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Aurora Medical Center in Grafton achieves Silver LEED certification

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

First medical center in Wisconsin to be honored for green construction

Grafton, Wis. - Aurora Medical Center in Grafton recently earned Silver LEED® certification, making it the first hospital in Wisconsin to be recognized for its environmentally friendly practices and construction.

“We are proud of this recognition,” said Nick Turkal, MD, Aurora Health Care’s president and CEO. “One of our primary goals during this hospital’s construction was to create an environmentally friendly, sustainable green healing center. We wanted a building that would benefit our patients, caregivers and the Grafton community.”

LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system. LEED -certified buildings are constructed to achieve energy savings, water efficiencies, carbon dioxide emissions reductions and improved indoor environmental quality, as well as demonstrate stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impact on the environment. The award is regarded as the benchmark in green buildings and was established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.

The building’s design is having a noticeable impact on patients, said Len Wilk, chief administrative officer at AMC Grafton.

“We know that being a green hospital can have a profound, measurable effect on healing,” Wilk said. “The benefits are real, and we’re seeing them each day.”

To be eligible for this certification, Aurora Medical Center in Grafton was required to meet benchmarks in five key areas including sustainable sites, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and water efficiency. Points were awarded by the council for specific practices in each area.

As an energy efficient medical center, Aurora Medical Center in Grafton will use 35 percent less energy than the average U.S. hospital, save more than 2,500 tons of carbon dioxide per year, and meet electricity saving, which alone could power more than 200 Wisconsin homes.

Some of the green practices that validate the hospital’s LEED certification include:

  • Heat given off by medical equipment and computers is transferred into the heating water system to reduce the amount of natural gas burned in the high efficiency boilers;
  • Daylight sensors turn off lights when adequate daylight is available, and occupancy sensors reduce heating, cooling, and turn off lights when spaces are not occupied;
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures use less cold and hot water. Less energy is used in the heating of hot water and more than 1 million gallons of water are saved per year;
  • Carbon dioxide sensors in conference spaces reduce the amount of outside air that is heated and cooled when these rooms are not fully occupied;
  • Air handling units and air distribution is sized and integrated with the building layout to minimize fan horsepower and energy use;
  • Extensive campus landscaping with the area's native plantings;
  • Installation of a white (instead of black) rubber membrane on the roof that reflects the sunlight, lowering the overall heat of the facility and reducing the need for air conditioning requests;
  • Bike racks around the campus encourage alternative modes of transportation; and
  • Public toilets are dual-flush: half-flush (liquids) and full-flush (solids) technology can reduce water usage by up to 67 percent compared with the traditional toilet that typically uses 2.9 gallons in a single flush.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

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Contact: Myrle Croasdale
Phone: 1-414-299-1691

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