Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Receives Official LEED Certification

March 17, 2011

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has become one of the first LEED®-certified pediatric hospital campuses in the United States.

On the Children’s campus, the hospital and mid-campus parking garage recently received official LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, which was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. Children’s Hospital’s John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center has received LEED Silver certification, the third-highest designation attainable.

The new Children’s Hospital campus, located on 10 acres in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, opened in May 2009 and includes more than 1.5 million square feet of usable space.

“We’re proud to receive our official certification because it means we’ve achieved our goal of designing and building a world-class pediatric hospital that also is an extremely healthy, transformative and environmentally sustainable environment for our patients and families, staff and community,” said Eric Hess, vice president, operations, who also served as project executive for the new Lawrenceville campus. “From the early design stages, Children’s Hospital planned to develop a green campus that would meet the criteria for LEED certification. Even more impressive than being one of the first hospitals to achieve this status is the fact that we achieved this certification on two buildings, which comprise more than 80 percent of the total campus square footage.”

Children’s received LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use, as well as for incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for employees, residents and the larger community, according to the USGBC.

Children’s commitment to employ green practices extends well beyond its bricks and mortar to operating policies and procedures regarding facility maintenance, housekeeping, food service and waste management. Children's also fosters its green philosophy by working with clinicians, academicians and the community to conduct research on the subject of sustainability and its health effects on children. Additional environmentally sustainable initiatives include:

  • Water-efficient landscaping with drip irrigation systems
  • Use of building materials with recycled content (including recycled post-consumer structural steel)
  • Use of regional construction materials to reduce transportation issues
  • Use of low VOC materials such as sealants, adhesives, paints and carpets
  • Installation of air filtration systems that increase indoor air quality
  • Installation of water fixtures that reduce water use
  • Maximum use of daylight and views and automatic shade systems to reduce cooling costs
  • Access to a rooftop healing garden
  • Continued use of recycled content and local materials whenever possible
  • Access to public transportation
  • Availability of bike racks and showers
  • Employing a “green” education program for staff, patients and guests
  • Utilization of 9.2 percent renewable electricity generation
  • Energy optimization systems and heating and cooling recovery systems
  • Plant materials with low water needs
  • Fragrance-free cleaning products in most locations
  • Low mercury lighting and no mercury equipment in the health care environment
  • Waste reduction including recycling of batteries, paper, cardboard and kitchen grease
  • Utilization of reusable sharps containers to minimize medical waste
  • Development of a continuing medical education-accredited lecture series for residents that focuses on environmental health issues
  • Implementation of a paperless information management system that allows physicians to place nearly all inpatient care orders electronically, eliminating handwritten and verbal orders

“Children’s Hospital’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and founding chair, USGBC. “The urgency of our mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Children’s Hospital serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”

Get more information about the new Children’s Hospital campus.

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919,
Wendy Zellner, 412 586-9777,