Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is located at 1 Hospital Road, Vineyard Haven, MA, 02568-2604; 508.693.0410; http://www.mvhospital.com/. Read the December 27, 2011 GPW: Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Rooftop Healing Gardens” by Linda Velazquez in the Sky Gardens Blog on Greenroofs.com; Beyond Budgets, Profits by Neil Lemieux and Marc Rowland from November/December 2010; and Marthas Vineyard Hospital Earns LEED Gold Certification First Gold Hospital in the State from Medical Construction & Design.
The scope of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital’s new, 90,000 s.f. LEED-Gold certified facility included the design and construction of a new replacement on the 6-acre hospital campus. Opening in the Summer of 2010, it “features two floors of efficient, centralized, state-of-the-art services and technology and includes operating rooms, a medical/surgical unit, intensive care unit, physical therapy department, an emergency department, and medical imaging/laboratories.
“Sustainable building elements include an array of over 200 solar photovoltaic panels that provide the hospital with 45 kilowatts of power. Other features include a rooftop Healing Garden which functions as a “wellness” area for patients…Another important LEED credit included a Connection to the Natural World, Places of Healing and Respite. As an affiliate of the Planetree Model of Care, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital was able to meet this innovative credit by incorporating many Planetree patient-focused elements into the new facility that enhanced patient healing; including views, natural light, privacy, and access to healing gardens,” (MCD, see below).
The prospect of a newly constructed hospital on Martha’s Vineyard was exciting for all island residents, and the healing garden associated with the project posed an exciting challenge for Weston Solutions’ Northeast GreenGrid team. The intricate layout designed by the landscape architect, Horiuchi Solien Landscape Architects, included three different plant mixes of various colors and heights. Weston worked extensively with Horiuchi Solien to decide on a plant mix that would maintain the desired design aesthetic and remain healthy for many years to come. The resulting mix includes grasses, perennials, and sedums that are proven to be reliable in the Northeast climate and that bloom at various times during the season, creating an ever-welcoming space for hospital visitors, patients, and staff.
Once the plant mix was determined, the next step was to determine the shipping logistics of delivering over 9,000 square feet of GreenGrid modules via ferry. Installation lasted two weeks, as Capeway Roofing of Westport, MA unloaded nine tractor trailer trucks full of intensive GreenGrid modules on nursery cages, hoisted them to the roof, and placed the modules in the correct location based on the roof plan. In addition to the modules, Capeway installed concrete pavers, pathway lighting, benches, and tables to establish a fully accessible roof garden.
Maintenance of the healing garden is being conducted by Fuller Landscaping, a local company which can give the green roof the level of care required to ensure healthy plants and sustained aesthetics. Standard maintenance includes two major events to perform widespread hand weeding, organic fertilizer application, irrigation set up and winterization, cutting back grasses and perennials, and evaluating plant health. Four minor visits are also included during the growing season to spot weed and assess plant health.
The healing garden not only provides a beautiful, accessible space, but also reduces storm water runoff and attracts beneficial pollinators such as butterflies and bees. The combination of ocean views and various blooming plants provide a tranquil place for patients to enjoy, with the added benefits of extending the life of the waterproofing membrane, reducing CO2 in the air, and improving the quality of storm water that percolates through the system. Additionally, the Joint Commission, which evaluates and accredits health-care organizations and programs in the United States, has recognized therapeutic gardens as a best practice benchmark.