEED Certification

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Women’s College Hospital is building for the future. By 2015, an astonishing new structure will rise on its current site. This state-of-the-art glass and precast/stone building will be dedicated to ambulatory care and to groundbreaking advances in women’s health. But that’s not all. The new facility will also be a leader in green building and sustainable design.
In fact, Women’s College is aiming to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification, an internationally recognized system for rating green building initiatives.
“From the very beginning of this project we were committed to aligning the best building practices with the communities we serve and the patients we care for,” says David Hope, director of capital redevelopment at Women’s College. “We want to integrate a variety of different features – a focus on ambulatory care; a fluid and comfortable space for patients; and the chance to create a more accessible, open and inviting environment.”
To accomplish this, the hospital will feature several green spaces including a rooftop garden and native vegetation throughout the grounds.
The new facility will also enhance resource efficiency by using 25 per cent less energy than the average hospital, significantly reducing its carbon footprint. Materials used in the construction of the building will have a high rate of recycled content, and 75 per cent of construction waste will be diverted from landfills.
“This is a forward-thinking hospital,” adds Hope. “Every step in this process has reflected the consideration of our environmental impact. It wouldn’t make sense to do it any other way.”
Indoors, and in close alignment with the hospital’s current policy regarding a fragrance-free space, the new facility will focus on the comfort and health of all individuals – whether visiting or working at the hospital. All paints, sealants, adhesives and similar materials will be low-emitting to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals.
“This facility will be unparalleled in both its design and functionality,” says Hope. “The hallways and clinics will flow intuitively, and it will be a place where people want to be, not where they have to be.”
Much of the facility’s design was informed by the hospital’s unprecedented A Thousand Voices for Women’s Health study, which asked Ontario women from diverse communities what they expect from a new hospital. The results showed that most women want a place focused on wellness rather than illness; that empowers them to take charge of their own health; and is built with nature and positive energy in mind – to inspire health, healing and community.
Women’s College Hospital will have a facility that delivers that and – through its green initiatives and ultimate goal of achieving LEED certification – it will also deliver a safe and sustainable building for the next generation.