Project category: New construction (completed December 2006)

Chief administrator: David Crawford, Chief Financial Officer, OHSU Medical Group, (503) 494-1644

Firms: Petersen Kolberg & Associates, PC, (503) 968-6800; GBD Architects, (503) 224-9656

Design team: Dennis Wilde, Project Principal (Gerding Edlen); Phil Beyl, Principal-in-Charge; Kyle Andersen, Project Architect; Steve Domreis, Project Architect (GBD Architects); Thane Eddington, Medical Planner/Architect (Petersen Kolberg & Associates, PC); Andy Frichtl, Principal Engineer (Interface Engineering)

Photography: Jamie Myers Forsythe

Total building area (sq. ft.): 412,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $340

Total construction cost (excluding land): $140,000,000

The Center for Health & Healing, the nation's first LEED Platinum healthcare facility, succinctly embodies the three-fold mission of Oregon Health & Science University, “where healing, teaching, and discovery come together” in a healing, sustainable environment. The 412,000-sq.-ft., 16-story facility houses eight floors devoted to physician outpatient practices, surgery, and imaging; four floors of educational offices and research laboratories; and a three-story wellness center featuring a gymnasium, four-lane lap pool, therapy pool, weight training, and day spa.

To achieve LEED Platinum status and house the diverse programmatic needs of the multiuse building, the design team had to capitalize on the talents of all the members. A number of innovative sustainability solutions were used throughout the building. Sunshades on the side of the building double as solar-power generators, and the building houses the first large-scale, on-site microturbine plant in Oregon to generate electricity. This helps to meet 30% of the building's electrical demand and nearly all of its hot water needs, reducing reliance on nonrenewable energy sources. This kind of thinking affected the project in myriad ways, from sourcing local products for construction to recycling more than 90% of construction waste.

An onsite wastewater-treatment plant will treat 100% of the wastewater on-site, with rainwater and wastewater harvested for toilets and landscaping. This will reduce potable water use by approximately 56% compared with a similar conventional building, and will save 15,000 gallons a day from reaching the city's overburdened sewer system.

The Center for Health & Healing also is the first large building in the United States to replace air conditioning with vastly more efficient chilled beams, similar to an automotive radiator placed horizontally just below the ceiling. Chilled water passes through the beams and natural convention currents carry cool air down to the occupant zone in the reception areas.

Implementing sustainable design inherently facilitated the use of evidenced-based design strategies. For example, beautifully landscaped eco-roofs harvest rainwater and reduce the heat-island effect common in urban centers. The floors dedicated to surgical practices were colocated with these rooftop urban-garden oases to decrease patient stress and provide a positive distraction for the patients. Achieving LEED Platinum status optimized the process of integrating design that improves patient health outcomes.