LEEDing The Way To Greener Hospitals – UCF Lake Nona Hospital

UCF Lake Nona Hospital proudly announced on Friday its attainment of LEED Gold certification, marking a significant milestone as the first and sole hospital in Florida, and only the 28th nationwide, to achieve this prestigious green building accolade. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), stands as the foremost green building rating system globally, symbolizing excellence in sustainable architecture and operations.

A collaborative venture between the university and HCA Healthcare, UCF Lake Nona Hospital commenced operations two years ago, strategically located adjacent to the UCF College of Medicine within the bustling hub of Lake Nona’s Medical City. Beyond its vital role in delivering essential in-patient care to non-veteran adults, the hospital serves as a crucial educational facility for UCF medical and nursing students, as well as a nexus for collaborative medical research endeavors.

The LEED Gold designation underscores the hospital’s steadfast commitment to employing sustainable building practices and energy-efficient operations. Notable features include:

  • Water-saving systems such as sinks, toilets, and showers, collectively conserving 767,908 gallons annually, equivalent to nearly 6 million bottles of drinking water.
  • Utilization of native landscaping, resulting in a reduction of nearly 600,000 gallons of water consumption per year.
  • Integration of high-efficiency LED lighting and other systems, yielding over 21% in annual energy cost savings compared to conventional design and construction methodologies.
  • Implementation of on-site recycling measures, utilization of recycled and sustainable building materials, and the commendable recycling of 75% of construction waste during the hospital’s development phase.

Wendy Brandon, CEO of UCF Lake Nona Hospital, expressed her elation regarding this achievement, emphasizing its significance in fostering improved health and wellness within Lake Nona and Central Florida. She remarked, “Sustainability is an increasingly critical focus, and we are thrilled to receive this recognition from the USGBC. It’s yet another testament to the impactful work being undertaken at UCF Lake Nona Hospital.”

LEED-certified buildings, through their emphasis on environmentally conscious design, construction, and operations practices, play a pivotal role in advancing global sustainability efforts. In the United States, where buildings contribute nearly 40% of national CO2 emissions, LEED-certified structures have demonstrated a remarkable 34% reduction in CO2 emissions, along with 25% less energy consumption and 11% lower water usage. Furthermore, these buildings have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills.

UCF boasts an impressive portfolio of 30 other LEED-certified buildings, including the College of Medicine in Lake Nona, Dr. Phillips Academic Commons at UCF Downtown, and Classroom Building II on the main campus.

Amy Pastor, Chair of the USGBC Central Florida Board, commended both UCF and HCA for their exceptional achievement, affirming that their efforts will resonate globally. She remarked, “You are among the best, and your accomplishments will be recognized worldwide.”

Peter Templeton, President, and CEO of USGBC, reiterated the organization’s mission to drive positive change through sustainable building practices. He highlighted UCF Lake Nona Hospital as a stellar example of how collaborative endeavors can yield local solutions with global impact, stating, “LEED was conceived to improve our world and revolutionize our built environment. UCF Lake Nona Hospital exemplifies how innovative project teams can effect meaningful change on a global scale


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Written by Daniel Korentur

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