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VA Ambulatory Care Center Achieves LEED Silver Certification

PITTSBURGH, Pa.–– VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) Ambulatory Care Center was recently awarded LEED-NC Silver certification, using the LEED-NC Rating System version 2.2. The project achieved 33 credit points in addition to meeting all LEED prerequisites.

The new Ambulatory Care Center at the H. J. Heinz Division integrates primary care, specialty follow-up, physical rehabilitation, audiology, dental, prosthetics, rehab medicine, community services, outpatient pharmacy and patient education.

With the goal of LEED certification in mind, Astorino with Associate Architect, HDR, designed the building with sustainable elements, such as: site selection for access to public transit and other basic services; bicycle storage and shower facilities for building occupants; water efficient waste; use of 25.1% and 47.7% of recycled materials and regional materials, respectively; and 73.3% of all new wood products from sustainably harvested and processed sources.

Indoor environmental quality was emphasized through the use of low-emitting interior finishes, management of indoor air quality during construction, design for thermal comfort, and high efficiency filtration.

Other building features include:
• Clinical exam suites are arranged in small neighborhoods eliminating the stress and anxiety often induced by large medical settings.
• Clerestory allows daylight to permeate and enhance the healing environment of the first floor central atrium.
• Wireless clinical IT systems enhance the current computerized clinical patient record system.
• Within the clinical suites, exam room equivalents are the basic building blocks of the floor plan, providing ultimate flexibility for future clinical and administrative space changes without significant renovation.
• Introduction of healing gardens for outdoor treatment space, further enhancing clinical outcomes and increasing satisfaction.

Catherine Sheane (PE, LEED AP BD+C), director of Sustainable Design at Astorino says, “As the third LEED certified project we have worked on with VAPHS, we are proud of our long-standing collaboration. It has been gratifying to continue our partnership with the Veteran’s Administration, and this project reinforces our joint commitment to providing high quality sustainable healthcare facilities.”

More information is available at


Posted January 13, 2012

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