New Einstein Hospital Seeking LEED Certification

Einstein Health's new medical center in Montgomery County will be tricked out with eco-friendly touches.

The Einstein Health Medical Center Montgomery, currently under construction in East Norriton, is poised to be a LEED-certified hospital. Slated to open next fall, the 146-bed facility is incorporating eco-friendly measures—from design and material decisions to staff practices—with the goal of earning a silver designation from the US Green Building Council.

“It’s great when a project allows you to do the right thing and has very significant business advantages,” says Richard Montalbano, vice president of development for Einstein. “In this case, if we conserve our resources, we pay less for things like electricity and water. So our bill goes down, while minimizing our impact on the environment.”

In fact, when all’s said and done, the building should use 30 percent less water and be 25 percent more energy efficient than code requirements. Builders are also using recycled building materials, installing bike racks to encourage two-wheel transportation and filling the site’s 84 acres with indigenous vegetation that won’t require fancy (and wasteful) water irrigation systems. Once it’s up and running, the hospital’s cleaning crew will use green housekeeping methods, and staffers and patients will receive “green” education.

The Building Council offers four certification levels for new construction projects—certified, silver, gold and platinum—based on a points system that awards credit for a range of green initiatives. On paper, the plans and work that’s underway at Einstein Montgomery qualify it for the silver-level certification, but the official designation won’t come through until the facility is up and running.