Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital Awarded Renown Energy and Environmental Design Certification
LAKE FOREST, IL– February 7, 2019 – Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification, a performance oriented system designed for rating buildings based on energy and environmental principles for sustainable sites, including water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor air quality, innovation and design process. It is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings, and is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.
“Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital is committed to using environmentally sustainable practices as it delivers top-tier healthcare to the region,” said Thomas J. McAfee, president of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. “From the beginning, we were committed to building an environmentally-friendly structure, including smart lights and building systems that reduce energy consumption, decrease water use and increase recycling. We aimed to set the standard in collaboration and teamwork to achieve the Silver Certification, which we believe helps to contribute to the overall patient experience.”
The campus includes 116 acres of open space, with more than 7,000 feet of pedestrian and bicycle paths, nearly 700 new trees and a six-acre pond to support storm water retention and reduce area flooding. The 500,000 square foot building offers patients, staff and visitors access to ample daylight and views of nature throughout, including an external waterfall, which supports all initial plant development, rain water harvesting and long-term plantings maintenance.
While many projects incorporate healthy materials and sustainable design principles, the new hospital project required additional validation and teamwork to achieve LEED certification due to the complex nature of the project. The project included extensive site and infrastructure improvements, such as relocation of utilities, storm water management, wetlands mitigation, landscape features, residential buffer treatments, and roadway improvements, including new site access points.
For the first time since 2015, Illinois has been ranked the number one state of LEED certification, with its 172 green building projects, representing 5.31 square feet of LEED-certified space per resident. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) ranks states based on the number of LEED certified square feet per person. The Top 10 states for LEED are home to 128 million Americans and together include more than 468 million gross square feet of LEED-certified space. Buildings that are LEED-certified create healthier spaces for people, as well as use less energy and water, reduce carbon emissions and save money for families, businesses and taxpayers.