UAMS Sustainable Spotlight

06/03/2014

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) continues to be a center of sustainable construction in the State of Arkansas. Cromwell is proud to be their partner for the design and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for all the LEED projects on the campus. The latest accomplishment includes the LEED certification of three floors in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. These projects achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes, and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. Over 44,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising over 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries.

The latest certified projects increase the campus LEED certified square footage to over 73,000 square feet across four LEED certified projects. In partnership with Cromwell, there are three more projects completed and currently seeking LEED certification. “UAMS’ LEED certifications demonstrate tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and UAMS serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.” Of the four levels of LEED certification, the campus projects have achieved one Certified rating, two Silver Certified ratings, and one Gold Certified rating, only missing the most stringent LEED Platinum designation. “Achieving LEED certification on a project can be a very challenging process. It requires a high level of coordination and commitment from not only the construction and design teams, but from the project owner. The owner must re-evaluate day to day operations, policies, and purchases. UAMS’ commitment to patient well being and energy efficiency has resulted in LEED certification on the campus being an achievable streamlined process,” said Chris Whitehead, Project Manager at Cromwell Architects Engineers for all UAMS LEED projects.

LEED project goals naturally align with UAMS commitment to sustainable purchasing policies, energy efficiency, campus planning, maintaining high quality indoor air, and providing a healthy environment for patients. During the construction process, there was additional emphasis placed on products with high recycled content, low VOCs (volatile organic compounds), waste reduction, and isolating any harmful construction pollutants from patients.

This commitment to sustainability goes far beyond UAMS’ pursuit of LEED certification on new construction projects. UAMS has established an Office of Sustainability set to improve campus sustainability efforts based on the concept of “People, Planet, Profit”. This strong commitment from UAMS leadership will ensure that the campus continues to serve as a beacon of sustainability for the rest of the state.