By: Mary Pat Baldauf
What’s the first thing you notice when entering Lexington Medical Center’s Medical Park Two? Perhaps it is the rich woodwork or the beautiful steel and glass stairway. Or maybe you notice just how many people come in and out of that building, as evidenced by the bustling parking lot. But one of the most fascinating things about Lexington Medical Park Two isn’t the grand design or occupancy rate, but the round glass seal designating the building as a LEED Silver Certified facility.
As a sustainability professional by day, I hear a lot about LEED, but don’t often see it put into practice. I recently visited Lexington Medical Park Two for the first time to see my ob/gyn, who recently relocated his practice to Lexington Medical Center. While it’s hard to get excited about those annual visits, I was thrilled to see the LEED seal as I headed upstairs. I knew immediately that I wanted to feature this building in an upcoming blog post.
For those of you who may not be familiar with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), it is an internationally recognized green building program that provides a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED allows building owners and operators to impact their building’s performance and bottom line, while providing healthy indoor spaces for a building’s occupants.
So what exactly does this mean for Lexington Medical Park Two? For starters, it boasts the following eco-friendly characteristics:
- More than 75% of construction waste was recycled instead of sent to a landfill.
- Construction materials had a high recycled content, including fly ash for concrete in the parking deck, reinforcing steel for concrete, structural steel in building framing and metal studs to support walls. And, materials came from regional suppliers to reduce emission caused by transportation.
- Energy-efficient white roofing that reflects the sun, improved building insulation and energy-efficient windows reduce the amount of heating and air conditioning needed by 30%.
- The building uses an existing retention pond to minimize the impact of storm water runoff into rivers and streams.
- Bike racks and showers encourage workers to bike to work.
- The building has water-conserving plumbing fixtures in restrooms.
- The air conditioning equipment uses refrigerants that are less damaging to the earth’s ozone layer.
- The project used paint, carpets, adhesives, sealants and composite wood products that cause the least amount of chemicals to be emitted.
- Janitor closets are specially sealed to ensure cleaning chemicals stored there don’t get re-circulated into the building.
And you think that is impressive? How about this: Lexington Medical Park Two was the first LEED-certified health care building in South Carolina.
If you’re like me, you’re usually in a hurry when you’re headed to an appointment with your doctor. But if you have a few extra minutes, take a look around Lexington Medical Park Two; it’s as attractive as it is sustainable. And while you’re there, thank your doctor for practicing in a LEED-certified building. It’s not only a more environmentally-friendly building; it’s a healthier building for staff and patients.