Tribal Healthcare Facility Wins LEED Silver Awards

By Eric Althoff

DURANT, Okla.—The campus of the Choctaw Nation Regional Medical Clinic in Durant has been awarded three LEED Silver certifications. The awards were given to Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority and Robins & Morton and James Childers Architects, Inc. for their combined work on the medical center.

The three buildings of the medical center entail a 146,093-square-foot clinic, a 6,108-square-foot health service administration building and a facilities maintenance building encompassing 11,750 square feet. The clinic, which does double duty as the campus’s hospital, houses facilities for outpatient surgery, dental, behavioral health and ophthalmology as well. The health services administration and facilities maintenance buildings are joined to the primary clinic via sidewalks.

Part of the reason for the award was that the healthcare facilities make extensive use of geothermal heating and cooling thanks to hundreds of wells at the property, which were integral to the design wishes of the Choctaw nation. The lobby’s glass is “electrochromic,” meaning its sensors automatically tint depending on the amount of natural light that is entering the building through the windows.

The health services administration and facilities maintenance buildings won the award due to the use of sustainable construction materials in their design, which further helps with energy efficiency throughout.

The three buildings were awarded separate Silver certifications under the umbrella of the LEED Campus program, which allows each individual facility to prioritize sustainability objectives in their award criteria.

“We have been encouraging our clients [to commit] to green building, specifically healthcare and higher education, to consider the LEED Campus program,” said Robins & Morton Sustainability Manager Jackie Mustakas in a statement. “Not only does it reduce duplication of administrative efforts on active projects, it makes it more attractive for future projects to pursue certifications knowing that a series of points is already secured.”

The campus is designed to be a point of healthcare service for some 260,000 members of the Choctaw Nation, as well as members of other tribes living in the surrounding community.

“Any coordination we can do now to motivate future project teams to pursue certification, therefore collaborating as an integrated team, prioritizing positive environmental outcomes and reducing operating costs is worth the effort entirely,” Mustakas added.