Learn about our new hospitals’ “green” features
New hospitals on track for Green Globes sustainability certification
When it comes to renovation and new construction at UF Health, we have a longstanding commitment to environmentally responsible and sustainable practices. For example, in 2009, the newly opened UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital became the Southeast’s first hospital awarded gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designation from the U.S. Green Building Council for its environmental and energy-efficient features. Only four hospitals in the country at that time were LEED-certified at the gold level and fewer than 100 nationwide had LEED certification.
For the best possible patient experience — as well as the experience of everyone who works at or visits UF Health — we strive to offer a welcoming environment. Our construction and renovation efforts include a focus on environmentally responsible and sustainable practices.
Now, with the construction of the UF Health Heart & Vascular and Neuromedicine hospitals, we are pursuing Green Globes certification — an assessment of environmental performance and sustainable design. Using American National Standards Institute criteria, Green Globes focuses on indoor air quality, efficient water consumption and recycling efforts.
The project includes a recycling program that has allowed 90 percent of construction waste to be reclaimed and reused. Energy design for the heart and neuro hospitals includes building on our partnership with GRU and the existing South Energy Center that supports the cancer hospital. We are using natural gas-fired, on-site generators and heat reclamation to recapture otherwise wasted energy and use it to create chilled water and steam. The building envelope (foundation, walls, roof and other barrier material separating the building interior and exterior) is designed for greatest thermal efficiency and daylighting, with spaces to reduce electricity consumption and AC requirements.
“Sustainability and efficient resource utilization is a priority of UF Health as new buildings are developed,” said Brad Pollitt, A.I.A., UF Health Shands Facilities Development vice president. “From recycling and sourcing local materials, to implementing complex computer algorithms for energy management, we strive to find the optimum balance of environmental
Additional landscaping features include:
- A landscape extension of the current design using native plants and materials, requiring minimal irrigation provided by reclaimed water.
- Ongoing landscape development resembling natural North Florida aquatic environments and water features designed to collect storm water from the site and allow sedimentation to create natural resources to support wildlife and vegetation.
- The expansion of the existing healing garden area, which includes the Garden of Hope and Butler Pond in front of the cancer hospital, with a low landscape design surrounding the pond and fountain.
- A gazebo that will overlook a new second pond, which will be larger and more rustic with plenty of vegetation. The pond will also include a lime rock spring/waterfall that will produce flowing water sounds and provide aeration to improve water quality.
- A walking path to Rush Lake, a natural pond that has existed for decades, to create more space for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy.
- A bronze sculpture for the Garden of Hope, resembling falling water cascading into a pool. The sculpture, donated by UF Health Shands board member Stephen Shey, complements the natural water feature on the banks of one of the garden’s ponds.