University Hospital’s Sky Tower Awarded LEED Gold for Environmentally Friendly Design

September 03, 2015

Every element of million-square-foot tower was built for energy and water conservation

Even though it doubled the size of University Hospital, the 10-story Sky Tower that opened last year was built through-and-through with technology and design elements that minimized energy and water consumption.

For that reason, it was awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold Certification for its environmentally friendly design and construction. It is the second LEED Gold certified building built by University Health System, and one of only a small number of healthcare facilities in the region to be so designated.

The clinical building at the historic Robert B. Green Campus received LEED Gold certification after it opened in 2013.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized rating system that provides third-party verification of green buildings. Those ratings are based on factors such as sustainability, water and energy efficiency, materials use and indoor air quality.

“In a fast-growing region prone to drought and rising energy costs, we have made it a priority to be good stewards of the environment as University Health System has grown,” said George B. Hernández Jr., president and CEO of University Health System. “It’s also in keeping with our responsibility to be good financial stewards as well. We are all proud of these two LEED Gold certifications.”

The Sky Tower, which opened in April 2014, was designed by the architectural team of Perkins+Will, RVK, and Garza Bomberger & Associates. Among the tower’s achievements in conservation and environmentally friendly design:

  • Potable water use is reduced by nearly 30 percent.
  • Captured rain and non-potable water is used for irrigation.
  • Energy costs are reduced by 22 percent.
  • More than 95 percent of the project’s on-site construction waste did not end up in a landfill.
  • More than a third of the total building materials content was manufactured using recycled materials.
  • Nearly 40 percent of all construction materials came from within 500 miles of the site.
  • More than 80 percent of all wood-based materials were harvested from Forest Stewardship Council certified forests.
  • All paint and carpets are low-emitting.