Cleveland is a various Ohio metropolis with a wealthy historical past—one the place many communities have retained their cultural roots over a long time of change. However regardless of its many successes, Cuyahoga County, the place Cleveland is positioned, additionally has many challenges, together with one of many highest toddler mortality charges in the USA.

One of many major danger components driving this statistic is poverty, together with an absence of entry to prenatal care and handy entry to healthcare amenities, which contributes to untimely births. Power illnesses equivalent to diabetes and hypertension, typically exacerbated by poor vitamin, even have a devastating influence on toddler and maternal well being.

When Cleveland-based healthcare system College Hospitals (UH) needed to develop a brand new Rainbow Infants & Kids’s Hospital (UH Rainbow) outpatient facility, it selected a web site on Cleveland’s east aspect—one of many metropolis’s oldest communities and one in all its most weak—to convey well being sources to infants and moms within the underserved space.

A neighborhood advisory board with 35 organizations and greater than 70 native stakeholders was created to assist inform the design course of and determine neighborhood wants. This suggestions catalyzed an intensive program of providers, together with major care, adolescent drugs, prenatal and gynecological care, a imaginative and prescient clinic, dental clinic, vitamin program, pharmacy, psychological well being providers, a medical/authorized partnership, and health-related education schemes.

As a result of kids and pregnant girls are notably weak to environmental well being hazards, UH Rainbow prioritized sustainable design and environmental stewardship to create a wholesome surroundings for sufferers, workers, and the neighborhood at its UH Rainbow Heart for Ladies & Kids, which opened in 2018. Partnering with structure agency Moody Nolan (Cleveland) and sustainability consultants The Building Inexperienced Crew (Cleveland), the venture workforce paid cautious consideration to constructing geometry, web site design, sustainable programs, and house planning to contribute to this imaginative and prescient, and in October 2019 the clinic turned the primary LEED Platinum licensed healthcare facility in Ohio.

In a neighborhood disproportionately affected by poor air high quality, lowering UH Rainbow Heart’s power consumption doesn’t simply influence constructing efficiency, it additionally reduces atmospheric air pollution and the related well being implications for space residents. On the clinic, the façade’s geometric angles are designed to cut back direct daylight into the ability, lowering photo voltaic warmth achieve and power consumption of the mechanical system. The glazing additionally helps create a welcoming entrance and supplies avenue views to bolster visibility and security.

Along with using passive design methods, the venture workforce partnered with engineering agency Karpinski Engineering (Cleveland) to focus on further alternatives to cut back power consumption, together with a high-performance constructing envelope and using environment friendly mechanical programs, lighting and occupancy sensors, and energy-efficient home equipment. A 170 kWh photovoltaic array supplies onsite renewable power era of 30 p.c, by price, of the ability’s wanted energy and a 44.5 p.c discount in general power prices as in comparison with a baseline constructing of the identical kind.

Moreover, changing the present impermeable hardscape in order that 44.5 p.c of it hosts native vegetation helps handle stormwater and cut back runoff air pollution, which returns on to the watershed, and, critically, town’s consuming water provide. Re-vegetating the positioning additionally contributed to the targets of neighborhood enchancment and making a connection to nature.

The thought of an city backyard theme guided the design of the constructing’s inside, with a concentrate on incorporating ample daylight, views out to the inexperienced house, and nature-inspired patterns and supplies. Biophilic ideas had been utilized to affected person areas in addition to workers areas, together with views to the outside from workstations and a rooftop backyard for respite. To optimize indoor air high quality, specified supplies, equivalent to flooring and furnishings, are compliant with the More healthy Hospitals’ Wholesome Interiors initiative, and, at any time when doable, sourced regionally to reduce embodied carbon. These efforts helped to cut back the environmental footprint of the middle and optimize indoor environmental high quality to help wholesome affected person outcomes.

Collectively, the sustainable and community-driven design method created a facility that helps UH Rainbow obtain the objective of bettering the well being and well-being of native households whereas leaving the sufferers feeling heard and revered.


Tim Fishking, FAIA, is a companion and nationwide healthcare apply chief at Moody Nolan (Columbus, Ohio). He will be reached at







Lindsey Freel is the sustainable design facilitator at Moody Nolan (Columbus). She will be reached at

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