When the Santa Barbara-based ambulatory surgical center (ASC) and physician practice management company, MedBridge, purchased a new building and moved its headquarters into the funk zone, the executive team knew they wanted the location to demonstrate the company’s “holistic approach to building and core values as a business,” said MedBridge Chief of Staff Ruth Loomer, co-chair of CEC’s Partnership Council.
But this presented a challenge for MedBridge, which also holds partnerships with about 20 medical facilities and practices in California. The company had already demonstrated its dedication to sustainability by certifying its old headquarters through the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County. It now needed to go through the process again for its new building.
The Green Business Program is “about preserving the world and setting an example for the community, for other businesses and for employees,” said MedBridge Green Business Coordinator Michael Haynes. “We pride ourselves on the integrity to do the right thing as it relates to education and the environment.”
To achieve certification a second time for the new building, the company needed to implement a list of utility improvements. Some of the most significant included:
- Reduce waste. Since MedBridge is on the business side of medicine, they unavoidably deal with a lot of paper. The company transitioned from 30% recycled paper stock to 100% and purchased scanners to dramatically increase their electronic records. In the near future, MedBridge plans to participate in a composting program to reduce their daily food waste.
- Reuse and recycle. “We didn’t want to create a demand for new, new, new,” said Loomer. So, MedBridge utilized a minimalist approach to remodeling. Completely refurbished cubicles and recycled furniture means they will not be diminishing unnecessary resources. Repurposed acoustical wood muffles the noise of tall ceilings, and brick walls are left bare to eliminate the use of paint and insulating materials. Second-hand resources, such as fence boards, take the form of art pieces, planter boxes, and coffee tables.\
- Energy and water efficiency. They set strict standards for energy use, which meant discarding the old water heater in favor of a newer, more efficient model and installing low-flow showers, sinks, and toilets. They are also mindful of electricity by using fluorescent and low-wattage light bulbs.
- Bring the outside in. They wanted to bring nature indoors as much as possible. Every department receives natural lighting from large windows that wrap around the building. “I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty great,” remarks Haynes, who benefits from his office’s mountainside view.
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