With operations running 24/7, hospitals are notorious energy hogs. Seattle Children’s Bellevue Clinic, however, has windows and artwork throughout to create a cheerful atmosphere for patients and visitors, and those windows let in tremendous amounts of daylight, thus cutting back on energy use. The building also uses efficient HVAC equipment and lighting and a green roof that earned the clinic a $500,000 rebate from its utility company. The $40 million project designed by NBBJ Architects even upped its expected certification from LEED Silver to Gold without spending an extra penny. It’s time we realized that the economics of green building are paying dividends, even, or perhaps especially for the most energy-intensive facilities.

The green roof not only reduces storm-water runoff and urban heat island effect, but also earned the clinic a $500,000 rebate.