Image © Thomas McConnell
The health of the environment and humanity depends in large part on the construction of homes, communities, and facilities that consider green building strategies. When it comes to healing the body, it makes perfect sense to ensure that patients can recover in a place that follows holistic design and rigorous standards. The Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin is home to the world's first LEED Healthcare Platinum Certification. Now, the new W.H. and Elaine McCarty South Tower built by the Beck Group follows the frameworks established by the LEED-HC in 2011.
The $49 million 75,000 square foot tower was opened to the public in May of this year. Following the LEED specifications, the tower features 72 beds, a state of the art epilepsy monitoring unit, and healing gardens. The structure was built under a plan that diverted 3,000 tons of waste debris from the landfill. Sixty percent of the tower’s materials were gathered from salvaged, reused, or repurposed local sources, and most contain recycled content.
Interiors and medical equipment avoided the use of containing persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT) chemicals. Natural lighting allows for a reduction in electricity. Landscaping, with the exception of some of the patient reflection areas, use drip irrigation with reclaimed water. Efficient toilets, sinks, and other water fixtures reduce overall waste by 38 percent.
“Dell Children’s commitment to being one of the healthiest, most sustainable hospitals in the world is stronger than ever,” said Michele Van Hyfte, manager of environmental stewardship. “Sustainable environments have a profound, measurable effect on the healing process, not only for patients, but also for all who enter our doors. This designation is a testament to that.”
Helping to heal patients through enlightened architecture, the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas is the leader of a movement to care for both people and the planet under one roof.
Images © Thomas McConnell