August 15, 2008
Building for the Third Century: A sustainable and green design for the future

the b3cCurrently under construction, the MGH Building for the Third Century (B3C) – slated to be completed in 2011, the year of the MGH bicentennial – will offer a number of sustainable architectural design elements intended to promote healing, conserve energy and enhance the interior areas. The following are just some of the ways MGH Planning and Construction, Partners Real Estate and the architectural firm NBBJ have incorporated environmentally friendly designs into the new 530,000-square-foot patient care facility.

GREENING THE MGH: The B3C will include an indoor atrium and lots of natural light.

Healing through nature is a philosophy that integrates elements of the outdoors into the healing environment. With this perspective, architects designed each of the 150 patient rooms with large windows that will feature cascading sunlight. A number of rooms will have views of either an 1,800-square-foot atrium garden or the scenic Charles River. Located on the building's sixth floor, the atrium garden  which will include 12-foot hanging plants, bamboo trees and a variety of groundcover vegetation – also will be visible from many of the building's family and staff lounges and consultation rooms. More than 21,000 square feet of green garden will cover the B3C roofs, providing neighboring buildings with a view of the seasonally changing plants and helping to increase oxygen in the surrounding areas. The roof plants will be drought-tolerant and require no irrigation; all of the necessary water for the plantings will come from rain and condensation collected from the building's cooling system.

Renewable materials such as recycled rubber flooring and bamboo walls will be used throughout the B3C interior. Rubber floors will help to cushion footsteps and reduce noise, and the bamboo panels, which are sustainably harvested, will promote a natural and warm connection to nature.

b3c patient roomUp to 75 percent of demolished materials from the Clinics, Vincent Burnham Kennedy and Tilton buildings – which previously stood on the site – and construction debris are expected to be diverted from disposal at landfills and used to generate recycled materials. Plans also include using up to 60 percent renewable energy sources for the building's power.

For more information about the B3C, access

LET THE SUN SHINE IN: The B3C patient rooms will include floor-to-ceiling windows to allow natural light to filter into them.

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