Healthcare facilities are important anchors of the urban landscape, housing critical community resources and employing thousands of people. Residential and commercial buildings accounted for about 40% of total U.S. energy consumption in 2018, resulting in air, water and soil pollution.1 Cleveland Clinic is committed to addressing the intrinsic link between a person’s health and the environment by constructing and operating healthy buildings in order to support our mission of providing better care of the sick, investigating their problems and furthering education of those who serve. To this end, we consider indoor environmental quality measures such as lighting, thermal conditions, ergonomics, air quality, water quality, and other factors that support the health of our caregivers, patients and communities.
Since 2007, Cleveland Clinic has implemented the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system to provide a framework for the construction of healthy, sustainable, energy and resource efficient and cost-saving green buildings. To date, we have certified 16 of our buildings to LEED standards—including 8 at the silver rating level and 5 at the gold rating level. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED-certified buildings consume on average 25% less energy and 11% less water than non-green buildings, and have helped divert more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills to date. 2
To support our green building efforts, the Office for a Healthy Environment (OHE) added an Environmental Engineer position to its team in 2018, and hired an individual with a LEED AP (accredited professional) credential. In addition to contributing expertise to new design, construction, renovation and maintenance of our built environment, our OHE Environmental Engineer also supports data management of facility-level environmental performance data across the Enterprise.
1 U.S. Energy Information Administration, “How much energy is consumed in U.S. residential and commercial buildings?,” accessed 30 July 2019, eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=86&t=1.
2 U.S. Green Building Council, “Benefits of Green Building,” accessed 30 July 2019, new.usgbc.org/press/benefits-of-green-building.
In 2018, Cleveland Clinic opened two new buildings, Lakewood Family Health Center and Akron General’s emergency department. To reduce the environmental impacts of new construction, we incorporated the following sustainable design elements in both of these facilities:
- Water efficiency: Installed low-flow toilets and sinks, reducing water consumption by approximately 40% compared to a baseline system
- Energy Efficiency: Incorporated 100% LED lighting and building automation systems to maximize the efficiency and use of conditioned air
- Energy Conservation: Programmed indoor lights for full use only when the building is operational and scheduled setbacks for periods when the building is not occupied
- Landfill Diversion: Fabricated construction materials offsite prior to installation, reducing waste, improving quality and increasing safety, and diverted 90% of construction debris from landfills by reclaiming and repurposing materials for use in other products
- Sustainable Operations: Optimized recycling programs by including dedicated collection rooms and receptacles throughout the facilities
- Indoor Air Quality: Reduced indoor air pollution by selecting low-VOC paints, adhesives, furnishings and materials
Center for Functional Medicine
In September, 2016, Cleveland Clinic opened a 17,000 square-foot space on our main campus for the Center for Functional Medicine. The new space received WELL Building Silver certification in 2017, which works hand-in-hand with LEED certification, and is based on monitoring the features of buildings that impact human health and wellbeing.
WELL evaluates a building’s performance based on seven core concepts: indoor air pollution, water quality, nourishment from healthy foods, lighting systems designed to enhance occupant experience, integration of exercise into everyday life, comfortable and productive workspaces, cognitive and emotional health, and innovation for new ideas that impact the interaction between buildings and human health.
“Functional medicine is a natural fit for this new building standard, as we are constantly assessing how lifestyle and environmental factors affect our well-being. In functional medicine, we want to help people thrive – and that should start right when a patient or caregiver walks through our door. This space demonstrates our dedication to optimizing health.”
- Mark Hyman, MD
Director, Center for Functional Medicine
This new center continues to our support our mission by providing healing environments for our patients to receive care that recognize the inherent link between human health and environmental health.
Taussig Cancer Center
In late 2016, Cleveland Clinic completed construction on our new $276 million multidisciplinary Taussig Cancer Center that united all treatment care teams on our main campus in one central facility and accelerated one of the most robust cancer research enterprises in the country. The new seven-story facility is part of Cleveland Clinic’s Master Plan, which aims to build a more open and welcoming campus for patients and visitors, as well as stronger collaboration among staff.
The 377,000-square-foot facility has been designed to optimize patient experience and physician collaboration with clinical space focused on multidisciplinary care and conveniently accessible expanded support services. The project will be pursuing LEED certification, continuing Cleveland Clinic’s green building tradition.
The new space will accommodate projected growth with an emphasis on features specifically for patients, including:
- Maximum use of natural light and outdoor courtyard views to comfort and calm patients receiving treatment
- An additional 19 exam rooms for a total of 126
- An additional 17 private and semi-private chemo infusion rooms for a total of 98
- Expanded patient services in a central location including healing and support services, genetic counseling, social workers, wig boutique, art therapy and complimentary massages, pedicures/manicures, prosthetics services and make-up application
- Spiritual support center
- Leading-edge technology and equipment to fight and treat cancer including Gamma Knife, six Linear Accelerators for radiation treatment with the latest imaging services including an MRI.
In 2018, we continued to make progress on our Health Education Campus and Cleveland Clinic London. We will be pursuing LEED certification for both facilities. This certification scheme includes design and construction standards specific to healthcare facilities for each of the following categories:
- Location & Transportation
- Sustainable Sites
- Water Efficiency
- Energy & Atmosphere
- Material & Resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Regional Priority
Our OHE Environmental Engineer is collaborating with various cross-functional teams involved in the design and construction of our new facilities to achieve LEED credits in each category for certification.
Health Education Campus
The result of an unparalleled partnership between Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), the new four-story Health Education Campus will foster a collaborative environment that unifies Case Western Reserve University’s medical, dental and nursing schools with the Cleveland Clinic’s medical school. Through its innovative design, the Health Education Campus will encourage students to work and learn together as multi-disciplinary teams, facilitating valuable skill development that will improve patient outcomes and prepare students for their future careers in healthcare.
Students will work together in the same simulation labs, including augmented reality simulators that enable students to practice treating patients in an ambulance and helicopter. Mixed reality and virtual reality digital anatomy programs will aim to meet the needs of audio, visual and kinesthetic learners while providing students a better understanding of how the human body works and how it is organized.
The Health Education Campus will also include a new three-story dental clinic and adjacent recreational park. The existing dental clinic located on CWRU’s main campus provides low-cost care to about 19,000 patients a year, about 60 percent of whom are Cleveland residents. Relocating the dental clinic to Chester Avenue will make it more accessible to patients, giving students and faculty a greater reach in the local community for providing services and education.
“Cleveland Clinic is firmly committed to supporting our community. We are proud that the addition of the dental clinic became part of the Health Education Campus design and will provide greater access for patients where they live and to nearby schools and community centers.”
-Tom Mihaljevic, MD, CEO and President
Cleveland Clinic London
In 2018, we continued progress on Cleveland Clinic London, a proposed 323,000 square-foot medical facility located at 33 Grosvenor Place in London, England. Plans for the building include new architectural finishes and building systems for the interior while the maintaining the principal structure and historical façade. We achieved our best construction recycling rate to date for this project, diverting 97 percent of demolition materials from landfill.
Upon opening in 2021, Cleveland Clinic London will offer both inpatient and outpatient services, and include the following institutes:
- Heart & Vascular
- Digestive Disease & Surgery
- Orthopedics, Plastic Surgery & Rheumatology
- Critical Care & Anesthesia
- General PracticeV
- Hospital Services
- Medical Subspecialties
We are looking forward to bringing our “Patients First” model of care to the United Kingdom and collaborating with local healthcare organizations and physicians to implement best practices along the continuum of each patient’s journey.
Health Education Campus
The new Health Education Campus, a 487,000-square-foot, four-story structure located on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, is the result of an unprecedented partnership between Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). When completed in 2019, the medical and health sciences education campus will include the university and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine tracks of CWRU’s School of Medicine, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, School of Dental Medicine and a new program for physician assistants.
The interprofessional campus will provide opportunities for creative collaboration among students and faculty. The building features a 27,000-square-foot central atrium that draws maximum light from a specially engineered roof. Admissions and other offices surround the central first-floor space, which can be cleared for major events. The first floor also will include a conference center featuring a 7,000-square-foot auditorium and 4,800-square-foot lecture hall where students from all programs will gather for lessons, featured speakers and demonstrations.
“We launched this collaboration to prepare students for a healthcare future that’s still being imagined. [With] pioneering technology and leading-edge teaching techniques, we’ll provide them with the innovative education required to lead in this new era.”
- Toby Cosgrove, MD
Executive Advisor, Former CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic London
In 2017, Cleveland Clinic received permission from the Westminster City Council to convert 33 Grosvenor Place into an advanced healthcare facility. The building will be our first in London, UK, adding another international location to our portfolio with 200 beds and eight operating rooms spanning six stories and 198,000 square feet.
The state-of-the-art facility will be seeking LEED Gold certification, which is the world’s first sustainability assessment method for buildings. It evaluates the built environment across nine scientifically-backed categories, and is applied in 70 countries worldwide. The building’s roof is expected to have a 12kw solar system.
Cleveland Clinic remains committed to continuing to listen closely to the views of local residents, planning officers and members of the local authority to ensure that the development and its plans are appropriate to the local area and local community. We are looking forward to the opportunity to provide our unique model of care to patients in London, one of the world’s great cities.
Taking a precautionary approach, we are reducing patient and employee exposure to toxins by maintaining our green cleaning and integrated pest management standard operating procedures. In 2016, in order to meet the requirements of the WELL Building Standard, the Office for a Healthy Environment reviewed and updated these enterprise procedures.
Green cleaning seeks to utilize products that contain ingredients that pose the least harm to human health and the environment, and similarly integrated pest management is a broad approach to pest control that seeks to use all alternative processes available prior to the application of insecticides or rodenticides. In June 2016, we conducted an audit of several high-pest-risk buildings on our main campus with Beyond Pesticides to evaluate our opportunities for improvement. Collaborating with Dr. Elaine Thallner, the findings, recommendations, and updated policies were presented to our Environment of Care committee and approved in 2017.
Education is often the most important factor in the successful implementation of a new updated policy or procedure. Working with food services, environmental services, and our integrated pest management vendor, we secured management support to implement our updated communication and training plan.