By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Lakeway Regional Medical Center, the nearest full-service hospital to Four Points, received its 3-Star LEED award from Austin Energy on Thursday during its two-year anniversary celebration.
“The Lakeway Regional hospital is an excellent example of providing advanced, state-of-the- art healthcare while still considering the impact on the earth and the surrounding community,” said Liana Kallivoka, LEED project manager with Austin Energy.
On May 15 Austin Energy awarded LRMC with its Green Building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design 3-Star Rating of Distinction.
“We think it puts the hospital as a showcase in the community, as a standard of taking care of folks and being a good steward of the environment,” said Kregg Elsass, principal at architecture and engineering firm Page Southerland Page Inc.
LRMC, located at 100 Medical Parkway off of RM 620 S., opened its doors in April 2012. Today the hospital has 280 doctors on staff, has admitted more than 3,400 patients, and has delivered more than 419 babies, said Joyce Hein, interim CEO.
When the hospital was just a concept in 2008, Elsass was part of the LRMC design team. He helped initiate the plans to go green which led to the LEED certification last week.
LEED is a third party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. It was developed in 2000 by the U.S. Green Building Council.
LEED certification uses a scoring system and a documented, verification and confirmation process, Elsass said.
LRMC did several key things during construction to earn its LEED certification.
LRMC was built with 32 percent recycled materials, and sourced 57 percent of its building materials from Texas, Kallivoka said.
“They also diverted over 400 tons of construction waste away from landfills back into the recycling stream,” Kallivoka said.
The hospital was built into the side of a hill, with the main entry on the third floor. That provided each of the lower levels with access to courtyards and views to the water feature adjacent to the site.
“This massing also helped maintain a mid-rise feel for the eight-story building,” Kallivoka said.
Energy efficient HVAC and lighting contributed to LRMC’s 23.7 percent energy savings. “Savings was augmented by capturing waste heat to preheat hot water,” she said.
Low-flow plumbing fixtures result in saving more than 405,000 gallons water annually. The hospital also has low emitting flooring and insulation free of added urea formaldehyde.
The parking garage helps mitigate the “urban heat island” effect and conserve habitat, Kallivoka said.
More than half, or 57 percent, of the site was either left undisturbed in its natural vegetated state or restored using native landscaping. Through this, LRMC is able to significantly reduce irrigation costs on the grounds, she added.
Kallivoka cited LRMC as one example of an Austin Energy partnership that is making a positive difference when it comes to the environment.