Newswise — The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Rush Oak Brook Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED is an internationally recognized system for certifying green (environmentally responsible) buildings and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

Rush Oak Brook, located at 2011 York Road in Oak Brook, Illinois, is a joint venture between Rush University Medical Center and Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, a private practice physician group whose members are on the faculty at Rush University. The 100,000-square-foot medical office building houses a state-of-the-art surgery center, 65 patient exam rooms, physical and occupational therapy, a sports performance center, a medical laboratory and imaging services, including MRI, X-ray and CT imaging with ultrasound and bone densitometry, as well as a comprehensive breast imaging program. The building opened in January 2019.

“Achieving LEED certification was one of our primary goals from the onset of the project. It was important to both Rush and MOR to incorporate LEED principles in all facets of design and planning.” “We are all very pleased and proud of our Gold status recognition,” said Randal Johnson, chief financial officer of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.

LEED certification offers third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies to enhance energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Projects can earn four levels of certification: certified, silver, gold or platinum.

“Achieving Gold LEED certification is a significant accomplishment. It’s a recognition of leadership, innovation, and dedication to the health and well-being of the communities we serve,” said Peter Ziarno, associate vice president, corporate real estate at Rush University Medical Center.

Rush Oak Brook earned high marks for green design, construction and operation. It achieved LEED Gold certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use and a variety of other sustainable strategies. A number of green features have been incorporated into the design, including the following:

Energy conservation

  • Building systems minimize the emission of compounds that contribute to ozone depletion and global climate change.
  • Modeled energy performance shows a 25% reduction in energy cost. All lighting in the building uses LED technology, providing energy savings over alternatives, and eliminating the hazardous mercury waste associated with fluorescents and compact fluorescents technology.

Water conservation

  • The site and landscape were designed to maintain or reduce storm water runoff and provide open space.
  • Storm water is captured and treated on site to minimize total suspended solids entering the municipal storm sewer system.
  • Multi-level parking instead of surface parking has the benefits of including reduced and higher-quality storm water runoff, plus reduction of urban heat island effect.
  • Water efficient plumbing fixtures were installed throughout the building, improving efficiencies by 26%.
  • Roofing material has a high Solar Reflective Index, and landscaping and irrigation systems have been designed to reduce potable water consumption for irrigation by 60%.
  • A commissioning process was used to ensure that the building's energy- and water-consuming systems were installed and operating as designed. Commissioning was also used to ensure that the building’s envelope was installed as designed for optimal energy performance.

Recycled materials

  • 98% of construction waste was diverted from landfill disposal and sent to a mixed-recovery facility.
  • 26% of the material used in the construction of the building was from recycled content.
  • 35% of material was regionally sourced from within 500 miles of the project site.
  • 91% of the wood-based building materials were certified in accordance with the sustainable forestry practices and criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
  • Low-emitting materials were selected to reduce the indoor air quality issues often associated with standard products in new buildings.

“These exceptional structures demonstrate Rush’s commitment to sustainability and to promoting healthy patient care from the inside out,” said Ziarno. “Improved patient health outcomes are a result of innovation and efficiency and creating sustainable structures that can accommodate new models of care in the future.”

The Oak Brook facility is part of a greater commitment by Rush to increase access to top-quality, coordinated academic health care across the Chicago region. In October, Rush opened an outpatient facility in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, and in April 2016, Rush opened an outpatient health center in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. These centers provide immediate, primary and specialty care in a neighborhood setting with extended office hours.

Over the course of the past year, Rush also has expanded access to advanced outpatient and inpatient care at Rush Oak Park Hospital


About RUSH

Rush University System for Health (RUSH) is an academic health system whose mission is to improve the health of the individuals and diverse communities it serves through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research and community partnerships. RUSH comprises Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush-Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital, as well as numerous outpatient care facilities. Rush University, with more than 2,500 students, is a health sciences university that comprises Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College.