h2. Strong Medicine


Prodded by their earth-conscious charges, many universities jumped on the eco-bandwagon decades ago, but the hospital and health care industry has been slower to take a planetary Hippocratic oath. No longer: Newberg’s Providence Medical Center—which opened in June 2006 and cost nearly $71 million to build—is the nation’s first LEED Gold certified hospital. Designed by Portland’s Mahlum Architects and engineering firm Glumac, the 56-acre medical campus boasts an array of innovations that save energy and reduce waste. For starters, superefficient boilers and air conditioning units help reduce electricity usage by about 20 percent, while motion detectors ensure that lights are on only when someone’s in a room. What’s more, every watt of electricity supplying the campus comes from a renewable source (like wind or geothermal energy). But the most impressive innovation might be what the medical center is doing for patients themselves: One hundred percent of the hospital’s air comes from outside, which means patients and staff aren’t gulping down germ-laden recycled air. Clearly, this hospital hopes to heal more than just the people who visit it. —CDB

Watt Choppers


How many Texans does it take to change a lightbulb? Six. That’s how many people make up the Texas team for Ecos Consulting, the Portland-based environmental consulting firm that helps other companies reduce their environmental impact (while often increasing their bottom lines). This year, Ecos’s Texas crew helped eight Lone Star State utility companies install more than 1.5 million compact fluorescent lightbulbs in homes—saving homeowners $30 over the life of each bulb and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 1 billion pounds. Founded 12 years ago, Ecos has grown to 150 employees, with offices in four states and a client roster that includes Coca-Cola, Burgerville, Full Sail Brewing, and bottled-water giant Calistoga. (Ecos helped Calistoga reduce its energy consumption by 1 million kilowatt hours annually—enough to power about 90 houses for a year—saving the company close to $200,000 annually.) Next up? Identifying the 10 most energy-efficient products in a variety of areas, from dishwashers to CD players, as part of their Top Ten initiative. So when you replace that home stereo system, you’ll know exactly how much juice you’re using—and saving—while rocking out to the Decemberists. —KC

Counter Culture

green counter
Image: Adam Levey


All good parties end in the kitchen, where guests gather to laugh, chat, and drain that last bottle of wine. Which makes the kitchen a prime place to show off your commitment to protecting the planet. Those wine bottles, once recycled, might make their way into the countertops made by Fuez, a NoPo firm with four product lines made from up to 85 percent recycled material—a mixture of glass, fly ash (a by-product of coal-burning), and cement. Even better, Fuez counters earn homeowners 5 of the 39 points they need for LEED Gold certification. The style points? They’re just a bonus. —CDB