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Aurora St. Luke's healing garden earns LEED certification

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Garden recognized for environmentally friendly materials, practices

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – It is not just a beautiful place for patients to relax, it is an award winning garden. The Vince Lombardi Charitable Funds Healing Garden and the Agnes and Morland Hamilton Healing Conservatory at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center recently received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold status.

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, and gold status is the second highest level out of four that a building may earn.

The garden earned this status because of its many environmentally friendly features.

During the construction process, 90 percent of the debris from the site was either recycled or redirected. Construction materials used for the project were processed and manufactured locally, which required less travel. The wood-based materials used for the garden came from environmentally responsible forests. And to save on costs and reduce waste, many existing roof pavers were reused.

The garden’s landscaping and irrigation systems were designed to reduce water consumption through drip irrigation and drought-tolerant plants. The plants absorb the water before it runs off, reducing natural storm water flow.

The garden was also designed with a green roof system, which not only helps reduce existing runoff and prevents the soil in the planters from eroding, but it also can help eliminate heat absorption.

In the indoor conservatory, special ultraviolet lights within the HVAC system protect against microorganisms. This also keeps components clean to reduce energy and maintenance costs. The conservatory is free of pollutants such as aerosol adhesives, anti-corrosive and anti-rust paints.

This is Aurora Health Care’s first LEED certified project. Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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