Nantucket Cottage Hospital

Project Profiles

Nantucket Cottage Hospital

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Located on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, the Nantucket Cottage Hospital needed to renovate and expand its facilities to meet the demands of an increasing resident and tourist population. The Hospital’s aging mechanical systems, the vulnerability of the island’s energy grid, and the growing threat of sea-level rise led the Hospital to seek high-performance, sustainable design solutions. Furthermore, as an extension of its mission of healing, the Hospital sought to ensure that its facilities and operations prioritize the health of patients and employees by creating a healing environment.

In support of this commitment, the Hospital undertook an Environmental Opportunities Charrette in July 2008, which resulted in strategies to help the Hospital improve the indoor environment for its patients and employees, be a leader in the community, and reduce its impact on the environment. There is a growing movement in the healthcare industry to extend the moral imperative of the Hippocratic Oath beyond traditional medical care, to include understanding environmental effects, reducing toxins, and advocating for a healthier environment.

With this in mind, Terrapin’s recommendations for the Hospital endeavored to help it improve the quality of environment and quality of care in every aspect of the organization, from sustainable operations to the expansion of the building and its campus. This included strategies for introducing biophilic design concepts such as healing gardens and views to nature, and eliminating pollutants and toxins from products and cleaning solutions to improve indoor air quality and reduce potential respiratory irritants. In addition to improving the health of patients, these changes will also enhance the comfort and productivity of employees who spend a great deal of time inside the building.

Our strategies also addressed integration of sustainability and green building principles into the Hospital redesign, through measures such as improving envelope performance, reorganizing and upgrading mechanical systems to increase performance and provide a greater level of individual thermal control, and installing on-site renewable power to help with rising energy costs, provide long-term passive survivability of the facilities, and ensure maintenance of the Hospital’s crucial services.

*Header and feature image copyright of JukeboxJedi/Flickr

As a partner, Chris is an architect and sustainability leader focused on systemic thinking to address challenges in the built environment. Chris believes we can learn how to live on this planet if we start listening to nature again.