UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco Win Awards for Environmental Sustainability, Green Building

By Laura Kurtzman

The green building and sustainability efforts at UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals have garnered three environmental excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth, a not-for-profit group that promotes environmental sustainability in health care.

UCSF won the Emerald Award for overall performance in the nine categories of judging, the Climate award for reporting and setting emission goals at the Medical Center and the Green Building award for the sustainable design of the new hospitals opening next year at Mission Bay.

The new UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, which is scheduled to open in February 2015 and will include women’s, children’s and cancer hospitals, will utilize the best architectural practices to create a hospital complex that promotes the healing, health and safety of patients, while protecting the environment.

“By conserving water, improving energy performance and incorporating healthy building materials, we are taking conscious steps to keep Mission Bay sustainable from the start,” said Gail Lee UCSF’s sustainability manager. “For example, an irrigation plan and water saving appliances will save two million gallons of drinkable water a year.”

Last year, UC President Janet Napolitano set a goal for UC to become the first research university to achieve carbon neutrality, with a target date of 2025. The Medical Center has taken a number of steps along those lines, including replacing its conventional chiller with an electric chiller, which saved $1.3 million in annual energy costs. When other energy, water and waste reduction activities are included, UCSF will reduce energy costs by more than $2 million each year.

UCSF is the nation’s leading university exclusively focused on health. Now celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding as a medical college, UCSF is dedicated to transforming health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with world-renowned programs in the biological sciences, a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-tier hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco.