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Kaiser Permanente To Pursue LEED Gold For All New Major Building Projects

Kaiser Permanente has announced it now will seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for all new construction of hospitals, large medical offices and other major projects.

The healthcare company says its wide-scale pursuit of LEED certification formalizes its longstanding commitment to green building practices. For several years, Kaiser says it has called for environmentally sustainable materials for its buildings. The organization was among the first in health care to eliminate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from carpets and flooring, working with manufacturers in 2004 to introduce several new PVC-free building products to the market when none existed.

With plans to spend roughly $30 billion over the next 10 years on hospital and medical office construction, Kaiser’s LEED Gold commitment is expected to affect 14 million square feet of real estate, or more than 100 buildings over the next 10 years.

“By adopting the LEED standard for all new major construction, we are demonstrating our commitment to green building strategies and to the total health of our communities,” said Don Orndoff, Kaiser Permanente senior vice president of National Facilities Services. “The LEED certification program provides an internationally recognized approach to building and operating well-designed buildings.”

The Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro, Ore., opening in August 2013, is the first Kaiser Permanente hospital to earn LEED Gold status. The modern, 126-bed hospital will be the company’s 38th hospital.

Kaiser says it generated 17 million kilowatts of clean energy in 2012 via solar panels at 11 hospitals and other buildings in California — one of the largest health care solar installations in the country.

In 2012, the organization committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from a 2008 baseline by 2020 through renewable energy, improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings and ambitious goals for new construction.