Firsts and Awards

Boulder Community Health is extremely proud that its Foothills Hospital, which opened in September 2003, is the first hospital in the US to earn the prestigious LEED certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the system for designing, constructing and certifying the world's "greenest" buildings. Foothills Hospital is one of the most sustainable facilities in the country.

To receive LEED certification, a building must satisfy a number of prerequisites and then obtain a specified number of credits in five categories:

  • Sustainable site
  • Water efficiency
  • Energy and atmosphere
  • Materials and resources
  • Indoor environmental quality

Hospital leaders took extra steps and made the financial commitment to insure that the hospital is healthier inside for patients and staff. Air quality and resource and energy efficiency were high priorities.

For example, LEED criteria require that fifty percent of construction waste must be salvaged or recycled. The Foothills construction site recycling program, with containers for recycling wood, metal, cardboard and concrete, achieved a landfill diversion rate of 71 percent. This earned the hospital a Certificate of Achievement from the City of Boulder and Eco Cycle in March, 2003.

To ensure healthy indoor air quality, workers installed mechanical systems that provide more effective and better ventilation, including operable windows in some areas. The hospital used low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, adhesives and carpets to alleviate allergies and breathing problems.

A highly efficient power plant provides heat, lighting and hot water for the entire campus. Energy savings are achieved with lighting using compact fluorescent bulbs, and by painting the roof white to reflect summer heat and reduce air conditioning demand. Outdoor lighting was carefully designed to reduce light pollution in the night sky. To conserve water, drought tolerant plantings and other xeriscaping surround the area.

Other Honors

In recent years the community has increasingly recognized Boulder Community Health's commitment to environmental health and wellness. We have long been a pioneer in adopting environmentally friendly policies and have received a number of awards and certificates.

Boulder Community Health received the 2012 Community Sustainability Award by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. This award recognizes an organization that demonstrates success at managing an integrated triple bottom line – economic success, commitment to social equity and concern for environmental footprint.

In 2005, the Colorado Environmental Leadership Program awarded the Bronze Achiever to Boulder Community Health. This program is a statewide environmental recognition and reward program administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Sustainability Program. The hospital was honored for superior environmental performance that goes beyond compliance with state and federal environmental laws and for its commitment to continual environmental improvement.

In January 2003, hospital Vice President Joe McDonald received the highly coveted Pacesetter Award for his contributions to the environment and for improving the quality of life in the Boulder area. The annual Pacesetter Awards are presented by the Boulder Daily Camera to individuals who have helped transform the county in numerous positive ways. Under McDonald's guidance, the hospital has become a leader in recycling, using wind energy, promoting alternative transportation and developing green, high performance sustainable buildings.

For several years the hospital has been a partner in the Federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, and we received a Certificate of Achievement from the EPA for upgrading our lighting to be more energy efficient.

We were among the first businesses in the city to issue employees ECO bus passes.

In 2003, the City of Boulder and Eco Cycle presented a Certificate of Achievement to the hospital for recycling obsolete computer and office equipment and for recycling nearly 2 tons of wood, concrete, cardboard and steel at the construction site of the Foothills Hospital.

We are also proud to share some of the awards our employees have helped us earn:

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