BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Western Massachusetts has earned LEED for Healthcare Gold certification.
Opening the hospital doors in November 2013 marked an important first step in the revitalization efforts of the historical mill town of Ludlow, Massachusetts. The 74,000-square-foot, 53-bed rehabilitation hospital is the largest newly built facility of HealthSouth Corporation.
The $27-million hospital is one of seven projects in the U.S. to receive a LEED HC certification. Early in the design process, HealthSouth, general contractor Robins & Morton and designer Gresham, Smith & Partners set a goal to obtain LEED HC Silver certification. Multiple credits specific to the new LEED HC rating system are challenging to project teams; however, the HealthSouth Ludlow team worked together to provide innovative solutions to achieve the points associated with these new credits.
The team began the LEED process by determining which credits aligned with the client’s goals and were therefore feasible for the project. They analyzed the remaining credits by initial cost and operational return to determine which additional points would be attempted.
The project began tracking silver certification, but as construction progressed, the team picked up additional points due to installation of efficient building systems, generation of renewable energy onsite, sourcing a significant percentage of regional and recycled materials, installing materials with a low level of toxins and VOCs and by flushing the building’s HVAC system to improve air quality.
Additionally, the owner committed to a series of sustainable practices that would be implemented during operations. The owner’s commitment to educate visitors on green building strategies, to manage and recycle the waste generated during operations, and to develop and implement a green cleaning program reinforced their commitment to sustainability and achieved three points within the innovation in design category. The additional points the project team obtained were enough to surpass the silver goal and achieve LEED HC Gold certification.
The project’s brownfield industrial site was once a rope mill in the 1800s and offered a tremendous amount of salvageable brick and other materials that were incorporated into the new structure, helping reach the goal of gold certification. The team was able to divert 90 percent of all construction waste and 97 percent of concrete waste from local landfills. Other elements of reuse and sustainable construction include:
Reuse of more than 100,000 bricks from demolished onsite warehouses.
Reclaimed 250 linear feet of timbers to use within lobby .
All other non-organic demolished materials/debris were crushed onsite and used to create 4,000 yards of structural fill and base.