New U-M Hospitals Recognized for Energy, Environmental Design and “Green” Building Process


ANN ARBOR — C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital have been awarded LEED Silver certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The certification is verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.

The hospitals incorporate many architecturally innovative and environmentally responsible features.  The facility was built using strategies aimed at improving performance in many areas such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, and improved indoor environmental quality.

“We are delighted that we not only received LEED certification, but were given the Silver level recognition,” says Loree Collett, R.N., associate hospital administrator and operational manager for the hospital construction project.

“We started with this philosophy from the very beginning, working the LEED guidelines into every aspect of the design and construction.”

There are four levels of LEED Certification – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Environmentally-friendly features include:

Green Roof

The new “green roof” on the hospitals filters rainfall as part of a natural storm-water management system. Planted with sedum, a drought-resistant perennial groundcover, the living roof helps insulate the building and reduce energy loss, contributes to the overall air quality and reduces the urban heat island effect. The eco-friendly roof is also expected to last two times longer than a conventional roof.

No-wax floors

Most of the flooring in the new building is rubber based that does not require waxing, stripping or finishing. The floors are PVC and chlorine free contributing to the overall indoor air quality within the facility.

Other “Green” Features

  • 84.6% of wood materials in the new hospital are certified in accordance with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) principles for wood building components;
  • Construction equipment operated on biodiesel fuel;
  • Interior materials such as carpet, paint, adhesives and composite woods were chosen for low-emittance characteristics to ensure high indoor air quality;
  • HEPA filters throughout the hospital enhance air quality for immuno-compromised and other high-risk patients.

Recycled Materials

The project diverted 12,300 tons of on-site generated construction waste from landfills (86%).

“When you get the team working together, it was not that hard to achieve the re-cycling goals. It became second nature on the jobsite to recycle. We re-invented the culture,” says Mary L. Krasny, Project Director for UM Architecture, Engineering and Construction. “We found we had underestimated how much we could recycle.”

Krasny says that future hospital construction projects will benefit from the LEED experiences and knowledge gained on this project.

Staff and visitors can see the green difference by just looking around the hospital, which effectively uses natural lighting and temperature-controlling windows.

“We are very proud of this important milestone. It is a reflection of our values, principles and dedication to sustainability,” says Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., executive vice president for Medical Affairs and chief executive officer of the U-M Health System.

Throughout the process, the Project Team pushed to achieve additional points toward the LEED certification process, resulting in the Silver award, a step above the basic certification.

“The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most-important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The work of innovative building projects such as the C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”