Austin, Texas is the home of the world’s first LEED Platinum certified hospital, the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. The facility has been open for nearly two years and now joins the elite ranks of LEED Platinum certified buildings.
The facility is on the site of the closed Mueller Airport and 47,000 tons of the aged airport runway were reused on the hospital site, which garnered the project credit in the Sustainable Site category. Other highlights of the facility include the use of reclaimed water for landscaping projects, a natural gas turbine on the hospital site, automated lighting systems, the use of low VOC products and the installation of a courtyard air-intake system.
Although the facility has shown that hospitals can achieve LEED Platinum certification, some developers think that this will be a rare achievement in the industry due to the costs associated with making platinum-level changes.
“A lot of health care projects are front-end driven by cost,” notes Derrick Evers, managing partner with Neal Richards Group, also in Dallas. “It can be an expensive proposition on the front end. If there’s little payback, it likely won’t be a consideration.” Source: GlobeSt.com
Perhaps Evers will be proven wrong and in the coming years we will see more hospitals achieve LEED Platinum certification now that the Dell Children’s Medical Center has shown that it is attainable.