Jul. 29, 2015
Buildings can have a devastating carbon footprint, generating up to 35 per cent of the Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions. What’s more, the construction of a building can produce a significant amount of landfill waste. This is why St. Joseph’s Health Care London’s (St. Joseph’s) newest facility – Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building – was designed to meet the highest environmental sustainability standards, while at the same time, supporting individuals on their path to recovery.
The Mental Health Care Building at Parkwood Institute, which recently opened its doors in November 2014, has officially attained a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. LEED is a nationally accepted certification program for the design, operation and construction of a high performance green building, granted to those which maintain a healthy indoor environment, operate with reduced greenhouse gas emissions and use energy efficiently. The new Mental Health Care Building is St. Joseph’s second facility to be recognized at this level, with Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care, located in Elgin County, achieving LEED Gold in 2014 .
“We are thrilled to have received this certification,” says Terry Maslen, director, facilities management at St. Joseph’s. “We worked very hard to ensure our new building met the design parameters that are awarded LEED credit points and are proud to operate a facility recognized as an environmental leader.”
Minimizing the building’s ecological footprint:
During construction, more than 30 per cent of the materials used to build the facility were sourced within 800 km of the site and many of these materials were made using recycled components.
Contractors also diverted roughly 85 per cent of the construction waste from landfills.
- Inside, the building conserves water, energy and other resources, also helping to cut operation costs.
- Low-flow faucets and toilets reduce the building’s water usage by 43 per cent
- Lighting is controlled by motion sensors that conserve energy when rooms are not in use.
- The building’s regulated air ventilation system maintains a healthy indoor environment where occupants breathe in 100 per cent outdoor air that is filtered of contaminants.
- In addition, the building contains minimal amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are organic chemicals that can harm human health. Clean, uncontaminated air is essential for maintaining a healthy working and living environment for staff and patients.
- The layout of the building maximizes the amount of natural light that is able to enter its rooms, corridors and hallways; three central courtyards draw natural light into the building, creating a calming environment that supports patients in their recovery. Even on a cloudy day, natural light pours into the building.
Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building marks the next era in care, recovery and rehabilitation. Patients and staff alike live and work in a healthier, cleaner environment that reduces its carbon footprint, provides an exceptional environment for clinical care and supports the reintegration of patients back into the community.