MILWAUKEE - Administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is presented to buildings that meet specified performance standards through environmentally conscious design, energy efficiency, resource conservation, and dedication to indoor air quality. Boulder Community Foothills Hospital (BCFH) is believed to be the first hospital in the nation to earn LEED certification.

BCFH, which opened in September 2003, is a 60-bed, 200,000-square-foot facility that was constructed to serve the growing population of Boulder County, Colo. Constructed as a green building, the hospital is designed to provide optimum indoor air quality for its occupants and its interior, exterior, and surrounding area have been built to have minimal impact on the environment.

"Not only will this hospital be one of the most sustainable medical facilities in the country, but our patients, staff, and the community will also benefit from making BCFH a green building. We believe we should do anything we can to improve the health of our community," said Margaret VanCleave, chief operating officer, Boulder Community Foothills Hospital.

The hospital's pursuit of LEED certification began during management planning and played a key role throughout construction, including the site development, building design, and materials selection. In addition, locally harvested and manufactured materials, along with recycled materials, were used in construction. Seventy-five percent of construction waste was recycled.

Johnson Controls Inc., a leading facility management and controls company, oversaw the selection, purchasing, installation, and acceptance of all systems. Working with Johnson Controls, the hospital was able to meet several performance-based requirements and achieve LEED points. For example, the Johnson Controls Metasys building management system is designed to optimize energy efficiency and performance of the building's mechanical and electrical systems. The Metasys system also allows remote access of many facility management activities, from turning off lights to starting the air conditioning, allowing the hospital to be more efficient with its staff's time and energy use.

"Although hospitals have typically been large consumers of resources, such as electricity, fossil fuels, and water, this achievement reflects a growing green movement in both new construction and existing facilities in the health care market," said Susan Roach, director of healthcare, Johnson Controls. The company is a veteran of the LEED certification process. Its Brengel Technology Center in Milwaukee was one of the first 12 buildings in the world to receive LEED certification after the rating system was established in 2000.

"Every day we come to work we experience how the LEED principles create a better working environment," said Paul von Paumgartten, director of energy and environmental affairs, Johnson Controls. "We also have been able to help customers realize the same benefits and discover that a properly designed and operated facility can be a major contributor to their mission and bottom-line goals."

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Publication date: 12/15/2003