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A Tale of Two Sustainable Hospitals

Healthcare designer Jane Rohde interviews Burns Bradford from TLC Engineering and John Chyz of Affiliated Engineers about sustainable healthcare solutions

08.23.2017 by Jane Rohde, AIA, FIIDA, ACHA, AAHID, LEED AP, Green Globes CIEB Assessor
The Integrated Team for UF Health Shands Cardio Vascular & Neuroscience Hospital includes FLAD and Associates (architect); Affiliated Engineers (MEP engineer); Casseaux, Hewett & Walpole (civil engineer); Buford Davis & Associates (landscape architect); Skanska cContractor); Gainesville Regional Utilities (utility – Campus Cogen Plant); and UF Health Shands (owner). Rendering courtesy of Affiliated Engineers

In the last few months, I have had the rare opportunity to tour two hospitals utilizing different approaches to sustainability—one under construction at the University of Florida (UF) and another recently completed at Florida Hospital (FH). During the ASHE/PDC Conference, Burns Bradford from TLC Engineering and other design team members conducted a tour of the FH campus. The FH Women’s Hospital is open and operating, and is still under review by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) for a certification decision. The rating system utilized for the design of the hospital is LEED for Healthcare v3.0 and the team is targeting LEED certification. Many of FH’s  buildings have achieved LEED certification, and sustainability is one of  its corporate goals.

As a follow-up to project tours, John Chyz, who works in sustainable strategy at Affiliated Engineers, which was brought on for UF Health Shands Cardio Vascular & Neuroscience Hospital (CVNS), and Bradford agreed to answer some follow-up questions about the projects addressing the design and sustainability goals for the two hospital projects.

The Integrated Team for UF Health Shands Cardio Vascular & Neuroscience Hospital includes FLAD and Associates (architect); Affiliated Engineers (MEP engineer); Casseaux, Hewett & Walpole (civil engineer); Buford Davis & Associates (landscape architect); Skanska cContractor); Gainesville Regional Utilities (utility – Campus Cogen Plant); and UF Health Shands (owner).
Rendering courtesy of Affiliated Engineers


Integrated Team for Florida Hospital for Women: TLC Engineering for Architecture (MEP & structural engineering); HKS Inc. (architects); KLG Jones (commissioning); Brasfield & Gorrie (general contractor); GAI Consultants (civil/environmental engineering); Foster Conant (landscape architect). 
Photo courtesy of TLC Engineering for Architecture


Jane Rohde: How did the integrated design process work in bringing about a successful, complex project?

John Chyz: “Brad Pollitt, vice president of Facilities for UF Health Shands and project manager, is a passionate supporter of the integrated design process. In an effort to fully support team integration, cooperation, and optimized communication, Brad sponsored two deep-dive partnering sessions: one during the design phase and another during the construction phase. Each two-day, communication-intensive partnering session was aimed at identifying personality traits and effective communication strategies. Further, UF Health Shands made certain that the design and construction teams coordinated directly and frequently with user groups, facilities operations staff, and a myriad of others from the owner group.”

Burns Bradford: “The integrated design process and the LEED charrettes helped keep the design and construction team on task, and enabled the team to work toward the goals set at the beginning of the project. The process also helped with multi-disciplinary coordination among the design team, keeping the them informed of changes and allowing the team to deliver a better final product.”

JR: The integrated design process is well known within the sustainability design world, but in addition, this process is key in gleaning information from user groups that contribute to ths development of the functional program, resulting in a framework as well as a narrative that can be utilized for plans review for licensing. What are some of the key sustainable features of the project?

JC: “There is a green roof component; 93 percent of irrigation is from municipal reclaimed water, except for the green roof. The rest of the roof has a high SRI and a tree-preservation plan was completed as part of the project. An energy model was completed, and submetering, airside economizing, and enhanced BAS capacity is part of the project design. Water recovery, make-up water, and chilled water-cooled sterilizers resulted in a total savings of 11,531,075 gallons per year. A lifecycle assessment of the core and shell using the Tally tool for building comparison was completed, along with a construction waste management plan. The indoor environment addressed meeting VOC limits, thermal comfort, daylight and views, and acoustic comfort for patients, visitors and staff.”

BB: “Energy efficiency is a key sustainability feature. The lighting power density is 0.6 W/sf, half of the baseline. Efficient chillers and boilers were specified and installed, both with variable primary pumping. The design team also used a glass and curtain wall system with high-performance specifications, high-efficiency motors throughout the hospital, and some low-flow fixtures. The energy efficiency measures led to a 24 percent Energy Cost Savings over LEED Baseline--11 points”

Patient Rooms

Another notable comparison between the hospitals is the design and orientation of bathrooms in patient rooms. UF Health Shands Cardio Vascular & Neuroscience Hospital provides a great example of an outboard toilet room as part of the patient room. The frosted bathroom door maximizes the interior access to daylight within the entire room; window privacy shades in recesses are available for the windows in the toilet room and the patient room.

The Florida Hospital for Women, because of the care population, includes a larger inboard bathroom that features a shower within the labor and delivery rooms.  Views are available with window treatments to control the amount of light, along with several different levels of light for patient comfort and staff clinical needs.

University of Florida Hospital Patient Room with outboard bathrooms. 
Photo courtesy of JSR Associates, Inc.


Florida Hospital Labor Delivery Room with inboard bathroom. 
Photo courtesy of TLC Engineering for Architecture.


A tale of two sustainable hospitals—different means to a sustainable end and successful design solutions for those being served and those providing care. Throughout both facilities, the advancements of technology were obvious and sustainable planning was completed to meet current needs while providing flexibility for a constantly changing future.

Featured Interviewees Contact Information:

John Chyz, P.E., LEED AP, GGA, WELL AP                         
Sustainable Strategy                                                    
AEI | Affiliated Engineers, Inc.                                

W. Burns Bradford, P.E., LEED AP BD+C
Mechanical Engineer II
TLC Engineering for Architecture


Green Building Initiative and Green Globes information: thegbi.org

USGBC & LEED information: usgbc.org

Information regarding the author:

Jane Rohde, AIA, FIIDA, ASID, ACHA, CHID, LEED AP BD+C & GGA – EB, is the founding principal of JSR Associates, Inc., located in Ellicott City, Md. JSR Associates, Inc., celebrates 21 years of consulting services in 2017. She champions a global cultural shift toward de-institutionalizing senior living and healthcare facilities through person-centered principles, research and advocacy, and design of the built environment. Clientele includes non-profit and for-profit developers, government agencies, senior living and healthcare providers, and design firms. Rohde is the recipient of the 2015 Environments for Aging Changemaker Award and speaks internationally on senior living, aging, healthcare, evidence-based design, and sustainability. For more information or comments, please contact Rohde at jane@jsrassociates.net or “Chat with Jane” at jsrassociates.net.