Cleveland, unfortunately, has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the U.S. But Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, part of the local healthcare system University Hospitals, has attempted to alter that narrative significantly. Located on the city’s east side, home to one of Cleveland’s most vulnerable communities, it provides much-needed access to prenatal care.
Designed by the local office of architecture firm Moody Nolan, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital brings health resources to infants and mothers in an underserved area. Making another impact on the city is the nearby UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children, which opened in 2018 as a collaboration between Moody Nolan and sustainable consultancy the Construction Green Team. Here, Tim Fishking, partner and national healthcare leader at Moody Nolan, and Lindsey Freel, sustainable design facilitator at Moody Nolan, share some of the highlights of this outpatient facility.
- Named the first LEED Platinum certified healthcare facility in Ohio in 2019, UH Rainbow Center strives to reduce atmospheric pollution in a neighborhood plagued by poor air quality. The façade’s geometric angles are designed to reduce direct sunlight inside, both lowering solar heat gain and energy consumption of the mechanical system.
- By working with the local firm Karpinksi Engineering, Moody Nolan embraced a high-performance building envelope as well as lighting and occupancy sensors and energy-efficient appliances. A 170 kWh photovoltaic array provides onsite renewable energy generation of 30 percent, by cost, of the facility’s needed power and a 44.5 percent reduction in overall energy costs as compared to a baseline building of the same type.
- The existing impermeable hardscape was converted so that 44.5 percent of it is now home to native vegetation that helps manage stormwater and reduce runoff pollution that returns directly to the watershed, and, critically, the city’s drinking water supply.
- An urban garden theme carries through to the interiors, where there is ample daylight, nature-inspired patterns, a rooftop garden, and workstations with views of the outdoors.
- To enhance indoor air quality, specified materials, such as flooring and furniture, are compliant with the Healthier Hospitals’ Healthy Interiors initiative, and, whenever possible, sourced regionally.
A version of this article was originally published by Healthcare Design.