Humber River Hospital achieves LEED Gold certification

humber river hospital
Humber River Hospital

Humber River Hospital and its project partners has achieved LEED Gold certification through the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

“We designed and built our new hospital on three core principles: Lean, Green and Digital,” hospital president and CEO Barb Collins said in a statement. “Being certified LEED Gold is a testament to the work done by the hospital, and our project partners Plenary Health Care Partnerships and PCL Constructors, in respecting our environment throughout the project, carrying over into the actual building performance. Our design compliance partners HOK also played an important role in helping Humber develop its’ LEED strategy. We are grateful to the Canada Green Building Council for certifying that this work was done to a very, very high standard.”

One of the most energy efficient acute care hospitals in North America, Humber River Hospital is revolutionizing sustainable healthcare design, with a built environment that is setting the bar for reduction of operating costs and carbon footprint, the news release says..

“Surpassing the project’s intended LEED Silver classification to achieve LEED Gold is a testament to the entire collaborative team’s relentless pursuit of achieving unprecedented energy efficiency targets to reduce Humber River Hospital’s carbon footprint and create a facility that balances energy efficiency and innovative technology, enabling the hospital to focus on its core business of providing exemplary patient care,” says Bruce Macpherson, PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Toronto) project director.

Project highlights include:

  • ​Commissioned building systems which demonstrate unprecedented energy efficiency targets: Design energy use intensity (EUI) of 348 ekWh/m2; 17 points for LEED Canada-NC 2009 Optimized Energy and 47% lower than the Energy Star Portfolio Manager Canada target for hospitals
  • ​​100% fresh air circulation, well above CSA-Z317 standards
  • 20% of materials used to construct the facility contained recycled content and 46% were sourced regionally
  • 96% of construction waste was diverted from landfill
  • 38% of the project’s total site area includes vegetated open space
  • 33% water use reduction and water efficient landscaping using captured rainwater
  • Vegetated roof and reflective roofing materials to reduce heat island effect

The hospital was delivered under Infrastructure Ontario’s Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) delivery model in partnership with:

Owner: Humber River Hospital
Lead sponsor and financial arranger: Plenary Group
Design-builder and construction manager: PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Toronto)
Architect: HDR Architecture Associates Inc.
Facilities management: Johnson Controls
Sustainability consultant: MMM Group Limited
Mechanical/electrical consultant: Smith + Andersen
Structural consultant: WSP Canada Inc./Halsall
Mechanical contractor: Modern Niagara Toronto Inc.
Electrical contractor: Plan Electric
Civil engineer: A.M. Candaras Associates Inc.
Landscape architect: Quinn Design Associates

“I would like to congratulate Humber River Hospital and the project team on showing true leadership in the healthcare field by achieving LEED NC 2009 Gold certification,” says CaGBC president and CEO Thomas Mueller. “As one of the most energy efficient acute care hospitals in North America, Humber River Hospital is a strong example of how the shift to a low carbon economy is possible for all building and project types. By committing to green building through LEED, the patients, staff and visitors of this hospital also benefit from a healthier indoor environment which will support patient care and recovery for years to come.”

Backgrounder: Building the hospital

One of the most energy efficient acute care hospitals in North America, Humber River Hospital is revolutionizing sustainable healthcare design, with a built environment that is setting the bar for reduction of operating costs and carbon footprint.

Reducing carbon footprint

To deliver Humber River Hospital’s lean, green and digital vision, the team was challenged to meet unprecedented energy efficiency targets, including 15 points for LEED® Canada-NC 2009 Credit EA 1: Optimize Energy Performance – a first for an acute care hospital in Canada (17 points were achieved). Not only were these targets 40.1% better than ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standards, the hospital specified 100% fresh air circulation, well above CSA-Z317 standards.

The resulting energy model predicts an annual EUI of 348 ekWh/m2, which is 46.7% lower than typical for hospitals in Canada, and a state-of-the-art HVAC system that pumps 100% fresh air throughout the building. Other energy savings features include the use of heat recovery chillers to provide low temperature heating, condensing boilers, variable-speed fans and pumps, efficient duct design to reduce static pressures, exhaust air heat recovery, a high-performance building envelope that includes increased insulation levels in the roof and walls, automated climate and lighting controls, and a building average lighting power density of 0.75W/sq. ft.

The use of dynamic glass is a major design innovation as a response to solar control, allowing for downsizing of HVAC infrastructure, while maintaining patient privacy. With the ability to change its shading throughout the day dependent on the sun or patient preference, the feature uses less energy, supports infection prevention and control, and at nearly 26,000 square feet, is one of the largest installations in the world.

These design, energy and environmental innovations truly demonstrate Humber River Hospital as the hospital of the future.

Digital integration and interoperability

Creating a hospital with complete digital integration and interoperability required the adoption of new technology into building functionality. To support occupant engagement, the hospital is armed with a fully converged Information, Communications and Automation Technology (ICAT) infrastructure that integrates building automation and clinical care into a common network. This simplifies the ability of systems to share digital information; enabling occupants to be mobile and connected: a true revolution for hospitals of the future.

Automated guided vehicles

The hospital includes first-in-Canada use of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). Programmed to move custom-built carts to carry food, linens, medication, and general supplies throughout the hospital, they are capable of calling elevators, opening doors, picking up loaded carts, and determining timing of each delivery based on their location, priority level of the call and time of day.

Innovative construction methods

To further the hospital’s lean and green philosophy, PCL’s agile thinking led to a solution that reduced critical path of the 43.5-month schedule through utilization of virtual construction technology and offsite modular construction techniques to prefabricate and install 360 patient washrooms and telecommunications/data rooms.

The safety record

The project was completed with an impressive, industry-leading safety record, with more than five million hours worked without a lost time injury.



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