The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Rockingham Memorial Hospital its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification.
Rockingham Memorial, located near Harrisonburg, Va., is only one of seven hospitals nationwide of its size to receive the certification, according to the USGBC website.
The green building certification can be applied to all types of buildings and measures structures on factors such as water savings, energy efficiency, materials and resources sourcing, and innovative design. Rockingham Memorial built running and bicycle trails on its grounds, safely diverts and manages water waste, and uses alternative energy sources to go off the electric grid in summers. Although not required by the program, the hospital also recycles medical waste containers, diverting an estimated 149,600 pounds of plastic waste from landfills in the past six years.
Director of Facilities Planning and Development at RMH Dennis Coffman said:
“We made this choice not for recognition, but because it's the right thing to do for our community“”now and for future generations. Being “˜green' is cost-effective and it ensures we will continue to be good financial stewards of our community's resources.“
Indeed, the hospital was recognized by trade publication Healthcare Design in 2009 for building sustainably without raising costs. The hospital's accomplishment mirrors a growing trend of greening the medical profession.
“The success of this project is a way to promote the value and benefits of green design to other hospitals,“ said ESa Director of Medical Design and Rockingham Memorial Hospital designer Harold Petty. “The certification stands as evidence that a close working relationship between the owner and the architectural and engineering design team will be rewarded by opening up new opportunities.“