Johnston Memorial Hospital earns Gold LEED certification


ABINGDON, Va. – Surpassing even the designers’ goals for energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, Johnston Memorial Hospital (JMH) has been awarded Gold-level certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The LEED green building certification program is the nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of green buildings. JMH is the third hospital in Virginia to achieve LEED Gold certification and one of only 11 hospitals of its size in the nation to receive the honor.

“The LEED certification process starts with the design, and you have to carefully plan out where you want the building to meet the different LEED criteria and what makes sense for that particular project,” said Steve Givens, chief operating officer for JMH. “There are some portions you know you’ll be able to meet, and some that fall into the ‘maybe’ category. We had originally set a goal of achieving LEED Silver status, but as we went through the process, we found that a lot of the things in the ‘maybe’ category we were able to bring to fruition, so the end result was even better than we had planned.” The new JMH opened on July 16, replacing the hospital’s old facility in downtown Abingdon, which had operated from the same location for more than 100 years. The new 116-bed facility offers a cardiac catheterization lab, emergency department, surgery suites, family birth center, regional cancer center, and joint replacement center.

Givens said energy efficiency and environmental stewardship were important goals for the JMH board of directors in planning the new hospital.

“Our board felt pretty strongly that this project needed to have a green focus to set an example for the community,” said Givens. “We used the last facility for more than 100 years, and this new facility is going to be here well into the future. Our emphasis on stewardship is going to be paying dividends for many years to come.”

JMH is the second LEED-certified green hospital to be built by Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA), the facility’s parent company. MSHA opened Franklin Woods Community Hospital in Johnson City, Tenn, in 2010, certified LEED Silver. The health system plans to open a third LEED-certified hospital in Marion Va. in 2012.

The LEED certification process evaluates the construction and land development aspects of a building as well as its energy-saving features and daily operations. The green aspects of the new JMH include:
  • High-efficiency plumbing and other water conservation fixtures inside the hospital are designed to save up to 1.6 million gallons per year – a 40 percent reduction compared to other code-built facilities of the same size.
  • Water-efficient landscaping and irrigation features are expected to save up to 1.5 million gallons of water per year.
  • Energy-efficient boilers and chillers, high-performance insulation, and occupancy-sensitive lighting are designed to produce a 17 percent reduction in energy consumption, representing a potential savings of $225,000 per year.
  • The construction materials used to build the new hospital consisted of approximately 31% recycled materials.
  • Approximately 78 percent of the construction waste from the site was diverted from the landfill, including concrete, clean wood, steel, drywall scrap and cardboard. These materials were either recycled or reused.
  • Approximately 41 percent of the materials used to construct the facility were sourced within 500 miles of Abingdon.
  • Native and adapted plant species were used in 60 percent of the landscaping, and about 50 percent of the site is reserved as vegetated space, not to be developed.
  • All of the adhesives, sealants, paints, carpet and composite wood used in the hospital’s construction were low-emitting materials, meaning they are designed to have low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • More than 80 percent of the wood-based materials are certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s principles and criteria for sustainable growing and harvesting practices.
About Mountain States Health Alliance
Mountain States Health Alliance, a not-for-profit health care organization based in Johnson City, Tenn., operates a family of hospitals serving a 29-county, four-state region (Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina). MSHA offers a large tertiary hospital, several community hospitals, two critical access hospitals, rehabilitation, a children’s hospital, a behavioral health hospital, home care and hospice services as well as a comprehensive medical management corporation. Its 13,500 team members, associated physicians and volunteers are committed to its mission of bringing loving care to health care. For more information, visit

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.
With a community comprising 80 local affiliates, more than 18,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.
Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.
About LEED
The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 100,000 projects are currently participating in the LEED rating systems, comprising over 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries.
By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
USGBC was co-founded by current President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who spent 25 years as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his 15-year leadership, the organization has become the preeminent green building, membership, policy, standards, influential, education and research organization in the nation. For more information, visit
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