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Boone Hospital Center tower recognized for environmentally friendly design

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 | 6:08 p.m. CST; updated 6:43 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 24, 2012
During a tour on the roof of Boone Hospital Center, Myrl Frevert, director of support services, describes the solar panels that heat the water for the new patient tower that opened in June. The hospital was awarded the LEED gold status for its adherence to environmentally friendly construction practices and design.

 COLUMBIA— The U.S. Green Building Council has recognized the new patient tower at Boone Hospital Center for its environmentally friendly construction and design. 

The new patient tower, which opened in June of 2011, received gold level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The hospital invested approximately $1 million in energy conservation features and green products for the tower, Myrl Frevert, director of support services at Boone Hospital, said.

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Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design  is a certification system created by the U.S. Green Building Council. There are three certification levels — silver, gold, platinum — that a building can be awarded for green construction. 

More than 10 percent of the materials used to build the tower were recycled, according to a news release. 

A major green feature of the new tower is a 30,000 gallon underground tank, which collects rainwater that is used for the hospital’s landscaping irrigation system.

Around the tower, shallow depressions in the ground are surrounded by native Missouri plants and grasses. These areas, called bioswales, naturally filter out storm water runoff and create shelter and food for wildlife.

The roof of the building holds 16 glycol solar panels that can heat 80 percent of the building's hot water. Just one panel can be used to heat a house, Frevert said. 

The tower consists of 128 private rooms. Each room features motion censored lighting that turns off when the room is unoccupied. In the bathrooms, the toilets have a low-flow flush option to minimize the amount of water used. The showers and faucets are designed to conserve water as well.

Every room also has a large, triple-pane glass window that allows natural light in, which also keeps the rooms insulated and minimizes energy loss.

Frevert said that since opening, the tower has used 15 percent less energy than budgeted for, but wants to wait a full year before reviewing total savings.


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