US Green Building Council’s Gold Certification Makes MVH the Highest LEED Rated Hospital in Commonwealth

On June 17th, 2011 Martha’s Vineyard Hospital was awarded GOLD certification by the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program for meeting the highest standards in environmentally sound building practices. The new building, which houses all of the Hospital’s clinical services, opened in June 2010. The award makes our hospital the highest LEED rated hospital in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to date and only the 9th hospital in the country to receive this rating.

Construction of the new building began in 2007 following the largest and most successful capital campaign in the Vineyard’s history. From the beginning, MVH engaged the Vineyard community in a vision of a new state-of-the art “green” hospital that would offer first class medical services and also be designed to stand the test of time architecturally.

“While being “green” took a little longer than expected,” says Timothy J. Walsh, MVH President & CEO, “our commitment to this effort was worth the wait. This was truly a team effort with input from not just the design and architectural teams, but also hospital staff and the Island community.”

Some specific steps taken during construction to ensure a healthy building and environmental responsibility included:

  • Preferred parking for low-emitting/fuel efficient vehicles and carpools/vanpools.
  • Bicycle racks to encourage people to ride their bikes to the hospital.
  • Two bus service routes to accommodate and encourage use of the mass transit system.
  • Bio-retention areas and leaching pits to capture, treat and control storm water runoff, thereby reducing water pollution and protecting the surrounding wetlands and salt marsh.
  • Dual flush handles on water closets, low-flow faucets and electronic sensors to maximize water efficiency and reduce the burden on municipal water supply and wastewater systems. These features will contribute to a water savings of over 34%.
  • Energy performance was optimized by computer modeling the HVAC system, windows, insulation, lighting, and other components of the exterior envelope and will provide energy savings of over 25%.
  • To encourage the development of renewable, low-polluting energy technologies, Green-E certified renewable certificates were purchased from Renewable Choice Energy to offset 70% of the project’s annual electrical consumption over a two-year period.
  • The building has been equipped with approximately 200 photo-voltaic panels on the south side roof to turn sunlight into electricity the hospital can use to reduce its electric bill.
  • Over 30% of the total material cost of the new building was locally extracted and manufactured (within 500 miles), thereby supporting local businesses and indigenous resources and reducing environmental impacts from transportation.
  • Over 80% of construction and demolition waste during construction of the building was diverted from landfills.
  • Collection and storage areas provide a place for recyclable materials to facilitate the reduction of landfill waste.
  • Over 20% of total material costs were from recycled content in building materials. Recycled materials reduced the impact resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials.
  • Ensuring healthy indoor air quality is an important part of the LEED certification. All paint, flooring, sealants, adhesives and other finishes and materials met strict LEED guidelines in terms of minimizing levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • As part of the final construction phase, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital made a commitment to eliminating patient and staff exposure to tobacco smoke.
  • Outdoor areas were an important component in the design of the building. Incorporated into the design are a roof garden and courtyard garden to connect patients, visitors, and staff with the health benefits of the natural environment.

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