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MU Health Care's Patient Care Tower Expansion Receives U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold Certification

COLUMBIA, Mo. - University of Missouri Health Care's patient care tower expansion to University Hospital has received the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification. The eight-story, $190 million facility opened in March 2013.

LEED Gold Certification is one of the U.S. Green Building Council's highest recognitions for environmentally sustainable design and construction. By certifying buildings that use technology and environment- and people-friendly features, LEED aims to ensure buildings conserve energy, water and other resources; save operating costs; and provide a comfortable, healthy environment for people who occupy the buildings.

"University of Missouri Health Care is proud that our patient care tower has achieved LEED Gold Certification," said Mitch Wasden, Ed.D., chief executive officer and chief operating officer of MU Health Care. "This recognition demonstrates our commitment to providing patient-and-family-centered care in a healing environment, as well as our dedication to our community by being good stewards of the environment."

To achieve certification, the patient care tower incorporated numerous visible and hidden environmentally friendly elements. As a foundation of the patient care tower's green design, the orientation of the building was arranged to provide panoramic views of the MU campus to the north while sunshades on the south and east sides reduce glare inside the building.

The tower's exterior includes other environmentally friendly features, such as rooftop gardens that slow water runoff during storms and insulate the building from absorbing heat from the summer sun. Locally sourced building materials include Missouri limestone, which was quarried in Ste. Genevieve County, and stones that were recycled from demolished MU residence halls, which were recut to make sunshades and walls in the Ellis Fischel Gala and Brown Family Healing Garden.

In addition to six operating rooms, 25 pre-procedure rooms, 18 post-procedure rooms and 90 private patient rooms, the tower also includes a new facility for Ellis Fischel Cancer Center outpatient services. The Ellis Fischel healing garden was created as a focal point of the tower, where patients and families are able to find respite in nature.

Green features extend inside the building with lights and water fixtures that turn themselves on and off to reduce use, building materials that were selected for improved indoor air quality, and 596 window panels to let in natural light. Ellis Fischel's chemotherapy unit looks out over one of the building's green roofs, and each of the patient rooms in the tower has seven-foot-tall windows, which were designed so patients could see out their windows while still in bed.

"Medical research has shown that patients benefit from a healing environment that provides a comfortable environment with natural light and a connection to nature," said Paul Dale, M.D., chief of surgical oncology at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, medical director of Ellis Fischel and the MU School of Medicine's Margaret Proctor Mulligan Distinguished Professor in Medical Research. "Our achieving LEED Gold Certification is a testament to our efforts to provide our patients with a state-of-the-art facility that puts our patients at the center of everything we do."