LEED Platinum Certification
Leading the Way in Green Building - First LEED Platinum Ronald McDonald House in the World
Located in the heart of Austin, a leading city in energy conservation, Austin's Ronald McDonald House is the first LEED Platinum Ronald McDonald House in the world. It was the first building in the City of Austin and only the third in the State of Texas to attain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum NC (New Construction) certification, the highest level of green building awarded by the United States Green Building Council.
Fulfilling our Mission through Green Building
Austin's Ronald McDonald House is comprised of 30 guestrooms, multi-use common areas and administrative offices. The architectural design of the House creates a soothing and welcoming atmosphere, providing comfort to families with children being treated at area medical centers. The rooms have ample natural light and most look out to the garden and playground. Gentle curved hallways serve as embracing pathways leading to individual rooms.
The air handling system inside the House minimizes sharing of air between the guestrooms and the rest of the House. Also contributing to healthier air quality is natural ventilation throughout the spaces of the building. This ensures a healthier environment for children with compromised immune systems staying in the House while they receive outpatient care. The use of ample natural daylight in the guestrooms and in the four-floor core of the building supports a healing environment.
The Ronald McDonald House is designed to be an oasis for families who stay here. After long, restless days in the hospital, guests find a place to recharge and relax in this healthy House. Building Green is just another commitment we've made to improve the lives of the families and children we serve.
How the House Achieved LEED Platinum Status
1. Brownfield Redevelopment-Rehabilitates an existing damaged site to reduce pressure on undeveloped land.
2. Development density.
3. Alternative Transportation-Access to bus line; provision for people riding bicycles to park bikes and shower at the House.
4. Pervious: Impervious Cover-Reduction on impervious footprint.
5. Heat Island Effect-Green roof systems reduce absorbed heat.
6. Light Pollution Reduction-Minimizes site lighting and controls reflectivity of building surfaces.
7. Construction Pollution-Controlling soil erosion, waterway sedimentation and airborne dust generation.
8. Landscaping-Native and adaptive plants require little or no watering
9. High Efficiency Irrigation System-Reclaimed water underground drip system.
10. Water Use Reduction-Low flow plumbing and high-efficiency fixtures reduce water use by over 30%.
Energy Efficient Design and Construction
11.Building Form and Orientation-Takes advantage of the exposure of northern and southern lights and reduces heat gain from harsh eastern and western exposure; shading devices allow natural day-lighting while minimizing the amount of heat gained from direct sunlight.
ENergy Efficient Systems
13. Solar Panels-54 Photovoltaic solar panels providing 10.8kW will power up to 15 rooms and offset over 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
14. HVAC-Combined heating and plumbing-Greatly increase energy savings
15. Guestroom Key Switch-Each guestroom has a dedicated fan coil unit which resides in unoccupied mode until activated by a room key. This prevents unnecessary energy use during unoccupied periods.
16. Majority of materials procured or manufactured within 500 mile radius of site.
17. Recycled Steel, Fly Ash Concrete, and Cultured Stone which requires no further finishing or maintenance.
18. Construction waste emphasizes clean construction, and occupational waste recycles non-hazardous materials. Over 80% of construction waste has been recycled.
19. Daylighting-Guestroom windows allow ample natural daylight and reduce the need for artificial lighting. The four-floor core of the building is designed to act as a light-well, and shading structures control light infiltration.
20. Natural ventilation throughout, and natural and architectural shading devices create comfortable microclimates.
21. Ventilation-Dedicated outdoor air handling unit allows for energy recovery.
22. Low VOC emitting materials used throughout.
23. Innovation-Combined HVC systems is one of the first of its kind and connects to the Austin Energy District Chilled Water Loop.
24. Education-This project is a valuable educational tool to inform and encourage sustainable practice and environmental responsibility.