PNH one of three LEED-certified hospitals in Ga.
Piedmont Newnan Hospital has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, an honor garnered by just two other hospitals in Georgia, hospital officials announced this week.
The newly-built facility opened in 2012 on Poplar Road, relocating from an aging hospital campus on Hospital Road.
“Each decision we made — whether it was to install green roofs or use low-emitting chemical building materials — was in an effort to fulfill our duty to keep our community healthy in every way possible,” said Nathan Nipper, vice president and chief operating officer at Piedmont Newnan. “This responsibility includes how our hospital affects the environment, and consequently, how the environment affects the health and well-being of our patients.”
LEED certification is the globally-recognized standard for measuring the environmental sustainability of buildings. A nonprofit team of building industry leaders known as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) determines which buildings receive LEED certification through a rigorous, often year-long process.
During construction, Piedmont Newnan recycled 95 percent of its waste materials and left almost two-thirds of the building site undeveloped to preserve natural green space, including a four-acre pond stocked with more than 2,500 fish. The hospital also implemented a two-mile-long pipeline that runs from the waste treatment plant to the hospital to use recycled water for irrigation purposes.
“Due to the huge energy burden on hospitals, it can be incredibly difficult for hospitals to be sustainable, much less receive LEED certification,” said Nipper. “But we knew setting high environmental goals was the right thing to do, and we work daily to reduce our environmental footprint.”
Last year, hospital employees started a recycling program with funds they raised through the annual employee giving campaign to show their commitment to going “green.” Additionally, designated spaces for fuel-efficient vehicles and bicycle racks were added for employees who choose a greener form of transportation to get to work.
Nipper says he expects the hospital to save $655,000 a year in energy costs alone. Another $25,000 is expected to be saved as a result of Piedmont Newnan’s landscaping plan which uses indigenous plants, drip irrigation and moisture sensors, and reduces water usage by up to 50 percent.
In order to receive LEED certification, Piedmont Newnan had to prove:
• Sustainable sites credits encourage strategies that minimize the impact on ecosystems and water resources.
• Water efficiency credits promote smarter use of water, inside and out, to reduce potable water consumption.
• Energy and atmosphere credits promote better building energy performance through innovative strategies.
• Materials and resources credits encourage using sustainable building materials and reducing waste.
• Indoor environmental quality credits promote better indoor air quality and access to daylight and views.