Page E1.2 . 02 May 2007                     
ArchitectureWeek - Environment Department
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LEED Gold Hospital


Also, through a partnership with Portland General Electric, the medical center's emergency generators are owned and serviced by PGE in exchange for the utility company's ability to use these systems to generate power to return to the grid during hours of peak demand. The energy produced by the generators can power up to 3,000 houses.

The new medical center is located at the eastern edge of Newberg. Its high visibility from the highway is intended to project an image of a welcoming, "one-stop shopping" place for all community healthcare needs, a "medical mall."

The main lobby provides a single point of entry and a strong visual connection to each of three distinct elements: an administrative wing with a conference center, a medical office building, and the main component a clinical wing containing outpatient departments, 39 inpatient beds, and support services.

A gift shop, health resource library, community education spaces, cafe, conference facilities, and medical offices are in close proximity to the main entry, while surgery, inpatient units, and the remaining clinical functions are positioned in easily accessible but more private portions of the building.

At the heart of the complex is an east-facing "healing garden" adjacent to the two-story cafe, with views of Parrett Mountain. Abundant natural light fills interior spaces through a north-facing gallery and east-facing windows that link the garden with the hospital interior.

Green Siting

Site selection and planning was part of the early conservation considerations. To reduce the development footprint, control suburban sprawl, protect greenfields, and preserve habitat, the designers channeled the new development into an already built-up area. Existing buildings on the site were donated to community groups for reuse.

The complex is served by the local bus system. Bicycle parking and shower facilities are provided to encourage staff to use alternative forms of transportation. Preferred parking is provided for employees who drive low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.

On the nearly 60-acre (24-hectare) site, only 19 acres (7.7 hectares) are developed. In addition to the healing garden, there are open areas and walking paths for staff and visitors. Stormwater runoff is managed in parking areas with bio-swales, where pollutants from vehicles are filtered out before runoff returns to the watershed.

The campus is landscaped with native and drought-resistant plants, which reduce the use of potable water for irrigation by more than 50 percent. The building uses 'low-flow' plumbing fixtures, infrared sensors on the faucets, and a cooling water loop system; combined, these reduce water consumption by more than 20 percent.

The architects estimate the building will use 28 percent less energy than a comparable building conforming to ASHRAE standard 90.1-1999. They specified occupancy sensors, daylight controls, and a centralized lighting control system that turns off lights when spaces are unoccupied or lighting is unneeded. Electric power purchased for the building is all from renewable sources.

The building's roofs are covered with a white, thermoplastic, high-reflectance, high-emissive membrane that reduces the heat island effect. The cooling systems use minimal ozone depleting refrigerants.

Healthy Air

Understandably, indoor air quality is of utmost importance in a hospital, so Mahlum Architects were careful in selecting materials and in specifying their care during construction. All materials were protected from moisture damage while on the job site, before and after installation.

Only low-VOC adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, and carpets that met or exceeded the Green Seal requirement were used. The housekeeping staff use "green" cleaning products and practices.

For infection control, the mechanical system operates with 100 percent outside air. Negative pressure is maintained where chemicals are used. Air quality was further ensured by maintaining indoor air quality management standards during construction and by performing a preoccupancy flush-out of the HVAC systems. Tobacco smoking on the campus is allowed only in one designated outdoor area located away from all major entries and air intakes.

Promoting psychological health is also part of the architectural goal. To this end, the separation of wings, creating courtyards, means more occupied spaces and all patient rooms receive direct daylight. The courtyards themselves, and the healing garden, provide additional psychological respite during good weather.

To similarly ensure the health of the larger environment, the architects required that 80 percent of construction waste would be recycled and/or salvaged. Over 25 percent of all building material contained recycled content, and more than 30 percent was manufactured locally. The exterior light fixtures on the building and canopies and in the parking lots are down-facing lights with cut-off lenses to reduce light pollution.

The building was evaluated after six months of occupancy and confirmed to be using 26 percent less energy than the Oregon energy code requires. The interior air was determined to be as clean as designed. A full postoccupancy evaluation will be performed in June 2007 after twelve months of operation.

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Providence Newberg (Oregon) Medical Center, by Mahlum Architects.
Photo: Dave Davidson

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Welcoming entry and front lobby.
Photo: Dave Davidson

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Patient room designed for psychological as well as physical health.
Photo: Eckert & Eckert

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Operating room at Providence Newberg Medical Center.
Photo: Eckert & Eckert

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Ground floor plan.
Image: Mahlum Architects

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Upper floor plan.
Image: Mahlum Architects

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Lobby with view to courtyard.
Photo: Eckert & Eckert

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Dining hall with view to mountain.
Photo: Eckert & Eckert


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