Tower Among ‘Most Innovative and Inspiring’ Projects

The new hospital at Rush University Medical Center is featured in a report showcasing the world’s “most innovative and inspiring” urban infrastructure projects.

The Tower at Rush is one of only 10 health care projects listed in KPMG’s second edition of “Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition,” and one of two in the United States.

The report by KMPG, a worldwide consulting firm, is designed to provide insight into the infrastructure projects that make great cities, with a particular focus on the innovations that make them “Cities of the Future.” According to KMPG, the development of sustainable urban infrastructure is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. More than half of the global population is already squeezed into cities that, collectively, make up less than two percent of the planet’s land.

Of the 100 projects identified by the regional judging panels, 10 were selected by a global judging panel as being the most noteworthy within each project category.

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Tower Sets Green Milestone With LEED Designation

Rush’s Tower is the largest new-construction health care facility in the world to to receive LEED Gold certification.

One of Chicago’s most distinctive new buildings has now been certified as among the greenest.

Rush University Medical Center’s innovative new hospital building, the Tower, which opened in January, has earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. It is the largest new construction healthcare project in the world to be LEED Gold certified.

The new hospital building, located at 1620 W. Harrison Street, is the only full-service green hospital in Chicago. Perkins+Will designed the new hospital. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

From the outset of our facilities planning, we made a commitment to sustainability because in the long run it is good for our patients, our employees and the entire community,” said Peter Butler, president and chief operating officer of Rush.

Rush earned high marks for green design, construction and operation. Rush achieved LEED Gold certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. Hundreds of energy savings ideas have been incorporated into the planning, construction and design.

Read the entire news release and take a look at the video below for an overview of the Rush Transformation’s environmentally friendly efforts.


Environmentally Friendly Planters are Right as Rain

The green efforts associated with the January 2012 opening of Rush University Medical Center’s new hospital continue to take root.

Seven environmentally friendly planters have been installed on the north side of 1600 W. Harrison St, in front of the new Edward A. Brennan Entry Pavilion and the Atrium. The planters, which include trees and other vegetation, collect rainwater runoff from the sidewalks and redirect it toward the plants for watering.

On the new hospital building, also called the Tower, there will be rainwater collectors to nourish the green roofs that will be installed. Soil and vegetation on the roofs will be used to provide shade and remove heat from the air, reducing temperatures of the roof surface.

For more information, visit Rush’s new Transformation website.

New planters redirect rainwater to nourish vegetation.

Six-Month Countdown for New Rush Hospital Building

Excitement is building for the January 2012 opening of the new Rush University Medical Center hospital, as construction progress on July 15 reached the “substantial completion” phase with just six months to go until patients move in.

The installation of more than 10,000 pieces of medical equipment is beginning throughout the building at Ashland Avenue and the Eisenhower Expressway, and every aspect of the new hospital will be inspected and tested, in addition to the final detail and finishing work that will be completed during the coming months.

The new hospital building is the cornerstone of our plans to reorient all of our facilities and care around the patient and their families in order to reduce costs and improve outcomes,” said Peter Butler, president and chief operating officer of Rush University Medical Center.

Dr. Larry J. Goodman, CEO, Rush University Medical Center, discussed the new hospital on WGN-AM’s Greg Jarrett Show this morning. More information on the new hospital can be found on a unique, interactive website introduced by Rush this month. It is devoted to information and tours about the new hospital.

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Drama in an Entranceway

Construction has begun on the Edward A. Brennan Entry Pavilion, a dramatic three-story, sun-drenched entranceway linking the new hospital building that is under construction at Rush with its existing hospital facilities. When completed, the pavilion will be Rush’s new “front door.”

It will be located on West Harrison Street, with the new hospital building that will open in 2012 to the east and the existing Atrium hospital building to the west. The project is a component of the Rush Transformation, the most comprehensive campus renovation project in the medical center’s 170-year history.

The pavilion is named in honor of Edward A. Brennan, chairman of Rush’s Board of Trustees for nearly ten years until his death in 2007.  During his tenure as chairman, Brennan spearheaded the vision for the Rush Transformation. The construction of the pavilion is funded solely by philanthropic gifts from friends, family and business associates of Brennan, including members of the Rush Board of Trustees. Through their generosity, $11.4 million of the $15 million project cost has already been committed.

The structure embraces Rush’s spirit of innovation, with a design that is at once highly contemporary, yet welcoming and accessible.

The centerpiece is a three-story, four-season terrarium, which is open at the top and encased in a display that pays tribute to those who have made Rush an extraordinary place of healing.

Hip Hip Hooray for the Rush Green Team!

Last month while working on the Earth Day “Green Transformation” blog, there was a very important driving force behind green operations at Rush that I didn’t get a chance to feature – The Rush Green Team. The Green Team was formed by a group of interested Rush faculty, staff and students who volunteer their time to foster sustainability efforts at the Medical Center.

Now the Rush Green Team is getting some well deserved attention from GreenTech TV, an influential “green” internet site and communications company.

Team lead Mary Gregoire, PhD, is featured in a two part interview posted on the Work Goes Green section of The stories are also available on the Reuters wire service. Click on the links below to read the full interviews.

First Do No Harm. Rush University Medical Center Extends Their Patient Commitment to the Environment

Rush University Medical Center’s Green Team Takes Small Steps That Drive Big Change

The initial efforts of the Rush Green Team have focused on recycling. The team launched the Come Clean – Go Green initiative to promote reuse of materials, reduction and conservation of resource use and recycling. The team’s efforts have even expanded beyond Rush.  The team hosted a “green” reading time-out with the Chicago Bulls and students from Brown Elementary School.

The team is made up of All-Stars! Way to go team!

Green Transformation: Earth Day is Every Day at Rush

Happy Earth Day!  I hope you have been following our Green Transformation blog that has highlighted Rush University Medical Center’s commitment to be environmentally responsible as we undergo the largest campus construction project in our history, the Rush Transformation.  Here is a brief recap by the numbers:

  • Overall power usage of the new in-patient hospital building (0.62 watts/sq. ft.) will be 50% less than the amount used by most hospitals.
  • Rush is restoring 50% of new construction areas with adaptive vegetation to reduce the heat island effect and reduce storm water run-off. This includes five green roofs.
  • Water usage in the new building will be reduced by 30% by using low-flow plumbing fixtures.
  • Highly absorbent micro fiber mops will save 500,000 gallons of water per year.
  • Using air conditioner condensation to fill cooling tanks will save 1.3 million gallons of water per year.
  • Rush has reduced the amount of medical waste it generates per patient by more than 50% in the past 12 years.
  • Replacing Styrofoam disposable products with biodegradable products is keeping more than 870,000 Styrofoam plates, cups and containers out of landfills each year.
  • In 2009, the Rush recycling program diverted 898 tons of materials from landfills which saved 15, 266 trees, over 341,000 gallons of oil and 3,683,514 KW of electricity.
  • An Ultra High Performance Lighting System, including extensive use of LED lighting that last 15 to 20 years ,will save $600,000 over five years.
  • Over 90% of construction waste has been or is being recycled.
  • More than 90% of all the steel used in the new buildings is recycled.
  • Furniture and interior finishes are at least 20% post-consumer recycled materials.
  • Over 50% of the wood used is FSC-certified.
  • The goal is to reduce sound levels by 90% in the new in-patient hospital.
  • Elevators in the new parking garage use 50% less power than most elevators and feed electricity back into the power grid.
  • Over half of the construction materials came from manufacturers within 500 miles of Chicago to reduce fuel for transportation and emissions.
  • Green efforts are estimated to reduce operating cost by approximately 9%.

Rush is being recognized for these efforts. The Orthopedic Building at Rush has earned Gold LEED certification and we are on track for Gold LEED on the new in-patient hospital building, the East Tower.

While I won’t be posting a new Green Transformation update everyday from this point forward, be sure to check back for periodic updates. Here at Rush, we continue to look for new ways conserve energy, water and materials, and to reduce waste. Earth Day is every day at Rush!