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University Hospital receives national certification for environmental design

The Patient Care Tower Expansion at University Hospital was finished in March of 2013.  The eight-story, $190 million building earned the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“We recently received the gold certification, which is one of the highest certifications, and so we’re very proud of that achievement,” said Jeff Hoelscher, a hospital spokesperson.

The tower features rooftop gardens, which slow runoff during storms and act as insulation from heat in the summer.  The building was also built with locally-sourced materials, including limestone from Ste. Genevieve County and stones from old MU residence halls that were recut to make sunshades and walls in the Ellis Fischel Gala and Brown Family Healing Garden, a facility Hoelscher says helps patients’ well-being.

“Medical research has shown that patients benefit from a healing environment that not only provides the medical care that they need but a connection to nature as well,” Hoelscher said.

The U.S. Green Building Council gives out four levels of certification.  The level is awarded based on a point system.  The number of points a facility receives is based on several factors, including water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, innovation and indoor environmental quality.

The inside of the facility includes 596 window panels to allow natural light and an energy management control system, which triggers lights and water fixtures automatically.  Karlan Seville, communications manager at MU campus facilities, says this technology has been placed in buildings across MU.

“Most of the buildings have ... at least some of the space has motion sensors,” Seville said.

The tower expansion also includes seven-foot tall windows affixed in each of the 90 private patient rooms in the tower, giving patients a view from their bed.

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