In 2020, Chester County Hospital will complete the largest expansion in its history, 250,000 square-feet of added space and 26,000 square-feet of renovations. The project will welcome a state-of-the-art procedural platform with 15 operating room suites, a 99-bed patient tower, a new main entrance and an expanded and renovated Emergency Department.
Distinguishing this project beyond its unparalleled size is its environmental sensitivity. It was designed and is being built with an eye toward achieving LEED Silver certification. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building. The components that are part of LEED-certified buildings ensures electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthier environments.
LEED credits are awarded by third-party technical reviewers. Based on the number of credits achieved, a project earns one of four LEED rating levels: LEED Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum.
"In terms of the construction," Larry Bell, Senior Project Manager for the expansion and renovation, says, "we're employing some measures to maximize the use of a range of recycled material, from the steel to ceiling tiles to the furniture."
In accordance with the certification, a certain number of spaces in the new parking lot will be designated for staff who carpool. A large area of that lot will be pervious pavement, which will enable more rainwater to infiltrate the ground and, in turn, less to be shed by the campus. All of the lighting fixtures in the expansion and renovated Emergency Department will be LED and the plumbing fixtures, water-efficient.
The feature that likely will be most widely appreciated, though, is a large rooftop garden, the hospital's second. Lasko Tower overlooks one, but the new garden will be built in view of many of the new inpatient rooms. Researchers from Penn's Urban Health Lab have found that access to green views is associated with improved general mental health, reduced mental fatigue, and improved coping with stressful settings - potentially making a hospital garden the perfect prescription for families of patients who are ill or injured.
"So," Bell says, "we'll reduce rainwater run-off, and most importantly, provide nicer scenery and a better experience for our patients."
In addition to transforming the building to be green-friendly, Chester County Hospital is also transforming the way the community thinks about health care. From advanced technology to an on-site retail pharmacy, the growing health care needs of the community are covered - all while providing expedited access to emergent treatment, healthy options for grab-and-go meals, and a full suite of health and wellness offerings - in house and throughout the county.