Indianapolis, IN---When the new patient tower at Community Hospital South opens this summer, patients and families will notice many positive changes to their hospital experience including spacious, all-private rooms that let in an abundance of natural light. But what they may not realize is that they will also benefit from cleaner air and a more comfortable thermal environment thanks to Community’s efforts to make the construction more environmentally-friendly and energy efficient.
“Our commitment to green building practices actually started with our emergency room expansion, which was completed in August of 2007. It was the first building project in Indiana to receive LEED® Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council,” said Mitchell Breeze, director of general support services and project manager for the Community Hospital South expansion. “For our new patient tower construction and surgery expansion that is currently underway, we are registered with the Green Guide for Health Care and Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.”
Registering with these national certifying programs will allow the staff at Community South to track and monitor the improvements achieved through the selection of sustainable, rapidly renewable or recycled materials and energy efficient systems. For example, energy bills will be submitted to the Energy Star program for a 12-month period with the expectation that the new hospital will be included in the Energy Star listing after one year of operation.
The new patient tower has been engineered to operate 30 percent more efficiently than the existing hospital. Intelligent occupancy sensors will automatically turn off lighting or change the temperature on heating and cooling systems in areas that are not being used. Additionally, LED lighting has been installed throughout the tower. This technology is 20 percent more efficient than fluorescent lighting and 60 to 70 percent more efficient than incandescent lighting. The plumbing and heating and cooling systems are also engineered to recover by-products, with the cooling system returning the clean water it produces to a water tank that supplies the hospital.
Another focus of the project is the use of low-emitting materials to reduce chemicals being released into the environment. Many of the finishes products used on the interior of the patient tower are certified for their low-emitting qualities, including:
- All restroom tile
- All window shades
- All solid surface and quartz countertop material
- All paints
- All wood (FSC certified)
- All sealers and adhesives
Additionally, many of the materials selected for the patient tower contain recycled content, including the vinyl composition tile flooring, carpeting, resin panels that appear at the head of each hospital bed, acoustical ceiling tiles and grid, and countertop materials.
Finally, the landscaping around the hospital is environmentally-friendly. To conserve water, outdoor spaces will feature plants native to Indiana that don’t require artificial irrigation.
According to Breeze, “Our hospital expansion not only shows respect for our environment that will bring cost savings for our organization, but it also means a higher quality healing environment for our patients and families.”
For more information on green building practices at Community Hospital South, visit eCommunity.com/south.
About Community Hospital South
Community Hospital South is an acute care hospital located at 1400 East County Line Road. With a vast array of surgical capabilities, maternity care, emergency room services and cardiovascular care, Community Hospital South provides an exceptional patient and family experience for the residents of southern Marion and Johnson Counties. Ranked among the nation’s highest-performing health systems and most integrated health care networks, Community Health Network has more than 90 sites of care and nearly 500 integrated physicians throughout central Indiana. This includes Community Hospitals East, North and South in Indianapolis and Community Hospital Anderson; The Indiana Heart Hospital, part of Community Heart and Vascular; Indiana Surgery Centers; Community Physicians of Indiana; Community Home Health Services; MedCheck walk-in care centers and MedCheck Express convenience clinics; employer health services; nursing homes; and other health care facilities. Community Health Network is committed to getting you well and back to your life. For more information about Community Health Network or to find a physician, call 800-777-7775 or visit eCommunity.com.