With rooftop solar panels, rainwater irrigation systems and walking trails open to the community, the Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro, Ore. is an ambitiously sustainable campus, and the first Kaiser Permanente hospital to earn LEED Gold status. Kaiser Permanente used the occasion of the hospital’s opening in 2013 to announce plans to pursue the same rigorous sustainability standards for all new construction of hospitals, large medical offices and other major projects.
With plans to spend roughly $30 billion over the next 10 years on hospital and medical office construction, Kaiser Permanent’s LEED Gold commitment is expected to affect 14 million square feet of real estate, or roughly 100 buildings over the next 10 years.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that serves as a guide for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Buildings are awarded points for environmentally significant practices and sustainable features. The LEED certification system’s rigorous strategies for pedestrian friendliness, sustainable site development, water and energy use, indoor environmental quality, and chemical avoidance have made it one of the world’s most influential forces in building design.