Going green to earn gold

Energy efficiency and sustainability were at the heart of the construction of University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital from day one.

At the time of construction, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, required Silver LEED certification for any new buildings constructed on campus.

What is LEED?

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized certification process based on a range of principles that reduce the environmental impact linked to the construction and operation of “green” buildings. The goal is to produce a building that is environmentally responsible while using resources efficiently, and it uses a points-based system to designate different levels of sustainability achieved (Platinum as the highest level, followed by Gold, Silver, and Certified).

Building a new hospital

So with sustainability in mind, the construction of the children’s hospital moved along, all the while taking steps to increase its sustainability score. The sustainable features of the hospital can be broken down as follows:

Sustainable sites

UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital was constructed on previously developed land; this helps to protect the habitats of endangered species and existing wetlands.

Water efficiency

The building uses water-efficient plumbing fixtures, such as dual flush toilets, low-flow shower heads, and low flow urinals to reduce water usage by 20 to 30% when compared to similar buildings.

Energy and atmosphere

The building was commissioned with systems and controls leading to lower operating costs, improved indoor environmental quality, fewer maintenance issues, and increased occupant comfort and productivity.

Materials and resources

The building includes materials and furniture items that are made of recycled content.

Level 2 of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital showcases sustainability.

Indoor environmental quality

The building’s outdoor air ventilation system is designed to be at least 30% higher than the code minimum.

Innovation in design

The building uses 70% green power.

Regional priority

The site has convenient access to public transportation, enabling connection throughout Iowa City and neighboring communities while reducing the need for individual transport.

The result?

A new children’s hospital designated not Silver, but GOLD!

Thanks to the hard work, advanced planning, and dedication of the many teams involved, UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital can list Gold LEED status as just one more of the many ways we’re changing kids’ lives.

To learn more about buildings on the UI campus with LEED designation, visit facilities.uiowa.edu/sustainable-initiatives/LEED.html.

1 comment

  1. It would be wonderful if we could be so committed to sustainability that the University stops applying herbicides to the landscaping around the hospital. These compounds are harmful to humans, honeybees, and more. There’s a real opportunity to up our sustainability game!

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