New RMH Going Green

By: Lauren McKay
By: Lauren McKay

The new Rockingham Memorial Hospital will be dedicated to your health and the health of the environment.

RMH officials say by building on a brand new campus, as oppose to remodeling the current one, they'll be able build the new facility completely with the environment in mind.

Planning officials for the new Rockingham Memorial Hospital want the facility to preserve the natural look and feel of the countryside it will be part of. From the inside out, the plan is for the new hospital to be built to protect the environment. "Saving money for energy, usage of electricity or water, trying to make the building a pleasant building for people to be in, and a more healthier building, there's a lot of different areas you can be looking at for green," says Dennis Coffman, director facilities planning and development.

From the aluminum in the building, to the windows, everything within the hospital will be aiming to conserve energy. Coffman says it's a misconception that the products will cost more, because those buying the supplies are doing a lot of price comparison. "It makes good financial sense because if you're saving money on electricity or water, or those types of things, then you have more money to put into the health care equipment that you need to purchase," says Coffman.

Coffman adds that certain products give off gases, which is what you smell in a new car. He says they will avoid buying products that give off that gas. "What you try to do is eliminate that so you don't have a new car smell because that's not as healthy an environment as you'd like to see; those gases are not good for you," says Coffman.

The new RMH would be the first green hospital in the state to receive green building certification from a program within the U.S. Green Building Council. The new RMH is expected to be completed by 2010.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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