Aspirus Wausau Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit Earns LEED Gold Certification

Posted on Jul 27, 2010 by Sustainability

Wausau, Wis. – The Aspirus Wausau Hospital announced today that the Anya Marie Jackson Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Aspirus Wausau Hospital has been awarded LEED® Gold certification, as established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

“The built environment of the Aspirus NICU exemplifies how humans react to the health of the environment in which they are nurtured,” said Theresa Lehman, Director of Sustainable Services for Miron. “It is truly amazing to watch critically ill and premature babies heal and develop more quickly when they are in an environment that mimics their mothers’ womb: meaning more controlled sound and light, both major causes of stress for infants.”

The Anya Marie Jackson Newborn Intensive Care Unit achieved LEED Gold certification under the LEED for Commercial Interiors (CI) green building rating system based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the indoor air quality and environment, hence enhancing the health and well-being of the patients, their families, and the Aspirus staff, as well as reducing environmental impacts, and saving operational costs.

Green design and construction features of the NICU that exemplify Aspirus’ commitment to sustainability include:

-Encourage alternative transportation for the staff and visitors by providing preferred parking spaces for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles and car-pooling within the dedicated NICU parking area as well as bicycle storage and changing facilities.

-Reduce potable (drinkable) water consumption by 30% through the use of low-flow plumbing fixtures.

-Optimize energy performance through the installation of high efficiency HVAC equipment and ENERGY STAR appliances and equipment.

-Recycled 89% of the construction waste.

-Selected and installed materials with a high pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled content and locally sourced within a 500 mile radius of Wausau.

-Purchased and installed Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood products.

-Implemented an occupant recycling program.

-Installed outside air delivery monitoring system.

-Implemented a Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan during construction and flushed the building with 100% outside air immediately prior to occupancy to eliminate any potential indoor air dust or contaminants.

-Chose zero-emitting, Greenguard Certified for Children and Schools, products including: adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, flooring systems, composite wood and Agrifiber products and systems furniture and seating

-Installed MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) 14 filtration media in the air handling system to further provide high indoor air quality.

-Installed lighting, temperature, ventilation and acoustic controls in every patient room.

-Provided views to the exterior in every patient room along with a silent black-out curtain to allow family members to enjoy natural daylight and connect with nature while providing the infant patient with the dark environment they prefer.

-Created a green building educational brochure, video and case study to educate the team, Aspirus staff, and patient families on the benefits of green building design and construction.

“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, Aspirus Wausau Hospital’s Anya Marie Jackson NICU is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”

U.S. Green Building Council
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 100,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to soar to $60 billion by 2010. The USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system is the preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. 35,000 projects are currently participating in the LEED system, comprising over 5.6 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 91 countries. By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. For more information, visit

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