Wilkes-Barre, PA, December 06, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- The Critical Care Building (CCB) at Geisinger Health System’s Wyoming Valley campus has received a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification, highlighting the hospital’s commitment to green building and energy-efficient operations. Just three percent of current LEED-certified projects are healthcare-related, and most of these are not as energy-intensive as acute care buildings, which operate on a 24/7 basis.
The CCB is the second project completed by architecture firm Francis Cauffman, which also designed the master plan for the Geisinger Wyoming Valley campus. The 178,000-square-foot project, which nearly doubles the size of the healthcare campus, provides cutting-edge critical care capabilities and high-tech surgical suites equipped for every specialty, making it the region’s most advanced healthcare center. It is the third LEED-certified building in the Geisinger system.
“We are extremely proud of this rating. It reflects our commitment to ensure the well-being of patients, employees and our community,” said Steven Pierdon, M.D., chief medical officer, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center. The LEED certification program, administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the forerunner in benchmarking sustainable building practices. According to the USGBC website, which lists all LEED-certified buildings, Geisinger owns 39% of all LEED registered or certified healthcare buildings in Pennsylvania.
“The CCB’s LEED certification reflects Geisinger’s and Francis Cauffman’s shared values and commitment to building green healthcare projects,” explained James Crispino, president of Francis Cauffman.
Because emergency departments require inordinate amounts of energy to support around-the-clock, high-tech operations, the architects had to use a variety of strategies to substantially reduce energy usage, including:
• Installing a white roof, which reflects heat that older, dark-colored roofs absorb from the sun. This reduces energy usage and costs for air conditioning. It also extends both the life of the air conditioning system and the roof itself by reducing the thermal flux that causes roofs to break down and fail over time.
• Incorporating efficient systems such as the high-performance variable air volume system.
• Reducing light levels to a work-appropriate 1.8 watts per square foot, which resulted in an immediate 19.1% reduction in energy use and a savings of about $100,000 in energy costs annually.
The team also focused on the environmental impact of the construction in a number of ways, including:
• Using 40% regionally-sourced materials in construction and recycling 85% of construction waste.
• Selecting sealants, paints, carpets, finishes, and other materials with low VOC emissions to reduce toxins released into the environment.
• Incorporating stormwater management systems into the design to alleviate pressure on existing sewer systems.
• Planting native plants and grasses that did not need irrigation so as not to draw on local water supplies and to help control water run-off.
The CCB is joined by a $15 million, 32,000-square-foot addition to the Henry Cancer Center, which is registered for LEED silver certification. This three-story expansion adds 20 new exam rooms and double the number of chemotherapy and infusion spaces. The new building also supports Geisinger’s advanced team care for programs like multidisciplinary clinics and a brain tumor program.
About Francis Cauffman
Francis Cauffman has supported its clients since 1954 with innovative architecture, planning, and interior design services. The practice is recognized for being on the leading edge of new investigations in healthcare, academic research and teaching, corporate research, workspace, and advanced technology planning and design. Francis Cauffman has a staff of 130 architects, planners, and interior designers, with offices in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore and is active in 20 states and 3 countries. Francis Cauffman’s healthcare clients include Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Lenox Hill Hospital, PinnacleHealth, University of Pennsylvania Health System, and the North Shore LIJ Health System.