Supporting the environment and conserving energy consumption were significant considerations in the design of the new La Porte Hospital, going up at 1331 State Street in La Porte. In fact, as a result of a deliberate and focused design process, the new hospital will be Green Globes certified. Green Globes is a building rating and certification tool that is used to rate the efficiency of buildings across the USA and Canada.
Energy efficiency and green infrastructure were applied to the civil engineering elements of the structure and to the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical infrastructures in the new hospital.
A green infrastructure approach to storm water management was key in designing the new La Porte Hospital. The facility has gone above and beyond the minimum requirements to detain additional runoff to pre-construction levels. The design called for the installation of an innovative system to collect, infiltrate and filter the rainwater runoff into the subsoil, ultimately recharging the aquifer below. This system includes a combination of permeable pavers that reduce storm water runoff leaving the site, and underground chambers to collect and store the runoff as it percolates into the ground.
Much of the mechanical equipment installed was commissioned to verify optimum performance and efficiency. Premium efficiency was specified for all of the mechanical equipment. Variable frequency drives were specified for HVAC systems which also allow energy savings. The chillers, which are large systems critical to the operation of the HVAC system, include variable frequency drives to allow energy savings and they use low emissions refrigerants.
Each patient room has its own individual comfort controls in compliance with LEED standards for the controllability of systems related to thermal comfort. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is another widely used green building rating system. The new hospital has also followed the LEED guidelines for air filtration which enhances indoor air quality.
At the new La Porte Hospital, water consumption will be reduced, compared to the current hospital, thanks to the use of low flow plumbing fixtures. Reducing water consumption in areas like toilets, showers, and sinks. Water consumption in the new hospital will be about 15% less than in the current hospital.
Lighting is another area where the hospital adopted LEED standards. For example, each patient room, clinical area, and staff area will control its own lighting. All lighting in the common areas was designed to have multiple levels of light control to conserve energy. Lastly, LED light fixtures along with a combination of wall mounted occupancy sensors, ceiling mounted occupancy sensors, low-voltage override switches, dimmer switches, and day light sensors have been implemented for energy efficiency.
Hospitals are complex structures that operate 24/7 every day of the year to provide medical care, much of which requires abundant energy resources. The new La Porte Hospital was designed to provide the highest quality care using all necessary modalities while also being conscious of the impact its infrastructure has on the environment.