Greening UH in the Blueprints

Considering the health impact of our facilities.

UH’s Sustainable Construction, Renovation, & Maintenance policy, launched in 2014, requires all major new construction and major renovations to achieve LEED Silver Certification at a minimum. Energy efficiency and healthy indoor air quality are prioritized within the policy, which requires Healthier Hospitals program-related outcome reporting in the areas of energy efficiency, green cleaning, construction and demolition debris diversion, and chemicals-of-concern free furnishings.

Prior to the establishment of the current policy, 3 hospitals throughout the system sought and achieved LEED certification, with the first real field testing of our sustainable building policy being applied to a new UH health center project in Broadview Heights. The Broadview Heights Health Center design was oriented as a learning “template” for the construction of future health centers using sustainable design criteria. The LEED credit submittals for final design review were submitted mid-2016, and the construction preliminary review was submitted in November of 2016. *This project achieved LEED Silver Certification, compliant with the current green building policy, in 2017.

One new construction project, UH North Ridgeville Health Center, registered for LEED Certification in September 2016 with an anticipated start date of 2017.

A re-drafting of this policy began in 2016, with updates focused on our growing standards and the learning experiences we’ve gone through in the past two years. The 2017 version will focus heavily on process improvement in our sustainable design and construction efforts, as it is our belief that an integrated design process is fundamental to creating a highly functional, cost effective and ultimately sustainable building, and integrated project delivery is the area we need to create the most structure around in order to improve our design/construction practices. The secondary benefits of this updated focus on integrated design will be buildings that will achieve LEED Certification and potentially other typically green acknowledgement as a matter of course.

Rainbow Center for Women and Children: Our Greenest Building Effort Yet

The design of the new Rainbow Center for Women and Children, our most aggressive green building effort as a system, began in earnest in 2016 with registration for LEED Certification taking place in September. This will serve as the new site for UH primary care pediatrics and women's health practices, and it was carefully chosen in order to allow for the integration of care for social, environmental and economic health determinants of health into our clinical care model.

The campus is being thoughtfully designed as a physical asset for a historically underserved neighborhood in Cleveland, will source local goods and services for the construction project, and sustainable design principles are incorporated into the design and construction of the building. It will also host a production garden for local food. We are seeking the highest level of LEED Certification possible for the clinic. The process for design and constructing this facility also served in 2016, and into 2017, as an exercise in basic integrated project delivery, something we have not undertaken in our construction practices. The experience of designing and constructing this green building, including the efforts undertaken in 2016, has well informed the updating of our system Sustainable Building Policy as described above.

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