Valley Health Center Downtown San Jose Wins LEED GOLD certification and is awarded Sustainable Project of the Year Award by APWA Silicon Valley

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County of Santa Clara Valley Health Hospital

Valley Health Center Downtown San Jose Wins LEED GOLD certification and is awarded Sustainable Project of the Year Award by APWA Silicon Valley

The Valley Health Center in Downtown San Jose is a three-story, 62,000 square feet, $38 million medical facility owned and operated by the County of Santa Clara. It serves a young, multi-ethnic area with high dependency on public health care services. The facility supports services in family medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, laboratory, pharmacy, radiology, behavioral health, and features an urgent care clinic that is open daily for extended hours. Its opening in June 2016 marks the return of needed medical services that have been lost to the community since the closure of its predecessor in 2004. The project team was Ratcliff and Flint Builders.

Location & transportation
Having the facility located at a transit gateway was a significant factor for attaining LEED Gold certification. Served by a major bus corridor and a future BART Station, the Health Center connects multi-cultural neighborhoods that historically have lacked medical services. The building features ample open public spaces and is well integrated with the adjacent neighborhoods.

The building structure is oriented for integrating passive and active solar strategies. The high-performance building envelope maximizes daylight use, while balancing heating and cooling demands through the use of glazing, exterior sunscreens and interior sunshades.

On site, a bio-retention infiltration basin system treats stormwater runoff by sedimentation. No potable water is needed for the site irrigation; the irrigation system is connected to the city reclaimed water line. An irrigation controller with climate sensors allows the system to reduce water output when it rains or is cloudy. The facility also features water efficient fixtures and targets at least 40 percent water saving against LEED baseline.

To minimize negative health impact and to ensure indoor air quality, only materials that do not emit pollutants or are low-emitting were specified. Distracting noise is minimized through the use of sound-absorbing materials, high sound transmission-loss walls, floors and ceilings, and equipment sound isolation. The lighting system is both efficient and user-friendly, with occupancy sensors and daylight dimming controls.

Energy efficiency is another major goal. The design team employs a Whole Building Approach and computer simulation to achieve optimal results. The project received a $200,000 PG&E Savings by Design rebate for exceeding California Title 24 energy efficiency standards.

Other features include:

  • Cool roof and reflective site paving
  • Abundant daylight and views in public areas
  • Thermal comfort with healthy, energy-efficient ventilation system for all indoor spaces
  • Use of sustainably harvested wood
  • High percentage of recycled construction waste
  • Recycled content and regional materials