Dell Children’s First in the World to Earn LEED for Health Care Platinum Designation


AUSTIN, Texas – (July 10, 2013) – Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas is now first in the world – twice – for green building achievements. The W.H. and Elaine McCarty South Tower of Dell Children’s has earned the first-ever Leadership in Energy & Environmental Designfor Healthcare (LEED-HC) Platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This is the second record-breaking LEED designation for Dell Children’s, which became the world’s first LEED Platinum Certified hospital in 2008.


“Dell Children’s commitment to being one of the healthiest, most sustainable hospitals in the world is stronger than ever,” said Michele Van Hyfte, manager of environmental stewardship for Ascension Seton. “Sustainable environments have a profound, measureable effect on the healing process, not onlyfor patients, but also for all who enter our doors. This designation is a testament to that.”

To achieve LEED-HC certification, buildings must exceed environmental standards in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The LEED-HC rating system combines these requirements with the unique attributes and specifications of health care facilities.


The bed tower, which opened this past May, was awarded for its environmentally sensitive design, which not only conserves water and electricity, but also positively impacts the hospital’s clinical environment by improving air quality, making natural sunlight more readily available and reducing a wide range of pollutants.

“I congratulate Ascension Seton for leading the way toward healthier, more sustainable healthcare environments with the first-ever LEED for Healthcare Platinum facility, Dell Children’s Bed Tower,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “When it comes to greening our built environment, healthcare facilities represent one of the most important sectors, and Ascension Seton’scommitment to delivering the highest quality of care in the healthiest possible environment is truly commendable.”

In addition to the LEED-HC Platinum Certification, the new bed tower at Dell Children’s has received multiple honors for sustainable designin the last six months, including the following.

  • Austin Energy’s 5-Star Green Building Rating.The highest rating available, Dell Children’s new bed tower is only the fifth project in Austin to achieve five stars under Austin Energy’s commercial rating system. The honor will be recognized in a plaque presentation at Dell Children’s this summer.
  • Practice Greenhealth Partner Recognition Award. The Partner Recognition Award is part of the 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards by Practice Greenhealth, a national association devoted to environmentally responsible health care.
  • Inclusion in “The World’s Greenest Buildings: Promise vs. Performance in Sustainable Design,” a book by green building experts Jerry Yudelson and Ulf Meyer published in 2013.Dell Children’s was one of only 56 buildings around the world to be included in the book’s analysis of the best global, sustainable design practices for high-performance non-residential buildings.
  • Featured in “Sustainable Healthcare Architecture,” 2nd edition, by Robin Guenther and Gail Vittori, scheduled for release in July 2013. This new edition includes an updated case study on Dell Children’s as one of 55 noteworthy sustainable healthcare projects from around the world.

The new bed tower increases Dell Children’s capacity to treat Central Texas children by 40 percent. Featuring 72 beds, a state-of-the-art epilepsy monitoring unit and many family-centric features, the expansion enables more Central Texas children to find the care they need in Austin.