UF Health Springhill receives LEED certification for environmentally friendly design
The Council is an international nonprofit that rates buildings that prioritize energy efficiency, resource conservation and pollution reduction through a certification called LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
UF Health Springhill received gold LEED certification — the second-highest designation, just below platinum.
“UF Health believes in a sustainable community, and this is our contribution in making sure we have a safe, clean world for our future,” said Brad Pollitt, vice president of facilities development for UF Health Shands Hospital. “We want to add to a community that can not only heal the people who come to for us for services, but create a healthier environment for people to live in.”
The facility, which opened last December in northwest Gainesville, is a four-story, 112,000-square-foot building that includes several UF Health Physicians specialty practices, including dermatology, radiology and reproductive medicine, along with laboratory and imaging services.
UF Health Springhill received gold certification for energy-efficient design and practices, including positioning the facility to take advantage of sunlight and installing high-efficiency lighting, cooling and insulation systems. The building also has expansive windows that let in natural light while filtering out heat via low-energy glass.
Recycling played a major role, both during the construction process and in choosing building materials. Some of the materials were also purchased locally, reducing transportation costs and environmental impact. Special fixtures reduce overall light pollution, while low-volume toilets, sinks and showerheads keep the facility water-efficient. In accordance with LEED landscaping standards, UF Health Springhill used native plant species to create a landscape that will be able to sustain itself without irrigation in the future.
LEED’s impact didn’t stop with the completion of the building: bike lockers and showers encourage employees to bicycle to work, hybrid vehicles get preferential parking and there are green housekeeping and no smoking policies in place. UF Health Springhill also participates in a Gainesville Regional Utilities program that supports initiatives to produce power from alternative energy sources.
In 2001, the University of Florida adopted the LEED criteria for design and construction for all major new construction and renovations projects. Flad Architects and Affiliated Engineers Inc. both helped design the UF Health Springhill facility so that it met these criteria.
“UF Health Springhill is another example of our commitment to building sustainable buildings,” said Dave Williams, project manager at UF Health.