UCF Lake Nona Hospital announced Friday it received LEED Gold certification — the first and only hospital in Florida and only the 28th in the nation — to achieve this green building designation. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, (USGBC), is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence.

UCF Lake Nona Hospital is a joint venture between the university and HCA Healthcare that opened two years ago adjacent to the UCF College of Medicine in the heart of Lake Nona’s Medical City. In addition to providing needed in-patient care to non-veteran adults in the community, the hospital serves as an education site for UCF medical and nursing students and a site for collaborative medical research.

The designation recognizes the hospital’s commitment to sustainable building products and energy-saving operations, including:

  • Systems that reduce water use, including sinks, toilets and showers, that conserve 767,908 gallons of water per year — equivalent to nearly 6 million bottles of drinking water
  • Native landscaping that reduces water consumption by nearly 600,000 gallons of water each year
  • High efficiency LED lighting and other systems that save over 21% in annual energy costs, as compared to standard design and construction practices
  • On-site recycling, recycled and sustainable building materials, and the fact that 75% of the building waste during the hospital’s construction was recycled

“Today we celebrate another step towards creating improved health and wellness in Lake Nona and Central Florida. Sustainability is a growing priority and we are excited about this recognition by the USGBC,” says Wendy Brandon, CEO of UCF Lake Nona Hospital.“This is one more way I am proud of the work we are doing at UCF Lake Nona Hospital.”

Through design, construction and operations practices that improve environmental and human health, LEED-certified buildings are helping to make the world more sustainable. In the U.S. alone, buildings account for almost 40% of national CO2 emissions, but LEED-certified buildings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions, consume 25% less energy and 11% less water, and have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills. UCF is home to 30 other LEED certified buildings, including the College of Medicine in Lake Nona, Dr. Phillips Academic Commons at UCF Downtown and Classroom Building II on main campus.

“This is an exceptional accomplishment for both UCF and HCA,” says Amy Pastor, USGBC Central Florida Board chair, who attended Friday’s announcement. “You are among the best and you will be known worldwide for this.”

“LEED was created to make the world a better place and revolutionize our buildings and communities by providing everyone with access to healthy, green and high performing buildings,” says Peter Templeton, president and CEO of USGBC. “UCF Lake Nona Hospital is a prime example of how the innovative work of project teams can create local solutions that contribute to making a global difference.”