New SF MOB Is So Green, It’s Platinum

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Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s newest medical office building is beautiful and it meets high industry standards for its green design and sustainability.

The new Mission Bay Medical Office Building (MOB) in San Francisco recently became the first medical office building Programwide to earn the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification for its sustainability and environmentally conscious design.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is a rating system that serves as a guide for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. The LEED certification system, which has silver, gold, and platinum levels, rates such features as pedestrian friendliness, sustainable site development, water and energy use, indoor environmental quality, and chemical avoidance. It’s considered a coveted standard in building design.

Kaiser Permanente has many buildings that have reached the gold and silver certifications, and in 2013 the organization made a  commitment to pursuing a minimum of LEED gold on all new medical offices, hospitals, and other major construction projects. The platinum certification is a higher level certification, and only one other Kaiser Permanente Northern California building, the Napa Data Center, has earned platinum.

The Mission Bay Medical Office Building opened in March, and the nine-story building is part of a new wave of Kaiser Permanente medical office buildings designed to enhance the member experience by using technology and space to make getting care easier, more convenient, and focused on choice.

“This is a building that is not only cost-effective to manage and operate, but it’s environmentally responsible, which will help build healthy communities for future generations,” said Jay Murphy, who manages capital projects for the San Francisco Service Area.

LEED certification does not mean overall higher costs — it just takes some adjustments during the design process. Any additional upfront costs are expected to be made up for – and then some – because these sustainable designs will save on energy, water, and other expenses over the lifetime of the building.

Notable environmentally friendly features of the 220,000-square-foot Mission Bay building include:

  • All the lighting is LED, which translates into a 31 percent power savings above and beyond what’s required by LEED. Lights also shut off automatically.
  • The natural lighting is significant — 90 percent of the occupied space has windows or glass where light can filter through.
  • The facility has a “green” roof; it’s covered with grass, which collects water, provides oxygen, and cools the building.
  • The facility also uses 100 percent outside air, so occupants benefit from “fresh air.”
  • The building’s temperature is automated, controlling the building’s climate with sensors. Building climate controls that continuously monitor temperature and carbon dioxide mean that the climate is comfortable and the air quality is high.
  • The building design also includes “purple pipes,” which will allow reclaimed or recycled water to be used for toilets.
  • Carpeting and flooring has low or no emissions chemicals.

Ramé Hemstreet, Kaiser Permanente’s chief energy officer, said he’s proud of Mission Bay for being the organization’s most energy efficient MOB.

“Well designed buildings are good for the environment, they’re good for business, and are an important step in helping us achieve our goal of becoming carbon neutral  by 2020.”

Discussion2 Comments

  1. This is VERY exciting! I am very proud of KP for this significant achievement. A great contribution to environmental responsibility.

  2. Laurel Biernacki

    Wow! Way to go. I hope that this is a shining example of how incorporating the environmental concerns with new technology will be like worldwide.

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