Halton McMaster Family Health Centre wins gold for being green

March 10, 2017

McMaster University and Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington have been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for the design and construction of the Halton McMaster Family Health Centre.

The Centre opened in fall 2014 as a shared building between McMaster and Joseph Brant Hospital on the hospital’s site on Lakeshore Road.

It is a teaching site of McMaster’s Department of Family Medicine, particularly for the training of family medicine resident physicians. The Burlington family health team provides inter-disciplinary care to a patient base of 9,300 patients in the Burlington area.

The building was originally designed to achieve LEED Silver standards, but upon completion of the certification process, the organizations were awarded LEED Gold certification, because of the lasting benefits of the building to the local community and environment.

“This LEED Gold certification of the new building is good not just for the environment but also for the patients, faculty, staff and students of the Halton McMaster Family Health Centre,” said Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences. “We congratulate our partners Joseph Brant Hospital and everyone involved on their thoughtful foresight.”

Eric Vandewall, president and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital, added: “We are proud to receive the LEED Gold certification.

“Beginning with the initial design conversations in 2012, through the construction process and now the building’s day-to-day operations, we chose to create a building that makes a positive impact on the long-term health of our environment.”

During construction of the Centre, Bondfield Construction ensured that scrap metal and other construction waste was recycled and any soil removed from the site was reused for grading or available for use in other local construction projects. Construction materials were purchased from local sources less than 1,500km away to reduce CO2 emissions.

The building’s daily operation uses a variety of environmentally friendly technologies that also contributes to the employees’ and patients’ health and productivity. The buildings’ exterior windows absorb heat while reflecting harmful UV rays, conserving energy used in heating and cooling the building.

In addition, rainwater is collected from rooftop drains and used as grey water to flush the toilets, effectively recycling and conserving water. Lights in the building are motion-activated and automatically dim in response to natural daylight, and a highly efficient air handling unit leverages ambient air temperature in the spring and fall, reducing electricity consumption.

To support reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, a bus stop and bike rack were supplied for employees and patients using eco-friendly transportation.