ContributeOpening February 1, 2015

Sustainability at Mission Bay Hospitals

The new UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay will integrate the best practices available in sustainability architecture to create a hospital complex that positively affects healing, health, safety and well-being for both our patients and our environment.

By conserving water, improving energy performance, incorporating healthy building materials and more, we are taking conscious steps to keep Mission Bay sustainable from the start.

Water Conservation

With an irrigation plan that will save four million gallons of drinkable water per year, UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay will host one of very few extensive water conservation systems located on a large, urban hospital site. Efficient domestic water fixtures and water-saving appliances will be included in all buildings, saving two more million gallons of water yearly.

To manage water usage sustainably, storm water will be filtered and treated to remove pollutants, and then reused. These pollutants, such as vehicle fluid leaks and soot, will be captured in vegetated swales and kept out of the city storm drain system and San Francisco Bay. Finally, cooling towers, which process heat generated from mechanical operations, will be used to increase efficiency and decrease water usage by “blowing down” water for landscape irrigation.

Energy Performance

Decreased energy use has a direct impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay is designed to reduce its energy needs on multiple levels. Energy savings achieved through hospital complex design, including efficient mechanical systems, will result in 50 percent less power usage than the average US hospital - making UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay among the top performers in the United States.

Contributing to these energy savings will be a variable air volume air distribution system, which allows for precise control of air volume and temperature at different times and locations throughout the complex. Heat recovery ventilators will also help make the air distribution system more efficient by reclaiming energy from exhaust airflows.

To remind patients, their families, and our community of the importance of energy conservation, UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay will feature a “dashboard of consumption and performance” that will display energy usage to the general public.

Energy Performance

A number of additional opportunities for green design and sustainability above and beyond the base project are currently being explored and pursued, including:

  • Rainwater collection and filtering – storm water collection on-site (through cisterns, constructed wetlands and other measures) would avoid unnecessary runoff and erosion and minimize the amount of potable water needed on-site. Sufficient rainwater could be collected and filtered to meet all landscaping needs on the entire Mission Bay campus, including roof gardens and landscaped plazas.

  • High-performance glazing and exterior shading – better quality windows and glass and shading devices could significantly improve the quality of light and energy performance.

  • Photovoltaic (PV) panels – converting sunlight directly into electricity could avoid tapping utilities and producing emissions. Extensive PV panels could divert some 15,600 tons of Co2 from entering the atmosphere annually, which is equivalent to removing 1,200 cars from the road every year.

  • Air filtration – HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration requirements could be exceeded through greater air filtration.

Many of these enhancements may be made possible through philanthropic support. Donate now

For more information on how we’re keeping UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay eco-friendly, visit Green Design