AUGUSTA, Maine — A 644,000-square-foot hospital in Augusta, Maine, is the first health care facility in Maine and second in the nation to be built successfully to 2010 LEED gold for health care standards.
Opened last November, the MaineGeneral Medical Center is able to reduce the cost of energy consumption while creating a hospital environment that meets high benchmark standards for patient wellness as well as introduces multiple engineering initiatives.
“As a health care organization, it is incredibly important to us that we provide a safe, healthy facility and that we set a standard for ensuring a healthy environment now and into the future,” Chuck Hays, MaineGeneral Health president and CEO, said in a news release. “We want to be responsible stewards of our community.”
Sustainable elements for the project touch on four key components: energy, water, materials and air quality. For example, the hospital uses natural gas instead of fuel oil, which results in significant fuel savings. Additionally, LED lighting and high-efficiency light fixtures were installed throughout the facility. The hospital also incorporated lighting that automatically turns on when someone enters the room and turns off when it senses the room to be empty.
Outside, rainwater is collected, recycled and reprocessed, and water is reduced through minimizing the potable water requirements of the project’s medical equipment, building equipment and food waste systems.
There’s also no need to wax floors, because the hospital installed low-maintenance sheet vinyl and rubber flooring. What’s more, during construction the project team implemented an extensive recycling plan and successfully diverted more than 80 percent of construction waste from local landfills. Special attention was also given to recycle-based materials and materials sourced within a 500-mile radius.
To minimize toxins, odors and particles, the construction team established a Construction Air Quality Management Plan and only low-emitting paints, coatings, sealants, adhesives, and flooring systems were used.
The facility was completed in 36 months from the start of the design, finishing design and construction, which is a full 10 months ahead of the original schedule.
“Our initial goal was to achieve silver certification. But as we constantly looked for ways to improve efficiencies throughout the construction process, it became apparent that we would achieve enough points for the higher gold certification,” Hays said.
The hospital’s Integrated Project Delivery Team (IPD) consisted of owner MaineGeneral Medical Center, joint venture architectural firms SMRT and TRO/Jung Brannen Inc., and joint venture construction team HP Cummings Construction Company/Robins & Morton.