The Queensland Government's $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) has become the largest public healthcare facility in Australia to achieve the building industry's highest honour with a 6 Star Green Star Healthcare v1 Design and As-Built rating.

Exemplar Health a consortium comprised of Lendlease, Siemens and Capella Capital, in partnership with Queensland Health, surpassed the original four-star target, using innovative design and construction techniques to position the regional hospital as a national leader in sustainable healthcare.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles says the award was evidence that the Sunshine State was also the Sustainable State.

“Sunshine Coast University Hospital was designed with a 'green spine' made up of large outdoor rooms and courtyards that run down the middle of the hospital creating a healing space for employees and patients,” says Miles.

“The hospital also boasts one of the largest commercial use organic response lighting systems in Australia, automatically adjusting lights in unoccupied or naturally lit areas to significantly reduce carbon emissions.

The orientation of the building to the sun, as well as the passive solar protection, enhances the general wellbeing of visitors and users, and the hospital's long term operational efficiency.

SCUH opened with over 450 beds, with plans to grow to 738 beds by 2021. Services and capacity at SCUH will continue to develop over the coming years.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service chief executive Naomi Dwyer says, “The opening of a tertiary level healthcare facility, in this world class premise has had far reaching benefits for the community and will ensure our patients receive the highest quality healthcare closer to home.”

Dale Connor, CEO of Lendlease Building says, “Recent studies show the healing power of outdoor respite spaces for patients not only reduce the length of stay, but also accelerate patient recovery.

“Across our projects nationally, we are exploring innovative ways to improve patient healthcare with a genuine belief that the built environment plays a critical role in contributing positively to the health and wellbeing of people.”

Quentin Jackson, Sustainable Design leader for Aurecon says, “Upon full occupancy of the hospital in 2021, the predicted reduction in energy consumption is estimated to be at least a 20 percent, with a 40 percent peak energy demand reduction compared to an equivalent facility, realising significant operational savings for a 24/7 tertiary level hospital”.