At Northwest Community Hospital (NCH), we are committed to providing the very best medical care and overall healthcare experience to our patients and visitors. In the past decade, NCH has expanded upon this promise, becoming not only a destination for great care, but also a total healing environment.
In 2010, NCH opened the South Pavilion, a nine-story patient care addition that brings together high quality care and advanced technologies within an eco-friendly green building. The design of the South Pavilion incorporated many construction and operating practices that are environmentally responsible, addressing matters like water and energy efficiency, material and resource conservation, and indoor environmental quality.
Since the opening of the South Pavilion, NCH has expanded its environmental responsibly throughout the campus in Arlington Heights as well as to NCH locations in Buffalo Grove, Lake Zurich, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, and Schaumburg. Through responsible waste management and recycling programs to responsible materials management efforts, NCH's green efforts are making a difference in the surrounding communities today, while also investing in the environmental sustainability of tomorrow.
- During construction of the South Pavilion, 53% of the building materials and resources were manufactured and extracted within a 500-mile radius of the Hospital. This effort reduced the energy required to deliver materials and products to the site, and also supported local and regional economies.
- When possible, rapidly renewable products or materials with high recycled content were used during both new construction and building improvement projects. For example, the rubber flooring in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is comprised of resources that replenish quickly in nature.
- Many products used in buildings can release harmful gases that trigger asthma, eye irritation, or other health effects – especially for individuals who spend much time inside. In the South Pavilion and in other building improvement projects, we carefully select paints, carpeting, wood, refrigerants and other materials that release little or no fumes (low VOC content).
- Approximately 60 percent of the wood-based materials used in the construction of the South Pavilion are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Certified materials come from sources that comply with sustainable forestry practices that protect trees, wildlife habitats, streams and soil.
- The South Pavilion's reflective white roofs and rooftop gardens help reduce the "heat island effect" – that's a phenomenon where heat from buildings is radiated back into the surrounding environment, which increases cooling loads in buildings and may harm native habitats.
- By minimizing the "heat island effect," the energy needed to cool and heat the building has been reduced. In fact, the South Pavilion is designed to be 35 percent more energy efficient than the average comparable hospital building.
- NCH has incorporated high-efficiency lighting and installed sensors that automatically turn lights off when rooms are unoccupied. Energy saving light fixtures in the Visitor Garage save an approximate $73,000 annually.
expand / collapseConscientious Waste Management
- NCH has recycled more than 84 percent of its non-hazardous construction waste, ensuring that recyclable waste is not sent to landfills.
- The South Pavilion and Visitor Garage use vertical rather than horizontal space, avoiding the destruction of trees, greenfields and open land. The NCH campus is landscaped with native and adapted plant species. Hardy and drought resistant, these plants require no fertilizers or pesticides, need little maintenance and provide rich habitats for native wildlife.
- Storm water runoff has been reduced by 25 percent. Rain gardens and low prairie-like areas (bioswales) capture water runoff from the South Pavilion roof, and on-campus parking areas and roads. Bioswales filter out impurities (e.g., pesticides, fertilizers and motor oil) and recharge the natural groundwater.
expand / collapseNatural Resource Management
- The design of the South Pavilion maximizes natural light, reducing the need for interior lighting and power consumption during daylight hours.
- Water consumption has been reduced by 20-30 percent with the use of low-flow fixtures throughout the Hospital. As a result, we are taking less water from rivers, lakes and underground aquifers.
- Thirty-five percent of NCH's electricity has been purchased from renewable sources, such as wind power.
Environmentally Friendly Certification
With sustainable initiatives and green building design features, NCH is striving to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization that promotes a sustainable future through green building construction. As additional opportunities arise, NCH will continue to serve as good stewards of the environment by embracing more green projects and LEED initiatives.