Stethoscope over green leaf isolated on white

UW Health at The American Center In Madison, Wisconsin, is the first healthcare facility in Wisconsin to earn LEED gold certification, according to an article on the Sun Prairie Star website.

The American Center is one of 17 buildings in the world, and one of 10 in the United States, that have gold-level certification in healthcare.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) bases its certifications on a range of categories, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design. Green cleaning is a prerequisite to earning certification. 

The center went after the sustainability certification because being environmentally conscious can lead to healthier living. For example, inside the building, the design emphasized keeping enough fresh air throughout the building to increase air quality (IAQ). Poor IAQ can create or exacerbate health issues for sensitive occupants, especially the elderly and those recovering from illness.

Other features that helped earn certification included building materials drawn from sources as close as possible to Wisconsin and 77 percent of construction waste diverted away from landfills through recycling and reuse.

The facility’s open space is maximized to be water-efficient, with no need for irrigation. There are also walking paths for patients and staff on the hospital grounds.

Other features at The American Center that were ranked highly in the process include bike storage at the site and changing rooms with showers so staff members can bike to work, shower and change clothes.

Finally, a rooftop garden’s use of outdoor space, including walking paths for patients and staff, helped The American Center earn the gold.

Read the full article here.