Chicago Area Hospitals Go Green

Being green means being healthy when it comes to creating environmental-friendly and sustainable hospitals. And, more and more hospitals are viewing being green not only as a plus for the environment, but for their hospital and their patients and employees.

Advocate Lutheran General Hospitals New Patient Tower

Lutheran General Children’s Hospital stated, “Achieving gold certification will demonstrate that our new tower provides high performance surroundings for patients that are environmentally responsive, resource efficient and community sensitive.”

Some of the features Lutheran General boasts are low volatile organic compound paints, sealants, adhesives, and plastics used throughout the building; native drought-resistant plantings outside the hospital will be irrigated with recovered storm water; and recycled, locally-produced materials were used throughout the building.

Located in Arlington Heights, Ill. Northwest Community Hospital is undergoing its most extensive redevelopment in its 50-year history. Called the Renaissance Project, this endeavor includes a new 700 car parking garage and eight-story Patient Care Addition that will feature 200 private patient rooms by early 2010. According to Northwest Community Hospital some of the environmentally sustainable features of the parking garage include:

  • Construction pollution activity prevention – Erosion control measures were followed during construction to prevent topsoil sediment from entering storm sewers, and to minimize airborne dust.
  • Alternative transportation – Bicycle parking is included in the new parking deck to encourage alternatives to automobile use.
  • Stormwater design and management – Rain gardens and bioswales are part of the landscape design to slow the rate that stormwater enters the sewer system, and to recharge the natural groundwater (see more on rain gardens and bioswales below).
  • Heat island minimization – Structures and automobiles absorb and retain heat, reaching temperatures that are greater than the air temperature. This heat is radiated back into the surrounding environment, increasing cooling loads in buildings and creating a detrimental environment for plants, animals and people. The majority of parking in the new Visitor Garage is shaded from the sun, and the paved surface at the top of the deck is light in color to reduce the heat island effect.

These are only two examples of how Chicago area hospitals are striving to make their buildings healthy from the inside out.

1 Comment

  1. Allie said,

    June 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Lara,

    Great post! Did you know that Sherman is building a humongous new hospital here in Elgin? I think that may be ‘green’ too…Perhaps that could be added to your list.

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