The new hospital is designed to be environmentally-friendly and sustainable, and will be certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System. The LEED Green Building Rating System provides standards for environmentally sustainable construction and allocates credits to six aspects of the building’s sustainable design.
- Sustainable sites
- Water efficiency
- Energy and atmosphere
- Materials and resources
- Indoor environmental quality
- Innovation and design process
This rating system was developed in the United States in 1998 and modified by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) to suit Canadian climates, construction practices and regulations. The CaGBC certifies buildings based on the total number of credits earned, following an independent review and an audit of selected credits. To be certified by LEED, a building must also meet certain minimum environmental prerequisites.
Some of the environmentally-friendly features include:
- Approximately 30% less energy consumption, when compared to standard hospital designs.
- Prevention of topsoil loss during construction, due to storm water run-off and wind erosion. Measures will also be undertaken to reduce the impact of dust and other on-site pollutants on the surrounding community.
- Reduction in the number of vehicles traveling to the site, through the use of alternative transportation options for staff and visitors. The hospital will be accessible using public transportation, and cyclists will be provided with amenities including bicycle storage, showers, and staff changing rooms. To encourage the use of alternate methods of transportation, preferred parking will be allocated for electrically-charged cars.
- A projected 30% reduction of potable water, through the use of water-efficient plumbing fixtures.
- Storm-water run-off from the roof will be collected and used to irrigate the landscaping.
- Building and site lighting that has been designed to minimize light pollution.
- Building systems and operations that are free of CFC-based and HCFC-based products.
- Enhanced building commissioning practices to ensure that the building is constructed and operated as designed.
- Detailed planning to accommodate and encourage the use of regional and recycled materials.
- At least 75% of construction waste will be diverted from the landfill by recycling or reusing construction materials.
- No smoking inside the building or near entrances, windows or air intakes.
- Use of materials that emit low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can have a negative effect on indoor air quality and can potentially harm occupants. To promote the health of patients, staff and visitors, materials used in interior spaces (e.g. paint, carpets, adhesives, sealants and wood products) will be reviewed to ensure that these contain reduced levels or no VOCs.
- A strategy to ensure that the new hospital attains a high level of indoor air quality, including the adoption of voluntary industry guidelines, frequent changes of filtration media and the testing of air contaminants prior to building occupancy.
- A system to monitor and provide rapid feedback to the building operator for temperature, airflow and humidity levels throughout the facility to provide maximum comfort to the staff, patients and visitors.
- Windows that are strategically located throughout the facility to offer staff and patients natural light. Several studies have shown that access to daylight and views in hospital spaces can result in improved health outcomes and increased staff efficiency and job satisfaction.