Clean energy

Susquehanna Health’s Williamsport Regional Medical Center was honored Tuesday for introducing green initiatives as part of it buildings and renovations project.

Officials gathered in the hospital’s recently constructed Patient Tower to accept the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) award.

Susquehanna Health President and CEO Steven Johnson said including environmentally sound concepts into the 2012 Project was a commitment that health officials made some dozen years ago.

“It’s been a very rewarding 12 years,” he said.

The health system achieved LEED’s Gold certification by “implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions for high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency materials and indoor environmental quality.”

The hospital is the only one of

more than 200,000 square feet to be certified under the LEED-NC 2009 rating system.

With new requirements more stringent than previous rating systems, the recognition is particularly significant, according to officials.

Collin Beers, of Stantec, the main architectural firm for the buildings project, noted that achieving a LEED certification is a difficult challenge for a health care facility.

“We think this is a starting line, rather than a finish line,” he said.

He said the hope is that the green initiatives represent a model for other buildings projects in the region.

Among the improvements are:

Energy saving measures in the way of motion sensor lighting controls in rooms.

Natural light for private patient rooms.

High efficiency toilets and sinks to conserve water.

Products and materials that provide clean, healthy air quality and that don’t damage or deplete natural resources.

Renovations to improve accessibility for public transportation as well as a parking area for fuel efficient vehicles.

The hospital’s Energy Service Center, which includes a 1,900-kilowatt combined heat and power co-generator, has reduced carbon emissions by 50 percent since it opened in 2009.

“It just makes good business sense,” said Jerry Walls, of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, who was on hand on behalf of his organization to present a plaque to Johnson.

State Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, said the health system’s green efforts demonstrate leadership in energy efficiency and environmental design.

Special recognition was given to Rita Spangler, Susquehanna Health’s vice president of facility development, and Davie Jane Gilmour, of the Susquehanna Health Board.I