10.15.2014

Albany Med Is First Hospital in Capital Region to Earn LEED Gold Certification


ALBANY, N.Y., Oct. 15, 2014 — Albany Medical Center’s Patient Pavilion has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in recognition of the building’s energy saving features and “green” constructionmaking Albany Med the first hospital in the Capital Region to attain this designation.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is the USGBC’s rating system, which recognizes buildings designed to reduce environmental impact and enhance operational efficiency. To receive LEED certification, projects must satisfy specific requirements such as reduction in energy use and incorporation of green building materials. Gold certification is the second-highest of LEED’s four levels of certification for a new construction project.

“This LEED certification is emblematic of Albany Med’s commitment to enhancing our community in ways that extend beyond the care we provide for patients,” said Gary Kochem, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Albany Medical Center. “I applaud the efforts of our entire team for their work to help us achieve an important milestone that will benefit our surrounding area long into the future.”

The LEED designation is one result of a targeted effort to introduce environmentally sustainable elements into the Medical Center’s design. Last year, Albany Med became the first hospital in the region to install a cogeneration plant to efficiently generate power, reduce emissions, and utilize heat typically lost or wasted by conventional power plants. The cogeneration plant received the “Outstanding CHP Project” award from Northeast Clean Heat and Power Initiative (NECHPI). And in September, the Albany Medical College Research Facility received a High Performance Building Plaque from the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), a distinction given only to projects that are designed to perform at least 30 percent above the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code.

“On behalf of the U.S. Green Building Council, I can say that the Albany Medical Center Patient Pavilion is exceptional in terms of indoor environmental quality,” said Tracie Hall, executive director of the USGBC New York Upstate Chapter. “It is clear that Albany Med had the health and well-being of patients, staff and visitors in mind when this facility was designed and constructed.”
Construction on Albany Med’s 325,000-square-foot Patient Pavilion was completed in June, 2013. The new building includes 20 state-of-the-art operating suites, 60 new private medical/surgical beds, 46 single and five double-occupancy neonatal intensive care rooms, 30 additional adult intensive care beds, new gardens and green spaces, and more than 360 windows that provide natural lighting and views for patients to assist with the healing process.

Completed under the leadership of Albany Medical Center engineering and construction staff, the team that helped to achieve LEED certification included: lead architect TRO JB, whose designs allowed the building to achieve greater energy efficiency and meet LEED certification standards; Gilbane Inc., which assisted with construction and product installation; ICOR Associates, which assisted with mechanical, electrical and plumbing work; Clark Patterson Lee, which provided civil engineering services; and The Green Engineer, Inc., which facilitated the LEED certification process.

“Creating a healthy and sustainable environment has become a mandate in health care design and operations,” said Stephen Evers, AIA, president of TRO JB. “Albany Medical Center, as a community leader, has set an example in being environmentally responsible with the design and operation of their facilities.”

Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned in six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design.

Gold certification for the Patient Pavilion project was based on the following green design and construction elements, such as using 
building materials or products that have been extracted, harvested or manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. Other features include: 

·         development density and community connectivity;
·         access to public transportation;
·         green roofing to reduce heat island effect;
·         water-efficient landscaping that requires little to no irrigation once established; and
·         meeting stringent benchmarks for reducing water usage, incorporating recycled materials and diverting construction-related waste from disposal.

Erik Ruoff, LEED AP, BD&C, senior project manager at The Green Engineer, Inc., said, “The Green Engineer is proud to have been part of the Albany Medical Center Patient Pavilion project, which exceeded the targeted LEED certification threshold. Achieving LEED Gold certification demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to sustainable design and to providing a healthy and safe environment for patients, staff and visitors.”

“At Gilbane Building Company, our goal was not only to provide the Capital Region with a state-of-the-art health care facility, but to do so in a way that recognizes our long-standing commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable green building practices,” said John LaRow, vice president of Gilbane Building Company. “Achieving LEED Gold certification is the culmination of these efforts and a great compliment to our partners on this project, including the team at Albany Medical Center, TRO JB architects, ICOR engineers and all of the trade contractors and tradespeople who worked so hard to make it possible.”

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) was also instrumental in helping the Patient Pavilion project achieve LEED Gold certification by providing support for energy-efficient elements.

“Congratulations to Albany Medical Center for demonstrating its leadership in the reduction of energy use and in environmental stewardship,” said Todd Baldyga, director of Energy Efficiency Services, NYSERDA. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State is advancing an energy infrastructure that is cleaner, resilient, reliable and affordable. This project is a model for other hospitals and health care facilities to follow.”

“Whether through our recycling programs, cogeneration plant, green building practices, or LEED Gold certification, Albany Med remains committed to enhancing both patient care and energy efficiency with minimal impact on the surrounding environment,” said Don Stichter, vice president of facility operations at Albany Medical Center.

For more information on the Patient Pavilion project, please visit:http://www.amc.edu/Expansion/patient_pavilion/index.cfm.

Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with more than 400 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.

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