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Provident Hospital Pharmacy: Due to limited work space and overcrowding at the previous Provident Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy, a new facility needed to be designed and built. Since space inside the hospital was limited, designing a new stand-alone building on an existing parking lot site just north of the hospital was selected. LEED certification was achieved earlier this year. Some of the design highlights of the new building include: A white membrane roof, and the use of drought resistant vegetation along the front of the building, eliminating the need for irrigation. Sustainable components such as an indoor planter in the front portion of the waiting room, improving indoor air quality while an expansive window wall along the front of the building, in conjunction with several skylights, allows for natural light. A stainless steel cable trellis along the front allows vines to grow providing natural shading in the summer months and solar heat gain during the winter months.
Steve Steffens, McDonough Associates, Inc. Engineers/Architects, agreed to an online interview about this project explaining more of the details involved, and introducing us to other members of his team involved in LEED Certification. Photos related to this project provided by Warrick Graham, Project Manager, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development-Office of Capital Planning and Policy for use on our website.
ECD: What is LEED certification and why is it significant to this project?
Steffens: LEED certification acknowledges that a project surpasses its competition with regards to sustainability, energy conservation and environmental stewardship. It is significant in that it creates an example for future projects, providing them with proven methods of how to achieve maximum sustainability within a defined budget.
ECD: Since the pharmacy at Provident Hospital is new construction, retrofitting was not required. However, can you tell us about the work required on this project to obtain LEED certification?
Steffens: Strategies employed to achieve LEED Silver included building/site/parking integration, the use of reduced water consumption plumbing devices, enhanced energy performance through the use of a superinsulated building envelope and high-efficiency mechanical systems, the use of recycled materials and locally obtained materials, the use of low VOC-emitting paints, sealants and floor systems and the creative use of natural daylight and views.
View photo gallery:
ECD: What more precisely did Cook County have to do at Provident Hospital in order to earn LEED Silver Certification? Can you give us more insight into the actual process, for example, how long does the LEED certification process take and what’s involved as a project is being designed?
Steffens: The Office of Capital Planning and Policy was required to develop a basis of design for the project from which all aspects of the project were designed to and compared against. Whenever possible and within the budget established, the design team attempted to maximize the energy performance and reduce the environmental impacts of the building. In doing so, the project achieved 35 approved points which achieves a LEED Silver certification level. The LEED process typically runs in tandem with the design and construction of the project but may extend well past the actual construction of the building depending upon which LEED credits the project is attempting to obtain.
ECD: Can you tell us how LEED Silver certification on this project will it benefit patients and taxpayers (a public-private partnership during the design process, for example)? How is economic development impacted in a postive way for the County?
Steffens: Taxpayers will benefit from the long-term life cycle energy savings realized through this design, thought about and planned for from the very beginning, in a cost effective manner with our partnership, as noted above, including the use of a superinsulated building envelope and high-efficiency mechanical systems. The new Outpatient Pharmacy is a pioneering example of sustainable design and as such, is a positive development for the County, providing a model for future projects, and anchor within the community. Patients will realize a much more pleasant experience through the tasteful use of natural daylighting and enhanced thermal comfort.
ECD: What other private firms have been part of the public/private partnership for this project with Cook County Capital Planning?
From the Cook County Sustainability website blog, read a related article:
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