Digestive Health Center Achieves LEED for Healthcare Silver Rating

Madison, Wisconsin - This spring the UW Health Digestive Health Center became the first health care facility in the state to earn a silver rating for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design for Healthcare (LEED-HC) by the U.S. Green Building Council.


LEED certification for commercial, institutional and residential projects began in 2000, but in 2011 new standards for health care facilities began as a way to advance green building and promote global sustainability efforts in building and construction of health care facilities. The Digestive Health Center is the first UW Health facility to earn this newer health care LEED-HC certification. The U.S. Green Building council began in 1993.


“We always strive to have sustainable, energy-efficient features as a part of every project or improvement we make to our facilities,” said Brandon King, construction services manager for UW Health planning design and construction, who was a part of the team that oversaw the Digestive Health Center project. “At the Digestive Health Center we were able to meet the new level of scrutiny for LEED Healthcare projects. This is a tremendous honor and we are proud to be leaders in the state.”


Key environmental measures at the Digestive Health Center that qualified for LEED health care silver include:

  • Water Conservation/Storm Water Reuse: Efficient plumbing fixtures cut water consumption by 40 percent. Storm water is collected and re-used for many building processes where “drinkable” water is not required.

  • Vegetated Roof: Many parts of the roof are planted with vegetation to help reduce storm water run-off.

  • Recycling: During construction, 80 percent of the construction debris was recycled instead of being sent to a landfill. Also, mercury-containing devices like compact fluorescent light bulbs and batteries are recycled.

  • Energy/Lighting/Daylight: The Digestive Health Center will use 20 percent less energy than a comparable building. For example, the lights will automatically turn off when the room is not in use. The location and design of the building was planned to maximize free light and heat generated by the sun.

  • Health Materials/Finishes: Chemicals and toxins have been minimized—and in many cases eliminated. Freestanding furniture and medical furnishings were carefully selected to contain minimal amount or no toxic chemicals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium and copper in building materials, systems and equipment.

  • Site Selection: The Digestive Health Center was built in an under-used part of Madison, is within walking distance of neighborhoods and businesses, and is located near bike paths and bus lines. Carpooling is also encouraged and parking spots closer to the entrance are designated for carpoolers.  

“This is a testament to the arduous engineering confirmations, investments in long-term energy savings and extra efforts by our talented design and construction partners on this project (Potter Lawson and Krupp construction),” said King. “We will continue to improve our sustainability efforts. UW Health is committed to developing safe, healthy and environmentally friendly places for our patients, staff and the communities we serve.”


The Digestive Health Center opened in April 2013 and is located at 750 University Row in Madison, Wisconsin. The Digestive Health Center provides a facility and resources supporting multidisciplinary teams of health care professionals focused on the diagnosis, management and treatment of common and complex disorders of the gastroenterological (digestive) system.


Similar efforts for LEED certification are being made at UW Health at The American Center, set to open to patients August 17.

Date Published: 05/14/2015

News tag(s):  digestive health

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