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Inova Fairfax Medical Campus Expansion Highlights Environmental Sustainability

Inova Going Green IniativeLEED certification sought for “green building” design

Falls Church, VA – (November 27, 2012) — When it opens in January 2013, Inova Fairfax Hospital’s new medical/surgical tower will be the first building project in Inova history to have been designed and constructed based on criteria established by the U.S. Green Building Council as part of their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program. The “green building” project represents Inova Health System’s commitment to an environmental sustainability program that contributes to a safer, healthier environment for our patients, employees and community.

“The links between the built environment in which a patient is treated and the outcomes patients experience are becoming increasingly evident,” said Seema Wadhwa, Director, Office of Sustainability, Inova Health System. “The design of Inova Fairfax Hospital’s new tower accounts for those links to help us improve the patient experience while also preserving our environment for generations to come.”

Designed by healthcare architects Wilmot Sanz, Inc., and RMF Engineering, and constructed by Turner Construction Company, the 11-story tower’s design includes elements intended to connect patients with nature and the world outside the hospital’s walls; construction materials that preserve clean air and support our local economy; and, features that will help lower the building’s energy costs and promote conservation of the area’s resources.

Specific elements include:

  • Approximately 4,000 square feet of “living roof” planted above the lobby to provide a natural habitat for birds, insects and flora and a pleasing view for patients from their room window
  • Native plantings outside that resist drought and provide a natural habitat; plants inside the building that will connect patients and families to nature and promote clean air
  • Low or no volatile organic compound materials inside the building for improved air quality, including paints, sealants, ceiling and floor tiles, and other building materials
  • Building materials, such as millwork, concrete and precast panels, from local or regional manufacturers who are committed to environmental sustainability
  • A white reflective roof to cut energy costs and lower the “heat island effect”
  • Low-emissivity coatings or ceramic frits on windows to lower air conditioning costs in warm weather
  • 600-gallon cistern for collecting rainwater to reduce storm water run-off and sustain living roof in times of drought

Planners also considered the project’s impact from a waste perspective. Working with Turner Construction Company and Waste Management of Northern Virginia, Inova was able to divert 80 percent of the project’s construction waste from the landfill for recycling or other uses.

“For us, sustainability is not just about being ‘green,’ it is about our professional duty as healthcare providers to promote the healthiest future possible,” said Patrick Christiansen, Chief Executive Officer, Inova Fairfax Medical Campus. “That’s why we’re building environmental sustainability from the ground up, starting with the South Patient Tower.”

The new medical/surgical tower is just the first phase in a multi-year capital improvement project on the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus designed to upgrade the 51-year-old campus’ aging infrastructure and improve the overall quality of care and level of service. It includes the construction of a 12-story medical tower to house Inova Women’s Hospital and Inova Children’s Hospital with expanded service offerings and all private patient rooms, an eight-level parking garage, and improved campus access options.

Inova is seeking LEED certification for all aspects of the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus expansion project.

Read more about Inova’s Sustainability Program, including our 2011 Sustainability Report at

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