Project Completion Year
Project Location: City
Project Location: State
Project Location: Country
United States of America
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is located on a prime waterfront site in Boston’s historic Charlestown Navy Yard. The new facility was envisioned to be a therapeutic tool for patients, as well as a seamless addition to the surrounding community. The design builds upon the unique waterfront location to provide an indoor-outdoor rehabilitative environment that takes advantage of daylight, views, and waterside spaces to reinforce the therapeutic mission of the hospital.
Outdoor patient areas include a therapy trail along the water's edge and a third-floor therapy terrace. Indoor spaces are designed to address the social, spiritual and physical needs of patients and staff. On the ground floor, functions like the cafeteria provide a strong connection to the community and relate to the landscaped extension of First Avenue. The therapy gyms and pool are located on the end of the three-story base to maximize daylight and views. The five-story, 132-bed inpatient tower contains a variety of multipurpose rooms and therapy spaces to encourage movement throughout the building.
The building is clad in horizontal bands of metal and glass to recall the nautical history of the site and the infrastructure of the surrounding community. Metal bands wrap the façade to create a unified composition, while a masonry base anchors the building to the ground. Glass helps to define the primary community spaces inside the building, the Inpatient Therapy Gym and Patient Multi-Purpose Rooms.
Sustainable Design Intent and Innovation
Many healthcare projects are pursuing a sustainable agenda, however Spaulding made the commitment to pursue a more holistic regenerative mission, beginning with the site itself. The brownfield site, used by the US Navy, was fully remediated as a part of this project. Petrified logs and granite slabs from the original seawall were reclaimed and repurposed on campus as a visual representation of this history.
Rising sea levels were anticipated during the design, so the ground floor elevation is raised above long-term sea level projections. Several other resilience features were incorporated as well:
• Granite site walls and landscape berms reduce storm surge
• Critical building infrastructure is located on the roof
• Operable windows provide passive survivability during emergencies
The landscape design provides a variety of native, drought-tolerant plants which encourage the return of marine birds, while providing opportunities for outdoor relaxation and therapy. The building massing responds to site and environmental influences with sweeping views of the harbor and skyline, while effectively managing the sun and predominant winds. Vegetated roofs mitigate storm water runoff, reduce cooling loads and heat island effect, while skylights drive daylight into buried interior spaces.
The interior environment maximizes daylight and views, but balances this transparency with a high-performance building envelope. Gymnasiums, multi-purpose rooms and patient rooms utilize operable windows for natural ventilation. The new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is certified LEED Gold.
The first step is to reduce energy loads, so various analysis tools were used to optimize the building including: Dynamic Thermal Modeling, Computational Fluid Dynamics and Daylight Modeling. Such things as the benefit / payback of solar shading, effects of natural ventilation on select spaces, and patient comfort related to the removal of perimeter radiation were studied.
Ultimately, the features incorporated into the building had to achieve an estimated payback in the range of 5 - 7 years. While renewable energy has not been incorporated into the building, provisions were made to mount photovoltaic panels on the roof when this technology becomes more efficient and cost effective. Key features include:
A high performance envelope with:
o Increased insulation
o High performance glass
o Triple-glazed windows at patient rooms
o 60% solid to 40% glass exterior wall ratio
Exterior solar shading devices
High efficiency chillers and boilers
Gas-fired co-generation to produce heat and power and shave peak loads
Energy-efficient lighting (Lighting Power Density - 0.85 watts/ sf)
Daylight harvesting with automatic sensors
Fundamental & Enhanced Commissioning
Enhanced Refrigerant Management
Measurement and Verification
Operable windows with sensors tied to HVAC controls
Green power: 35% of the building’s electricity is from renewable sources
Predicted EUI in kBtu/sf/yr excluding on-site renewable energy contribution:
Predicted EUI in kBtu/sf/yr including on-site renewable energy contribution (carbon offsets will not be counted):
There is no on-site renewable energy for this project.
Predicted % regional energy reduction per Energy Star Target Finder:
36% [Note at the time of design the target was 50% energy use reduction]
A primary goal for this project was to connect Spaulding’s rehabilitative mission to the Charlestown Navy Yard community. Because the site is located on Boston Inner Harbor and is composed of filled tidelands, 50% of the site area is required to be open space that is accessible to the public.
In addition to allowing public access, Spaulding uses the site extensively for patient therapy, recreation and relaxation. Designated areas include a therapy trail, a hard surface multi-sport area with half-court basketball and shuffleboard and a putting green. All of these spaces are open to the public, which reinforces Spaulding’s mission to reintegrate patients back into the community as part of their recovery.
Boston’s Harborwalk Park was extended along the entire length of the water’s edge to connect two previously isolated sections. The public is invited onto the site with a variety of interpretive elements that tell the site’s unique history and highlight the ongoing renewal of Boston Harbor. An environmental plaza, bronze sculptures of marine wildlife and a fish-cleaning station provide opportunities for the public to engage with the site.
Over 75% of the interior ground floor area is open to the public. The lobby, conference rooms, gift shop, restrooms, cafeteria and even pool are available for public use. Adjacent to the cafeteria, an outdoor dining area is accessible to patients, visitors, staff, and the general public. The site is served by a public bus route. In addition, there is a shuttle service to North Station where there are extensive commuter rail and rapid transit subway connections.
Parking Spaces per occupant:
203 spaces / 876 peak occupants per shift (including overlap) = .23 spaces / occupant
Walk Score Rating
LEED Sustainable Sites Credit 2 was earned since there are at least 10 different basic services within ½ mile walking distance as well as housing with a density well above 10 units / acre.
Key water savings are primarily achieved through the use of water-efficient plumbing fixtures.
• Ultralow-flow water closets
• Rain showers with flow restrictors
Although an extensive study was undertaken for the incorporation of grey water system to be used for toilet flushing and plant irrigation, it was determined that the payback period was too lengthy to justify the added expense.
Percent (%) precipitation managed on site:
Green roofs help to manage storm water runoff.
Percent (%) waste water reused on site:
Waste water is not collected and therefore not reused.
Percent (%) annual regulated potable water use, gallons/sf/yr:
1,629,284 gallons / year / 378,339 SF = 4.31 gallons / SF / year (flush and flow fixtures only)
Percent (%) regulated potable water reduction from baseline:
36.2% (flush and flow fixtures only)
The relationship of building materials to human health was incorporated into material selections for the project. Use of more environmentally friendly materials was seen to have a direct relationship to the health mission of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. The following measures taken:
• Use of Precautionary List to evaluate materials and make safer selections for occupants
• Materials chosen to complement a ‘green cleaning’ protocol, including no-wax flooring
• Use of products with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
• Restrict (eliminate) use of materials containing Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
• Eliminate materials containing added urea formaldehyde
Materials were also evaluated and selected based on their longevity and durability. The interior design utilizes a ‘timeless’ palette of warm, neutral colors with pops of color in paint and fabric. This will extend the life of materials, while making them less subject to change with color trends over time.
- Use durable materials
o Terrazzo flooring
o Solids surface counters
o Granite pavers and site walls
o Brick and interior CMU construction
- Maximize use of regional materials
- Maximize use of materials with a recycled content
- Long wearing and recyclable materials
- Low / minimal maintenance
- Divert 75% of construction waste from landfill
Design Architect (FIRM)
Environmental and Geotechnical Consultant