Not many architecture firms can say they’ve designed more than 150 LEED-certified structures. But not many architecture firms have 23 locations scattered across the USA and Canada and around the world. The leading global design firm of Perkins + Will recently announced that it has surpassed this milestone, having received LEED certification on its 155th project — 20 of which have come in at the Platinum level.
Of course, nice round numbers are good for publicity, so Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), made a point of congratulating the firm on big project number 150, the Gwinnett Medical Center’s Strickland Heart Center in Duluth, Georgia. “Perkins+Will continues to inspire the building industry with their projects, demonstrating that the highest efficiency is possible,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chairman of USGBC, in a statement.. “We applaud them on certifying their 150th LEED project.”
Perkins+Will President and CEO Phil Harrison had this to say: “Perkins+Will takes sustainable design very seriously. It’s at the heart of everything we do, and LEED certification is just one marker of our commitment. We strive to go beyond what’s currently accepted to create buildings that move the marker of what’s considered sustainable forward.”
The Gwinnett Medical Center’s Strickland Heart Center is one of just a handful of LEED-certified hospital buildings in the world, as the specialized energy, water, and ventilation demands of such facilities often pose a challenge to designers and developers interested in going green. The building garnered certification at the Silver level by including elements such as a comprehensive waste management program that diverted more than 90 percent of construction waste (over 1,600 tons) from landfills and improved energy efficiency (which beat the baseline for such facilities by 19 percent).
In keeping with the concept of a greener building also being a healthier building — an especially important consideration in the medical field — the design team also avoided building products containing substances thought to be detrimental to human health by making use of Perkins+Will’s Precautionary List, a free online tool developed by the firm to aggregate current research on building materials and their effects on human health.
The Strickland Heart Center joins other sustainable healthcare facilities designed by Perkins + Will, such as Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, which was certified LEED Gold earlier this year.