The Sarkis & Siran Gabrellian Women's and Children's Pavilion
at Hackensack University Medical Center
Hackensack, NJ (December 2005)– A focus on environmental design and sustainability earned a ‘Top 10 Green Hospital’ ranking for the new Sarkis & Siran Gabrellian Women's and Children's Pavilion at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC).
It was the first national hospital ranking issued by The Green Guide Institute, an independent media service that publishes The Green Guide and www.thegreenguide.com, and also ranks Top 10 green schools and cities.
The Pavilion, which opened in December 2005, won the prize for Form and Function. It was initially selected from among 1,300 U.S. hospitals publicly pursuing environmental certifications and awards programs.
“As a leading medical center devoted to education, we’ve learned valuable lessons throughout this process. And Deirdre Imus, who has worked behind the scenes exploring alternatives and advising us, is now our national spokesperson, amplifying those lessons and the importance of Building Green for a much wider audience,” says John P. Ferguson, president and chief executive officer of HUMC, a not for profit corporation.
Take A Tour of the Women's & Children's Hospital at HackensackUMC
“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award, and a special achievement even before we are fully operational,” says Ms. Imus, president and founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology®, part of HUMC, which advised the medical center on the selection of environmentally responsible materials and systems.
Indoor Air Quality
During construction, HUMC worked to avoid harmful chemicals such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), mercury, formaldehyde and PVC (poly vinyl chlorides, found in plastics). Toys, flooring and wallcoverings are PVC-free. Cabinetry cores are wheatboard instead of formaldehyde-laden particleboard, and resilient floors are rubber rather than vinyl. Building insulation is made from recycled denim cotton rather than fiberglass, a skin, nose, throat, and lung irritant.
In addition, the award-winning Greening the Cleaning® program, developed by the Environmental Center, is used throughout HUMC to help preserve indoor air quality. Greening the Cleaning® means eliminating to the greatest extent possible all cleaning agents containing hazardous ingredients and replacing them with environmentally responsible products that utilize natural or naturally-derived ingredients, and ingredients from renewable resources whenever possible.
“This program is important for any indoor environment, especially in hospitals where you’re dealing with compromised immune systems, and wherever there are children, since so many already have asthma and allergies,” Ms. Imus says. More than 90 healthcare facilities, businesses and schools have implemented Greening the Cleaning® since 2001, all with direct savings in cleaning costs.
In making the award, The Green Guide also noted: Alternative transportation accommodations at the new Pavilion enable patients and visitors to reach the hospital via trains, buses, bicycles and taxis. The parking garage is equipped with outlets for electric vehicles used at the medical center. Energy-efficient heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems reduce power consumption. And the Pavilion will soon feature four rooftop meadows, which lend insulating properties.
From among the 1,300 healthcare facilities, 76 were evaluated on 12 criteria: indoor air quality, green cleaners, materials and resources, energy and air pollution, water efficiency, healthy hospital food, waste reduction, reducing contaminants, procurement, siting, green education and green gardens.
A Truly Healing Environment
"The biggest surprise was that we did not have to compromise on the aesthetics of the project," says Suzen L. Heeley, director of design and construction for HUMC. "Incorporating soothing colors on the women's side, and energizing, vibrant tones on the pediatric side, the Pavilion uses color, shape and scale to create a truly healing environment. Elements such as an indoor cascading water wall and a ceiling with multicolored LED lighting set the design of this Pavilion completely apart from traditional hospital settings."
HUMC shared know-how during the construction phase with the U.S. Green Building Council to help others facing similar challenges. In addition, The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center continues to advise commercial customers/facilities on the selection of Green Building materials and processes.
The Environmental Center represents one of the first hospital-based programs whose specific mission is to identify, control and ultimately prevent exposures to environmental factors that may cause adult, and especially pediatric cancer, as well as other health problems with our children.
Hackensack University Medical Center is a nationally recognized healthcare organization offering patients the most comprehensive services, state-of-the art technologies, and facilities. A leader in providing the highest quality patient-centered care, Hackensack University Medical Center has been recognized for performance excellence encompassing the entire spectrum of hospital quality and service issues.
Learn more about the new Pavilion and Environmental Features