Rush University Medical Center, Chicago – Now Green

So, over the past few years, Rush University Medical Center, located on the near northwest side of Chicago, has transformed itself into a ecofriendly medical center.  First, the Medical Center established its “Green Team”, which according the its Web site, “…was formed by a group of interested Rush faculty, staff and students who volunteer their time to foster sustainability efforts at the Center.”

The Medical Center has also decreased its amount of paper used by converting to an electronic health record system, the implementation of sensor-activated paper towel dispensers in the washrooms, napkin dispensers that dispense one napkin at a time and cutlery dispenser units in the cafeteria that dispense forks, knives and spoons without the extra plastic packaging. For more information, visit this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB4PPf65xlw.

But, the “crown jewel” of Rush’s sustainability program is the Tower, which opened in January 2012 and was awarded LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Located at 1620 W. Harrison Street, Rush is the only full-service green hospital in the city. View this video to learn more about the Medical Center’s green efforts: http://rushnews.rush.edu/2012/04/19/tower-sets-green-milestone-with-leed-designation/.

Rush earned high marks for its green design, construction and operation and gained the LEED Gold Certification for energy use, lighting, water, material use and establishing sustainable strategies.

Some of the characteristics of the new building which helped it “go gold” include:

  • green roofs
  • comprehensive recycling program
  • the building’s “butterfly” allows natural light into the building, reducing the need for electric lighting
  • twenty percent of materials used during construction were recycled
  • more than 70 percent of wooden doors made with materials harvested from certified sustainable forests