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Texas Medical Center First to Earn LEED for Healthcare Platinum Designation

Dell Childrens Medical Center ExpansionAUSTIN, Texas — The W.H. and Elaine McCarty South Tower of Dell Children’s Medical Center has earned the first-ever Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design for Healthcare Platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. This is the second record-breaking LEED designation for Dell Children’s, which became the world’s first LEED Platinum-certified hospital in 2008.

To achieve LEED-HC certification, buildings must exceed environmental standards in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The LEED-HC rating system combines these requirements with the unique attributes and specifications of healthcare facilities.

The bed tower, which opened this past May, was awarded for its environmentally sensitive design, which not only conserves water and electricity, but also positively impacts the hospital’s clinical environment by improving air quality, making natural sunlight more readily available and reducing a wide range of pollutants.

In addition to the LEED-HC Platinum certification, the new bed tower at Dell Children’s has received multiple honors for sustainable design in the last six months, including the following:

  • Austin Energy’s 5-Star Green Building Rating. The highest rating available, Dell Children’s new bed tower is the fifth project in Austin to achieve five stars under Austin Energy’s commercial rating system.
  • Practice Greenhealth Partner Recognition Award. The Partner Recognition Award is part of the 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards by Practice Greenhealth, a national association devoted to environmentally responsible healthcare.
  • Inclusion in “The World’s Greenest Buildings: Promise vs. Performance in Sustainable Design,” a book by green building experts Jerry Yudelson and Ulf Meyer published in 2013. Dell Children’s was one of 56 buildings around the world to be included in the book’s analysis of the best global, sustainable design practices for high-performance non-residential buildings.
  • Featured in “Sustainable Healthcare Architecture,” 2nd edition, by Robin Guenther and Gail Vittori. This new edition includes an updated case study on Dell Children’s as one of 55 noteworthy sustainable healthcare projects from around the world.

The new bed tower increases Dell Children’s capacity to treat Central Texas children by 40 percent. Featuring 72 beds, a state-of-the-art epilepsy monitoring unit and many family centric features, the expansion enables more children to find the care they need in Austin.

Photo courtesy of Marc Swendner/Seton Healthcare Family.

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Posted August 11, 2013

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