This Issue

2014 July-August

Healthy Approach

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16914" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] By Karen Aho With sustainability and community in mind, Gundersen Health System strives for zero energy this year.   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']W[/dropcaps]hen designers talk about healthy buildings, they often focus on interior considerations: air circulation, light, temperature, and maybe energy efficiency as it translates to lower customer costs. Gundersen Health System takes a broader view. The physician-led nonprofit, which includes a leading teaching hospital, trauma center, and dozens of community clinics in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, didn’t think it was right to go green without considering the more far-reaching effects beyond its buildings’ walls. Whether powering boilers or running chillers, Gundersen wanted to develop efficient operations with the health of everyone in mind, and that meant tapping into alternative energy sources. Ideally, those sources would also create local jobs and improve air quality, even for those living hundreds of miles downwind. “We really take to heart our organization’s mission and purpose, to say that we are about the health and well-being of our patients and communities,” says Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, Gundersen’s CEO. For Thompson, setting a goal of eliminating his health system’s dependence on fossil fuels represents a vital step toward improving public...

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Desert Mindset

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16772" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_single_image image="16776" alignment="center" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] Photo: Bill Timmerman. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][vc_column_text] By Jason T. Berner The University of Arizona at Tucson campus takes the RainWorks Challenge.   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']T[/dropcaps]ucson receives 12 inches of rain a year, and much of that rainfall evaporates or “evapotranspires” through its plantlife. Future climate change scenarios going out to 2099 expect increased temperatures will likely reduce snowpack, which will impact streams in the spring by reduced surface water runoff entering streams, according to the EPA. And with future amounts of precipitation projected to decrease during the spring, available water resources to meet high summer demands of a growing population will be reduced. Also, with limited existing surface water and future projections of decreased precipitation for Arizona, it makes sense that universities, such as the University of Arizona at Tucson, focus on water conservation efforts using rainwater, gray water, and condensate collection systems. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="40"][blockquote text="Sustainable landscape projects at the university have influenced the city, which now has a municipal rainwater-harvesting ordinance, requiring 50 percent of water used for irrigating landscapes to originate from onsite sources." show_quote_icon="no"][vc_separator type="transparent"...

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Growing Up Net Zero

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="16703" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Rachel Kaufman Hood River Middle School’s net-zero music and science building is growing the engineers of the future.   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']I[/dropcaps]f children are the future and conservation starts with them, then it follows that green schools are the future and conservation begins there. Welcome to Hood River, Oregon, where the Hood River Middle School’s new science and music addition, a LEED Platinum building, recently marked another milestone: its third year running as a net-zero building, meaning it produces all the energy it needs on site. The 6,900-square-foot building is a showcase as to what’s possible when you think to the future. Hood River Middle School’s main building is 89 years old, and the former music area was a sagging bus barn from the 1940s. When the school board approved $25 million to upgrade school buildings across the district, though, the addition wasn’t on anyone’s minds. “We were doing projects at nine different schools and [the board] decided they wanted one project to be LEED-certified,” says architect Alec Holser of Opsis Architecture. But a science teacher, Michael Becker, who’s been at Hood River MS for 10 years, came...

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