Going green at Community Hospital South
Thanks to its expansion project, Community Hospital South is healthy not just for patients, but for the planet as well. Many materials used in the project—including the floors, ceiling tiles and recycled furniture upholstery—are rapidly renewable and earth sustainable products. These green elements of the construction and renovation project promote a healing environment for patients and visitors, with better air quality, greater energy efficiency and reduced day-to-day costs.
Cutting-edge technology such as LED lighting add more green elements. LED lighting offers 20 percent greater efficiency than fluorescent lighting, and it nearly 70 percent more efficient than traditional incandescent lighting.
Community Hospital South is committed to efforts which improve and maintain an environmentally friendly and sustainable campus. These efforts include processes to reduce our negative impact on the environment, improve energy performance, and provide a healthy healing environment for our patients, staff, and visitors. View the video below to learn more.
Community Hospital South features xeriscaping, an environmentally friendly landscaping practice; Perennials and native plants more cost efficient, conserve water
Community Hospital South doesn’t need an irrigation system to water the flowers and plants on campus. The landscaping is carefully planned with selections that are compatible with the soil and weather conditions in central Indiana, in a practice known as xeriscaping.
“Aside from a couple of planters at the front of the facility, most of the plants and flowers you’ll see on our campus are perennials,” said Mitchell Breeze, director of general support services at Community South. “It’s one of many ways we’re working to conserve resources, but we’re still able to create a pleasant healing environment for patients and visitors.”
Breeze has selected a variety of plants and flowers for the Community South campus that are well-suited to the region. Among them:
- Pardon Me Daylily
- Ice Follies Daffodils
- Blue Wonder Catmint
- Saybrook Gold Juniper
- Red Prince Weigela
- Hamlen Dwarf Fountain Grass
- Gro-Low Sumac
- Royal Star Magnolia
In addition to focusing on xeriscaping, Breeze has been committed to preserving resources through the hospital’s recent expansion project. Plants that were displaced during construction were preserved off-site and have since been reintroduced to beds around the campus.
Xeriscaping is one of the many aspects of Community Hospital South’s commitment to environmentally-friendly practices. The hospital’s emergency department was the first building project in the state of
“We feel that doing our part to make our building and grounds more environmentally friendly has a healthy impact on the community and the people who live and work here,” added Breeze.
Community Hospital South expansion shows commitment to green building; Energy savings, cleaner air quality and use of sustainable or rapidly renewable resources key elements of design and construction
April 19, 2010—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.” Full story >>
Wearing “green” at South
Community Hospital South is doing its part to promote “green” initiatives by outfitting 25 of its patient access employees in uniforms made of recycled plastic bottles. Distributed through Cintas Corp., the eco-friendly suits—including slacks, skirts, two styles of vests and a jacket—were rolled out in February.
Community South is the first hospital in Indianapolis to adopt this unusual and surprisingly comfortable offering. The fabric itself is smooth and lightweight, and chemically and functionally is nearly identical to regular polyester. The suit material is formed from the byproduct of processed recycled plastic that has been spun with other fibers to enhance the quality. It takes about 10 recycled plastic bottles to make each easy-to-launder garment.
“Previously, employees were encouraged to wear khaki pants and polo shirts,” says Yvonne Shinkle, director of concierge and volunteer services, “but eventually some people would come to work in regular everyday attire. The new uniforms offer a much more professional look.”
“The team has pride in what they are wearing now and they feel this will earn them respect,” says Pamela Sluus, patient access manager. With the new uniforms, staff members are easily recognized as individuals who can offer help or assistance.
“Often we are discussing very private issues with the patient regarding financial information,” Sluus adds. “I believe there needs to be a level of professionalism that we can obtain through a professional appearance.”
Uniforms previously were adopted by patient access employees at Community East and North, but the ones at Community South are the first to be made of recycled materials, says Shinkle. Introducing the eco-friendly uniforms is another piece of the “green” culture at Community South that was spotlighted by last year’s LEED gold certification of the emergency department expansion.
“I believe that this just goes in line with what our vision is in this community,” says Sluus. “We want to be here for our patients, and we realize that our carbon footprint will make an impact on the future and our patients’ future.”