DCMH Goes Green in Interior Design of New Hospital Centers

Door County Memorial Hospital/Ministry Health Care used eco-friendly building qualities in its construction of a new Women’s and Children’s Health Center last year.

For example, instead of broadloom carpeting, carpet tiles were installed in the hospital centers. This means that if a flooring area is soiled or damaged, only the affected tiles need to be replaced.

Carpet tiles contain 57 – 65 percent recycled content and can also be reclaimed and recycled back into carpet, according to Wendy Thorson, interior designer with Berners-Schober Associates, Green Bay, the company which handled the DCMH/MHC projects.

Another eco-friendly flooring choice at DCMH/MHC is cork. Cork is considered renewable as it is peeled from cork oak trees growing in Mediterranean countries. The cork surface at the hospital is comprised of 95 percent post-industrial waste from the wine stopper production industry, Thorson said.

Linoleum, available for more than 100 years, is a green option today. Hospitals like it because it is so durable. But what makes it green?

“Linoleum is a natural material consisting of linseed oil, wood flour, rosin binders, dry pigments and a natural jute backing. And it’s also biodegradable,” Thorson explained.

The green at DCMH/MHC goes beyond flooring to walls as well. Vinyl wallcoverings are Green Guard-certified to be low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitting products. The wallcoverings in the Women’s Health Center imaging area are an alternative to vinyl wallcoverings: PVC-free, free of elemental chlorine, plasticizers, heavy metals and formaldehyde, Thorson said.

Paints specified for all areas were low-VOC, and ceiling tiles had no added formaldehyde. They also have 66 – 82 percent recycled content and can be reclaimed and recycled back into ceiling tiles.

As for energy-efficiency, motion sensor lighting was used in some spaces, and the Children’s Health Center waiting area is flooded with natural daylight. Most of the exam rooms also take advantage of natural light.