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Greener, better healthcare for South Australians

South Australia continues to lead the nation in the design and development of sustainable healthcare facilities.

SA Health’s Inpatient Building, Lyell McEwin Hospital Redevelopment Stage C, has been awarded a 5 Star Green Star – Healthcare Design v1 rating, representing ‘Australian Excellence’, from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

“The South Australian Government continues to demonstrate strong and visionary leadership,” says Chief Operating Officer of the GBCA, Robin Melon.

“The Inpatient Building at Lyell McEwin Hospital is only the third Green Star-rated healthcare facility in the country, and the second in South Australia, following the Flinders Medical Centre – New South Wing.”

“In achieving this rating, the South Australian Government has once again demonstrated its commitment to environmental and financial sustainability, and to improving the health and wellbeing of South Australians,” Mr Mellon adds.

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network acting Chief Operating Officer, Brett Thompson, says years of planning went into the facility, designed with input from the clinical staff to deliver the best, most efficient care while providing a calm and healing environment focused on patient comfort and privacy.

“Patient rooms have been developed to the highest international standards and include an ensuite and large window with views of landscaped gardens or surrounding area, designed to provide a welcoming and caring environment to advance the healing process,” Mr Thompson says.

“Some of the key environmental initiatives include high levels of natural daylight and outside fresh air ventilation, solar thermal panels to provide onsite generation of renewable heating energy and rainwater storage tanks to collect water from rooftops,” Mr Thompson adds.

The new 96-bed inpatient building is a four-ward building that includes a helipad on the upper level.  The building’s design incorporates discrete garden courtyards between all wings that are accessible from patient rooms and lounges at ground level, and which provide patients with access to natural light and views of nature – features that international research has found can reduce the need for pain medication by up to 22 per cent, and reduce average length of stay by up to 41 per cent

The design also features high levels of outside fresh air ventilation to promote good indoor air quality.  Passive design techniques comprising high performance glazing, insulation and external solar shading, combined with high technology mechanical solutions, will reduce energy consumption and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent, when compared the Building Code of Australia’s benchmarks.

Photovoltaics provide onsite generation of renewable electrical energy, while rainwater storage tanks collect water from rooftops and reuse for toilet flushing and irrigation. 

SA Health currently has two other projects registered to achieve Green Star ratings: the New Royal Adelaide Hospital and GP Plus Super Clinic in Noarlunga.

"We applaud SA Health as the national leader in sustainable health facilities, with a commitment to minimising environmental impacts and effectively future-proofing its buildings,” Mr Mellon says.

"We look forward to working closely with SA Health on many future projects," Mr Mellon concludes.

About Lyell McEwin Hospital’s inpatient building and redevelopment

  • Lyell McEwin Hospital is undertaking a $314 million extensive expansion of its services and buildings which began in 2002
  • The hospital commenced a three-part redevelopment program as part of the State Government’s modernisation of the state’s health system and to meet the increasing needs of the growing northern suburbs and surrounding areas
  • The new inpatient building is the largest building of Lyell McEwin Hospital’s decade-long redevelopment
  • The $51.8 million, 96-bed building offers patients spacious, state-of-the-art private rooms with ensuites and views of landscaped gardens and surroundings
  • The 96 single room beds include eight bariatric beds and five isolation rooms
  • The bariatric rooms include ceiling-mounted hoists with a track from the patient’s bed directly to the bathroom
  • The helipad is for urgent patients transfers in and out of LMH
  • Accompanying the opening of the inpatient building, three Intensive Care Unit beds are available and two new operating theatres
  • Building A significantly upgrades LMH’s infrastructure including:
    • Increase in electrical transformer and distribution capacity including an additional stand-by generator and diesel fuel storage. This upgrade can provide sufficient power to the hospital for 48 hours operation or for the equivalent of 500 typical households
    • Increased chilled and heated water generation capacity for the air conditioning system. The total capacity of the system has increased to 7,400kW, which is equivalent to the requirements for air-conditioning of 750 household
    • Two new fire water storage tanks, which can hold up to 180,000 litres or the equivalent of 360 domestic water tanks each, have been installed. Portable water storage on site has increased to 200,000 litres to provide 48 hours ongoing operation to the hospital if SA Water supply lost.