Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center (TVHC) is committed to upholding environmental stewardship and ensuring our patients and employees can thrive in a healthy environment. In our new Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Ashland/Cherryland, California, we’ve incorporated energy, waste and water efficiency strategies as well as indoor environmental quality tactics that will:
• Improve our clinic’s air quality
• Reduce our environmental impact
• Reduce our energy and water utility expenditures
In addition, TVHC has partnered with high performance building consultants, Environmental Building Strategies (EBS), to pursue LEED for New Construction Gold certification, an ambitious goal for a healthcare facility. By undergoing the LEED process we've learned a lot about healthy buildings and sustainable design, much of which can be applied to every building. While some improvements require renovation, many only require simple behavioral changes that can be applied to make your workplace and your home higher performing buildings.
What is a high performing building, and why is it important?
A more defined way of saying “green buildings”, high performing buildings are those designed, constructed and operated to consume less resources and provide healthier environments for occupants. High performing buildings wholly exemplify sustainable business principles and the triple bottom line, addressing people, planet and profit.
People, Planet and Profit
TVHC invested in a healthier environment by only using paints, sealants, finishes and furniture that emit low-to-no amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are known carcinogens and can cause building occupants to feel fatigued and call in sick. Especially in a facility focused on improving community health, lowering the VOCs within our space was an imperative priority for us to keep our patients and employees healthy.
Our new facility also incorporates technologies and business practices to save energy, waste and water. These tactics will lower our use of natural resources, as well as save money on our utility bills. Included below are specific achievements that make TVHC a healthier, higher performing building.
Please also visit our “DIY Green Buildings” page for simple strategies on green building practices to improve your triple bottom line.
TVHC Project Stats:
• Location: Ashland/Cherryland, California – suburban setting
• Size: 20,734 sq. ft.
• Use: Healthcare facility
Sustainable Features and Achievements:
Can any of these be applied to your building, office or home?
Alternative Transportation: We provide preferred parking for fuel-efficient cars and are conveniently located near multiple bus lines.
Heat Island Effect: By coating our roof with a highly reflective “cool roof” surface, TVHC reduces Heat Island Effect, which is the elevation of local outside temperatures due to traditional non-reflective, dark colored roofs. TVHC’s cool roof also keeps the inside of the building more comfortable and decreases electricity demands.
Indoor Water Use Reduction: By installing water-efficient toilets, urinals, and sinks, TVHC reduces indoor water use by 37% below International Plumbing Code Requirements
Outdoor Water Use Reduction: Through water-efficient landscaping and irrigation systems, TVHC reduces outdoor water use by 57%.
Energy & Atmosphere:
"Near-Zero" Building: TVHC has reduced energy consumption by 77% below code through ultra-efficient design and building technologies.
On-site Renewable Energy and Green Power: 100% of TVHC’s remaining energy needs are met with a photovoltaic solar carport system in the parking lot, as well as through purchasing Green Power from offsite renewable sources.
Materials and Resources:
Construction Waste Management: TVHC successfully diverted 78% of construction and demolition debris from the landfill.
Recycled Content and Regional Materials: Over 20% of TVHC’s building materials contain recycled content and were manufactured within 500 miles of the project location.
Indoor Environmental Quality
Natural Ventilation: TVHC’s outside ventilation rates are 30% above code requirements, providing a superior level of air quality for our occupants.
Construction IAQ Management Plan: TVHC took special care to ensure that construction pollution sources did not contaminate our interiors. We also flushed the building of any residual construction chemicals prior to occupancy to ensure a healthy space.
Low-Emitting Materials: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are harmful gases emitted by a wide array of common products. TVHC has specified 100% of our products to emit low-to-no VOCs in order to enhance indoor air quality and support patient and worker health.
Innovation in Design
Green Cleaning Program: TVHC implemented a comprehensive Green Cleaning Program to eliminate harmful chemicals used in the building.
Now that you’ve gotten an idea of specific measures that can be taken towards a higher performing building, please visit our “DIY Green Buildings” page to learn how to apply green building principals to your building and home.