After almost four years of construction and another year of paperwork, the Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) has received LEED Silver certification for its new 385,000-square-foot hospital expansion.
“I was jumping for joy,” says Suman Bahl, vice president, corporate services and capital development at MSH
. “Overall we finished our project on time and under budget so this LEED Silver certification was like icing on the cake. Not that there was any doubt, but it’s a very tedious process. At one point we managed to get furniture that met the requirements of LEED and it was spreadsheets of every single item we ordered. There were thousands of line items for that one point.”
The LEED features, which are assessed and assigned points by the Canada Green Building Council
after the building is complete, include a white roof membrane and green roof areas, exterior lighting designed to minimize light pollution and installation of low-flow fixtures to reduce water use. About 16 per cent of materials came from recycled content, while 31 per cent of material was manufactured and harvested within 800 kilometres of the project, or within 2,400 kilometres if shipped by rail or water.
In the year since the building was completed, hospital employees have gotten quite a bit of feedback, including compliments about the art. “It’s a calm, simple building without a lot of busy details,” says Bahl.
The expansion, which doubled the size of the hospital at a cost of about $400 million, makes MSH the first hospital in Ontario to build a central utility plant that supplies thermal energy, electricity and emergency power through Markham District Energy. Staff are still working on managing the new energy system to achieve maximum efficiency.
“The systems are all there and the technology is there to improve our energy usage, but we need to make a focused effort to get our usage down,” she says. “In some areas, you don’t have the same flexibility. An operating room runs 24/7 and even if it doesn’t run all night, you have to have the systems running in case there’s an emergency case. It’s not like we can just shut the lights off.”
Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Suman Bahl