First healthcare facility in Minneapolis to achieve Silver LEED-NC certification
Whittier Clinic, one of Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) five neighborhood primary care clinics, has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the Silver level by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The multi-specialty clinic opened in October 2010. McGough Construction was the general contractor and HGA was the architect for the 59,200-square-foot building located on Nicollet Ave. and 28th St. in South Minneapolis.
LEED certification is difficult for healthcare facilities to achieve because of their specific design needs, including stringent building code and infection control requirements. The Whittier Clinic is the first healthcare facility in Minneapolis to be awarded certification under LEED-NC (or LEED for New Construction) at any level.
Getting on track for LEED certification began before breaking ground when HCMC purchased and “recycled” the urban brownfield site just two blocks away from the clinic it was replacing. “We saw the opportunity to remain in the neighborhood to care for our patients, and we also recognized the potential to revitalize the site and make a difference in the community,” said HCMC CEO Art Gonzalez. “Improving the health of the people we serve is what our mission is all about – and caring for our patients in a healthy, comfortable, environmentally friendly building is realized at Whittier Clinic.”
In addition to its sustainable site, including access for patients and employees, open spaces, and water efficiency; the building excels in the areas of energy performance, use of sustainable and recyclable materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design process.
“Whittier Clinic is a great example of how innovation and technology can contribute to a healthy environment,” explains Commissioner Gail Dorfman of Hennepin County’s 3rd District. “Achieving Silver LEED certification is a well-deserved recognition for a beautiful and ‘green’ building developed through collaboration between HCMC and the Whittier neighborhood.” Construction of the clinic was funded by general obligation bonds that were approved by the Hennepin County Board as part of a reinvestment in facilities.
Designed with direct input from patients and employees, and with their health in mind, the Whittier Clinic building and site is a showcase for sustainable design. The indoor environment features generous use of natural lighting, Green Label Plus certified products, and locally manufactured materials. Easy access to public transportation routes, water efficient landscaping, and gardens with native plants also contributed to Whittier Clinic’s LEED Silver distinction.
“Our patients and community deserve the best – and it starts by being a good neighbor,” says Gonzalez. “Our presence in the community should be a reflection of our pursuit of good health. LEED certification at the Silver level demonstrates this commitment.”
LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings and neighborhoods. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000 through a consensus-based process, LEED serves as a tool for buildings of all types and sizes. LEED certification offers third-party validation of a project’s green features and verifies that the building is operating exactly the way it was designed to. A complete list of the sustainable strategies for the Whittier Clinic is available on HCMC.org.
Hennepin County Medical Center is a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital includes a 471-bed acute care hospital and primary care and specialty clinics located in downtown Minneapolis, five primary care clinics in Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Richfield and South Minneapolis, and retail clinics in Bloomington and Eden Prairie.
Contact: Christine Hill 612-873-5719