Hospital receives its 'green' certification

St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw has earned LEED Silver Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council because of the hospital’s environmentally-friendly design and construction. St. Elizabeth, which opened in February 2011 and is part of the Franciscan Health System, is the first new hospital in Washington to achieve LEED certification.

LEED – an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance “green” buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Building Certification Institute are in charge of the program, which encourages cost-efficient and energy-saving buildings.

“The LEED certification of St. Elizabeth Hospital demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Green Building Council. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and St. Elizabeth Hospital serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”

Seattle-based Mahlum Architects designed St. Elizabeth Hospital and was in charge of ensuring that the facility met environmental standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council. Sellen Construction Co., also based in Seattle, served as general contractor. Mahlum staff applied to have the hospital project reviewed for LEED certification.

“We are very proud that our hospital is the first in the state to achieve LEED certification,” St. Elizabeth President Dennis Popp said. “We were fortunate to have chosen an architectural firm and a construction company that were committed to helping us provide the community with a state-of-the-art hospital that also raised the bar for environmental excellence in health care.”

LEED certification of St. Elizabeth Hospital is based on a number of “green” design and construction features that positively impact the project and the broader community. Examples include:

• an energy-efficient mechanical system that does not use ozone-depleting coolants

• large, energy-efficient windows that reduce the need for electric lights during daylight hours

• nontoxic finishing materials throughout the facility’s interior

• work stations with controllable task-lighting

• an ongoing recycling program

• landscaping with water-efficient, native plants that help manage stormwater runoff

• low-flow plumbing fixtures

• a garden and sitting area that enhance the natural beauty of the hospital’s campus.

“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” Fedrizzi said. “The St. Elizabeth Hospital project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet that will tremendously benefit future generations.”

Additionally, environmentally sensitive steps were followed during demolition of Enumclaw Regional Hospital that was closed after St. Elizabeth Hospital opened. Approximately 95 percent of the old building’s structural materials and contents were recycled. Rhine Demolition Co., based in Tacoma, was in charge of dismantling and removing the building.

Also, Franciscan donated equipment from the old hospital’s kitchen to the city of Buckley for use at the community center. Additionally, three emergency-power generators that served the former hospital were given to the cities of Enumclaw, Buckley and Vashon Island.

“Our commitment to being ‘green’ reflects the Franciscan Health System mission to create healthier communities,” Popp said. “Being ‘green’ promotes a healing environment inside our hospital and a healthier, safer community for everyone.”


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