Annual Review 2019
  • Projects Advocate Christ Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit renovation, Emergency Department renovation and Radiology/Oncology renovation
  • Location Oak Lawn, Illinois
  • Owner Advocate Aurora Health
  • Architect HDR, Inc.
  • MEP Engineer Grunman/Butkis Associates

Environmental sustainability is becoming increasingly important in today’s society, linking environmental factors to overall population health. Advocate Aurora Health recognizes the positive outcomes seen with green building, and are placing themselves at the forefront of this vital conversation.

“Advocate Aurora Health’s commitment to green building best practices is aligned with our mission to help people live well. We recognize that healthy environments and communities are essential to supporting optimal human health and healing in the present and for future generations.”

Mary Larsen, MS, Director of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, Advocate Aurora Health

Advocate Aurora Health has made a bold commitment to pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for healthcare certification on all major buildings going forward. In addition, they have decided to go a step further by creating the Healthy Spaces Road Map.

Healthy Spaces Certified

The Healthy Spaces Road Map (HSRM) certification process provides a holistic approach to creating a healthy environment. It also involves an increased level of accountability for ongoing building operations. HSRM enforces the sustainable management of energy, water, food, interior, cleaning and indoor air quality even after design and construction is complete.

As a partner dedicated to high performance and sustainability, Pepper was excited to be the first contractor to fully implement and track this self-certification process in an acute care environment through three recently-completed projects: the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit renovation, a two-phased Emergency Department renovation and the Radiology/Oncology renovation.

During these projects, in addition to tracking many of the same aspects of LEED, we did the following:

Ensured the materials used were healthy (Healthier Hospitals compliant)

adhesives and sealants

Measured adhesives and sealants to control any volatile organic emissions.


Limited idling to improve the air quality in and around the site.

water fixtures

Measured the efficiency of water fixtures as well as any system that consumes energy.

Ensured the materials going into the project were optimally recycled content, while tracking construction waste and recycling leaving the site.

“We’ve been designing our facilities to use less energy and constructing them to generate less air pollution. Now our patients can breathe easier knowing we’re also selecting finishes, furniture, and flooring and using green cleaning methods that do not expose them to some of the most notorious chemicals commonly found in [building] materials. Likewise, our staff, who spend long days in our health care environments, are benefitting from healthier air quality.”

Mary Larsen, MS, Director of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, Advocate Aurora Health

We at Pepper are excited to see our high performance technology making a positive impact on the environment, as well as the health of both patients and workers in this new facility.