The Group Health Puyallup Medical Center, a new 53,000-square-foot, two-story facility in Puyallup, Wash., is the first project in the country to achieve certification under the new LEED for Healthcare rating system (LEED-HC), according to an article on the Healthcare Design website.
Because healthcare facilities tend to use the most materials and create the most waste in terms of everyday building processes, Group Health Cooperative of Seattle set out to achieve LEED Gold for its new outpatient clinic.
The team opted to go for the U.S. Green Building Council newly released LEED-HC. Credits under the healthcare rating are at times more difficult to meet than the typical rating systems, the article said. However, these credits applied directly to this particular facility in relation to areas of respite for patients and staff, HVAC systems that support healthcare equipment, finish materials that support indoor environmental quality for patients, and a number of daylighting and site access protocols.
Because there were no previous projects to reference, working toward LEED-HC required a deep understanding of what the rating was asking for, and how to best approach it and then document it, according to the article. The healthcare rating is fairly similar to LEED for new construction (LEED-NC), but it includes a few more prerequisites and a handful of new credits. Being a general outpatient clinic made it easier to address some credits than if the project were a full inpatient emergency hospital, because the project team didn’t have to address the intensive commercial equipment that typically runs in an emergency hospital or the 24-hour building cycles that directly impact energy calculations.
Read the article and view the photo gallery.