ThedaCare Medical Center - Shawano Goes Green

Posted 24 April 2014 1:14 PM by TCAuthor3

By Carol Ryczek, manager, community relations, Shawano Medical Center

Happy Earth Week!

Have you been lucky enough to hear the spring peepers? After what seems like the longest winter in recent memory, a few brave voices started have their annual peeping chorus in the swamp. Although they are most likely singing songs of froggy love, they also bring to mind the wonderful Kermit the Frog song, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” And this week is all about being green. Earth Week green, that is.

It may not be easy being green but it is important.  Attention to green details is part of the design process that is driving the new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano. In its current design it will be eligible for a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating and may even reach the higher Gold designation.

But what does “greenness” do for patients? Attention to “sustainability” or “green” construction means a better experience for patients and a considerable savings in cost. Windows that bring in natural light save on energy costs but also help create a soothing, healing environment. This connection to nature also expresses how the medical center is tied to the community. One of the features that the community has often repeated was a desire to see a building that reflects the culture of the Shawano area.  There is a reflection of the natural environment that we almost take for granted when we live in an area as beautiful as Shawano, Menominee, and Outagamie Counties

These are some of the green features of the new building:

  • Low flow faucets and toilets will reduce water consumption
  • High performance building envelope (insulation)
  • Energy efficient lighting
  • Heat recovery system
  • High efficiency fan and pump motors
  • Occupancy sensors (lights turn off when no one is in the room)
  • Daylight and views of nature.

Will the new medical center grounds have spring peepers? It’s too soon to say. They’ll be around if we’re lucky and, as Kermit says, “We do what we set out to do.”