Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sinai Atrium Open

Sinai Hospital of Baltimore officially opened its green building expansion at noon today. The 87,000-square foot, four-story addition includes an atrium, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Intermediate Care Unit (IMC).

“In an effort to support our community and reduce our environmental footprint, Sinai Hospital strives to be a corporate leader in green development,” said Neil Meltzer, president and COO of Sinai Hospital. “This building expansion is a wonderful example of how hospitals can achieve a high level of patient care and incorporate environmental responsibility.”

A highlight of the new building is the 8,000-square-foot atrium. The large common area provides lots of natural light, vegetation and a waterfall feature, which provides a peaceful environment for patients, visitors, and staff. The waterfall feature is over 40-feet-tall and includes water cascading over stone slabs that is lit with integrated LED lighting.

The new building features two new patient care areas, a 29-bed ICU located on the fourth floor, and a 36-bed IMC unit, located on the sixth floor. Both new units incorporate enhanced ergonomics for the patient care staff. Improvements include patient beds designed to reduce the need for lifting; raised outlets for a decreased need for bending and stretching; special flooring to support long periods of standing; and a pod-like setting with all medical supplies in close proximity. Also, each of the private patient rooms has sleeping space for families and computers at every bedside.

The new building also boasts the area’s first hospital roof garden, which can be viewed from the 4th and 6th floors. This “vegetecture,” or vegetated architecture, is a form of building design that using vegetation as a part of construction. The garden is comprised of a green roof system consisting of low maintenance sedum plants. The plants are expected to mature in two to three years and will require little maintenance from the hospital.

A helipad is located on the rooftop. This will allow for transport of patients to the emergency department, operating rooms and the cardiac catheterization labs.

The expansion also has many green features including:
  • Fundamental refrigerant management to reduce ozone depletion.
  • Thermal comfort design and verification to meet minimum standards for insulation.
  • Use of low-emitting materials, adhesives and sealants; paints and coatings; carpet systems; composite wood products; systems furniture and seating. These products reduce the environmental impact of construction.
  • Incorporation of high performance energy saver glass and frames at curtain walls and ribbon windows.
  • Incorporation of recycled content and low volatile organic compounds (VOC) in building finishes and furnishings.
  • Use of low energy consumption LED lighting.
  • Installation of local lighting controls utilizing multiple lighting scenes to reduce energy consumption and provide varying lighting effects for evening, overnight and daytime conditions.

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