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Health Information Taking the LEED in Green Efforts

In spring 2010, the new orthopedic building at Rush University Medical Center received a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

This certification recognized Rush's efforts to build the new facility according to the highest green building standards. Now Rush is seeking this same gold certification for the new hospital. To make it as environmentally sound and energy-efficient as possible, the new building will feature the following elements:

  • Green roofs. These are believed to absorb heat and act as insulators, reducing the energy needed to provide heating and cooling.
  • Light harvesting. Design elements, such as the butterfly shape, allow a larger amount of natural light into the building to reduce the need for artificial lighting.
  • High-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. Chilled water and steam will circulate through the building via new pumps, and there will be a fan wall — a flat structure built of small fans — that replaces a larger, less efficient fan.

The benefit of all these elements is clear: The new hospital building is projected to use half the amount of energy most hospitals use.

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