MU Health Care Expansion Earns LEED Gold

COLUMBIA, Mo. — A $190 million patient care tower addition to the University Hospital in Columbia, Mo., received LEED Gold certification. The eight-story replacement facility, which opened in March 2013, was designed by HOK, with offices in St. Louis, and constructed by JE Dunn Construction of Kansas City, Mo. It is the largest expansion ever for University of Missouri (MU) Health Care.

“University of Missouri Health Care is proud that our patient care tower has achieved LEED Gold certification,” said Mitch Wasden, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of MU Health Care, in a statement. “This recognition demonstrates our commitment to providing patient and family-centered care in a healing environment, as well as our dedication to our community by being good stewards of the environment.”

The tower includes six operating rooms, 25 pre-procedure rooms, 18 post-procedure rooms, 90 private patient rooms with smart room technology, a 7,000-square-foot inpatient pharmacy with robotics to automatically dispense medications, a 1,800-square-foot lounge for families of surgery patients and a new facility for Ellis Fischel Cancer Center outpatient services.

The north-south orientation of the patient tower maximizes scenic views and connections to nature, providing views to Missouri farmland. Additionally, more than 100,000 square feet of roof gardens are located on the north and south sides of the building. The 3,150-square-foot Brown Family Healing Garden, specifically designed to reduce stress in patients and staff, is visible from all floors and serves as a crossroads between the new tower and the main hospital.

“Medical research has shown that patients benefit from a healing environment that provides a comfortable environment with natural light and a connection to nature,” said Paul Dale, chief of surgical oncology at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and medical director of Ellis Fischel, in a statement. “Our achieving LEED Gold certification is a testament to our efforts to provide our patients with a state-of-the-art facility that puts our patients at the center of everything we do.”

MU Health Care originally sought simply LEED certification for the 310,500-square-foot addition, but HOK was able to exceed that goal and achieve a LEED Gold rating incorporating several green building techniques. HOK tied environmental systems into the University of Missouri’s existing biomass boiler, replacing a coal-burning boiler with one that burns hardwoods and wood waste to reduce the fossil fuel use of the campus by 25 percent. HOK also used locally sourced material, used a high-performance building skin, provided more efficient fixtures to reduce potable water use by 46 percent, used low VOC-emitting finish materials, and optimized natural light using high-efficiency glass.