Smilow Cancer Hospital wins green building award

The Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, has secured an Award of Merit in the 2011 Green Building Design Awards awarded by Connecticut Green Building Council.

The 516,000 square feet facility has been designed by Shepley Bulfinch and developed by Turner Construction. Towers|Golde served as the landscape architects. It encompasses 14 floors housing 168 private patient rooms, 12 operating rooms, radiation therapy, as well as several integrated imaging technologies.

The building has incorporated various sustainable features which include optimum circulation of natural light in its lobbies, corridors, infusion zone as well as waiting areas to reduce energy consumption. The patient corridor in the operating suite is also illuminated by daylight. Energy usage is further slashed through installation of occupancy sensors in non-patient spaces, pumps with variable speed drives, and room pressure monitors to cut down power usage for enhanced air supply.

The facility has upgraded air handling units (AHU) to provide improved indoor air quality comprising three filtration stages namely Merv7, Merv13, and Merv17 with the final tier consisting of HEPA filters. Presence of ultraviolet lights downstream of the cooling coils allows the AHU to cut down chances of mold, fungus, and virus affliction whereas its outside air flow measuring stations enables entry of the exact amount of outside air in the building interior.

The building is fitted with low-flow water fixtures which led to a 30% drop in water usage. Wastage of water is futher minimised through installation of highly-efficient elements and a drip system in the supplemental irrigation system in the planting beds which provides the proper amount of water in the gardens.

The hospital features a pressure-equalized rainscreen curtain wall system with a terracotta facade. The design makes the building durable while cutting down the need for structural steel. The rainscreen also removes trapped condensation inside the outside wall. The panel openings in the glass are made of low-emissivity insulated glass to prevent infrared heat from entering inside.

An area of 2,000 square feet of the hospital comprises non-roof impervious surfaces among which 80% possess high reflection capacity. Bulk of these surfaces are covered by native plants. The seventh floor of the facility features a 2,500 square foot landscaped healing garden while a greenscape plaza is positioned at its entry.

Other green features of the facility include use of low VOC paints and finishes, use of easy-to-clean solid-surface finishes and epoxy paints in operating rooms to combat infections effectively. In addition, the facility is fitted with terrazzo flooring in public spaces which is low on maintenance, durable and needs only water mopping.

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