Green building without sustainable operations is like peanut butter without jelly. It’s like starting a race but not finishing. It kills me when I hear of “green buildings” that use mercury-containing products, clean with bleach throughout the site, or have not signed onto the Healthy Food Pledge.
The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital expansion project represents an example of a facility that gets it.
I had a virtual sit-down with Robin Guenther, AIA, of Perkins+Will and Krisanne Hanson, sustainability director for the hospital, to explore the integration of green building with sustainable operations for a true healing environment and the future of healthcare.
Perkins+Will is leading the design of the new 521,000-square-foot, LEED-registered addition to the existing Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital on the Stanford University Medical Center campus in Palo Alto, California.
The addition will include 150 new private acute and critical care patient beds, and extensive new surgical and diagnostic services. There also will be a below-grade patient parking structure, as well as three new inviting multiuse outdoor garden spaces to link the addition to the existing hospital, which is already known for its multiple landscaped courtyard spaces.
Perkins+Will is responsible for the architectural and interior design for the new addition, expanding upon the master plan developed by KPF, and is working closely with HGA, the architect of record, and medical planners.
Perkins+Will is developing the approach toward the overall patient and family experience throughout the new building, as well as ensuring that the design incorporates many environmentally responsible and energy-efficient design solutions to help Packard Children’s achieve a LEED rating.
Packard Children’s dedicated to extending its sustainability commitment to sustainable operations, as evidenced by its use of the Green Guide for Health Care as well as its Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards.
Janet Brown: Krisanne, tell me about your role as director of sustainability and about your involvement with this expansion.
Krisanne Hanson: I started at Stanford University Medical Center seven years ago as the director of housekeeping, patient transport, and grounds, and transitioned to my new role as sustainability director in 2010. I remember meeting Robin Guenther in the early stages of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital expansion design process.
It was through Robin’s meeting discussions and coming to understand her expertise that I convinced our leadership to register and participate in the Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC) pilot program (of which Robin was a co-coordinator) for sustainable operations at both Stanford Hospital and Packard Children’s. We used the GGHC operations section to develop teams for each of the Green Guide sections, and also used the Practice Greenhealth awards application to document and compile our results.
I felt this would be a thorough assessment of our baseline sustainable operations and also provide a framework for us to gain familiarity with working in a LEED facility.
Brown: Robin, tell me a bit about the Packard Children’s expansion.
Robin Guenther: The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital was opened as a pediatric convalescent facility in 1991, designed by Derek Parker and his team at Anshen + Allen. It has multiple levels, 26 terraces derived from multiple setbacks with a central garden as a focal point. The design effectively brings nature into the space.
When I first saw it, I understood why Derek Parker is one of the best healthcare architects of all time. At the same time, Packard Children’s has evolved into a major 21st century academic medical center, but the building now lacks support space and teaching space, and all the beds are semiprivate.