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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Prentice Women's Hospital Recognized as a "Green" Building

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January 20, 2009

Chicago -

Environmentally friendly design makes Prentice the first LEED-certified inpatient hospital in Illinois and the largest in the country

Northwestern Memorial’s Prentice Women’s Hospital has been nationally recognized for its environmentally-friendly design and “green” efforts by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC), a prominent nonprofit trade organization that promotes sustainability in construction. Prentice is the first LEED-certified inpatient hospital in Illinois and the largest in the nation to achieve this designation. 

The hospital, which opened October 20, 2007, was designed to support, enhance and celebrate the lives of women and their families through all stages of life, while providing an ideal environment in which to provide care.  Prentice achieved LEED “silver” certification by earning points in five key areas of human and environmental health, including site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.  Among the attributes that led to the distinction are the hospital’s 14,000 square feet of rooftop gardens, commitment to construction debris recycling and use of carefully selected paints and adhesives that do not contain harmful chemicals that could diminish indoor air quality.   

“From start to finish, the Prentice design team focused on environmentally friendly design and responsible building,” says James Bicak, vice president of facilities administration. “While our building projects derive out of doing what’s in the best interest of our patients, our planning and construction are facilitated with our surrounding communities in mind. Energy conservation, land preservation, recycling—just to name a few—are all significant factors that drive our implementation of building projects.”

Bicak adds that with Prentice, determining land use and green space were a main focus during the planning stage. And, throughout construction, materials such as steel, copper wiring and glass were diverted from landfills and instead recycled and reused.

Other “green” elements include a Building Automation System used to control temperature from one central location, insulation that contributes to lower than usual energy expenditure, recycling efforts and Northwestern Memorial’s support of alternative transportation due to its close proximity to public transportation and enclosed bike racks on campus.

Prentice Women’s Hospital is home to 328 licensed beds, serving obstetrics, gynecology, gynecologic oncology, breast and cosmetic surgery, neonatal intensive care as well as two dedicated floors to hematology/oncology and palliative care for both men and women. 

“There is a lot of excitement surrounding the LEED certification as it officially recognizes Northwestern Memorial’s commitment to building sustainable, eco-friendly hospitals that provide a healthy environment for our patients and employees,” says Bicak.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Monasteri, Manager

Last UpdateFebruary 8, 2011