Client :

Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center

Year completed :

Location :

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THE PROBLEM

How do you design a brownfield, full-service medical center in a fully developed urban area to meet aggressive sustainability goals, including achieving LEED Gold certification?
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“Medical Design is not just what we do, it’s what we do best!”

– Steve Kolberg

THE SOLUTION

Hospitals are their own breed of sustainable building. Rather than concentrate on adaptive reuse possibilities for the facilities, the design team focused on investing in extending the long-term life cycle cost of the buildings and providing opportunities for future expansion on the campus. Fewer than 50 hospitals in the world have achieved LEED Gold certification, which is understandable given that hospitals are open around the clock and consume large amounts of energy. For Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center to join this small and prestigious group, the project team knew they had to earn LEED points for the design, including for energy savings. Just as important to the Kaiser Permanente leadership team, the medical center had to be able to sustain those energy savings for years to come. The team rigorously analyzed every energy system to ensure favorable return on investment, sound lifecycle costs and significant energy savings year after year. From sophisticated to simple, Kaiser Permanente invested in numerous solutions for each facility The Kaiser Westside Medical Center (KWMC) focused heavily on reducing energy usage through a host of design strategies in order to meet Kaiser Permanente’s aggressive goal to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020 compared to its 2008 levels. In targeting energy reduction goals the project team employed practical design strategies to increase the efficiency of campus buildings. The design team carefully analyzed and prioritized passive strategies first – looking at building orientation and massing to reduce heating and cooling needs. Next the project team turned to efficiency measures such as the zoned heating and cooling systems with heat recovery chillers and high-efficiency motors in the hospital, central utility plant and office building. Lastly the project team looked to onsite renewable energy systems to cover some of the center’s energy needs without producing carbon emissions. The roof of the parking garage features a 100-kilowatt, kW, solar electric array, which is estimated to produce 87,782 annual kWh of electricity.
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