When the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine was in the design stage -- before any demolition or groundbreaking had yet occurred -- one of its goals was firmly in place: attaining LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification.
Why? These facilities are environmentally responsible and, even more important, healthy places for patients, visitors and staff.
Two years after the Center opened, this level of accomplishment is ours!
And, while this certification is never easy to earn, it’s even tougher for health-care facilities. “Regulatory requirements -- such as extended hours of operations and infection control -- pose obstacles,” said Jeff O’Neill, senior project manager for UPHS. O’Neill was recently appointed to the International Code Council Ad Hoc Committee on Healthcare, which will debate, review and edit proposals to change current international building codes regarding construction and safety at medical facilities.
To be LEED certified, a building must accrue a certain number of credits, based on specific environmental criteria. For example, the Center received points for recycling over 90 percent of both demolition debris and construction wastes. Other ‘green’ features include an open-space design, which floods public areas with natural light; low-emitting materials which reduce the amount of indoor air contaminants; and non-toxic chemical and cleaning agents that meet Green Seal standards (an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment).
O’Neill said that the Perelman Center was the first health facility to have LEED certification in Philadelphia and in the entire Delaware Valley. “It’s also the University’s first building to attain this recognition.”