Franklin Woods - First Expected Green Hospital in Tennessee

12/01/2009

Heralding in a new era of healthcare and environmental responsibility to the region and state, Franklin Woods Community Hospital will open inside Johnson City's Med Tech Park in July 2010. The hospital is expected to be the first certified "green" hospital in Tennessee and the first such building of any type in the region.

The 80-bed hospital will serve as a replacement for the aging North Side and Johnson City Specialty hospitals.

The design of Franklin Woods - whose name reflects both the history of the region as the State of Franklin and the environmental focus of the building's construction - will be unlike any other in the region or even the state. This new hospital will mix high-tech with a natural design, said Joe Kuspan, Director of Design for the architectural firm Karlsberger, which has the design team behind the new hospital.

"One of the things we're trying to do is take advantage of the site and not plow up everything," Kuspan said. "We plan on maintaining the big stand of trees on the site while also designing the building to move with the landscape."

MSHA and Karlsberger officials are also following the guidelines of the U.S. Green Building Council so Franklin Woods Community Hospital will be certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) facility. LEED is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED certification provides an independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the council's high performance standards and that the building is environmentally responsible and a healthy place to work.

This will be the first LEED-Certified building in the region and one of just a handful of LEED-Certified hospitals in the country.

"There are numerous things going into this construction that will make this a LEED building, Kuspan said. "Much of it comes from how we are treating water. The lobby will have a vegetative green flowing roof with natural rock outcroppings."

By having a roof that absorbs and uses rainwater rather than simply pouring it into the parking lots and then into the sewers, Kuspan said the facility will make great strides in meeting LEED certification.

"We also will be a lot to cut down the buildings carbon footprint by controlling sun light exposure, heat gain, using different types of glass and exterior shading," Kuspan said. The designer said many of the materials, such as carpet, paint and flooring will be chosen depending on how well it can be recycled and on its environmental impact.

Estimated cost for the entire project is approximately $121 million. The new hospital will have approximately 240,000 square feet and is to be built on a 25-acre lot adjacent to The Wellness Center inside Med Tech Park. It will have 80 licensed beds and a 22-room Emergency Department. Of the licensed beds, 20 will be dedicated as part of Women's and Children's Services.