Dell Children’s is the first hospital in the world to achieve Platinum certification under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program sponsored by the United States Green Building Council.

In order to achieve LEED® certification, sustainable green building buildings are rated in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Here are examples of the ideas, work and accomplishments that went into the construction of Dell Children’s and its campus.

Sustainable Site

  • 47,000 tons of Mueller airport runway material was reused on the site
  • About 40% fly ash instead of Portland cement in the concrete mix yields a drop in carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to taking 450 cars off the road
  • Courtyards provide light to interior spaces; courtyard air intakes provide cooler air than rooftop intakes for air conditioning
  • 92% of construction waste was recycled on site

Water Efficiency and Water Conservation

  • Reclaimed water is used for irrigation, xeriscaped landscaping uses native plants which require less water
  • Low –flow plumbing fixtures

Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation

  • Efficiency measure save enough power to fuel about 1800 homes
  • An on-site natural gas turbine supplies all electricity, 75% more efficient than coal-fired plants: links to the municipal grid and an emergency generator provides backup
  • Converted steam energy from a heating/cooling plant supplies all chilled water needs
  • Under-floor air distribution in  non-clinical, non-patient areas requires less fan power than above-ceiling ducts
  • Parking lot trees and reflective surface pavement and roof materials reduce the heat-island effect

Indoor Environmental Quality and Lighting

  • Most interior spaces are within 32 feet of a window
  • Motion and natural light sensors shut off  unneeded lights

Conservation of Materials and Resources

  • Use of local and regional materials saves fuel for shipping
  • Special paints and flooring emit low levels of  volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).

In addition, Seton Family of Hospitals has partnered with the City of Austin and Austin Energy to build a District Energy Plant on the hospital site, which provides high quality, reliable power, as well as chilled water and steam. The District Energy Plant will also have the capability to provide chilled water to other areas on the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport site.