Destination Spotlight

First Green Hospital in Latin America ~ San Vicente De Paul Hospital Rionegro

Destination Spotlight

The San Vicente de Paul Hospital – Rionegro will be a hospital complex with 12 specialized centers, 500 beds, in a total area of 1.184 square ft. With an investment greater than 100 million dollars, the first phase will be delivered in the first semester quarter of 2011, with the services of the Transplant and Tissue Centers, Digestive Diseases, Cardio-Lung and Vascular System Center, Emergency Room and Day Hospital.

This facility will function under modern concepts, such as care spaces based on international standards, individual hospitalization for all patients, companions in all critical care services and altitude heliport for great size helicopters capable of receiving large groups of injured patients.

This first phase will have 180 beds; 35 of them will be intensive and special care, high-tech diagnostic and therapeutic services such as Laboratory, Blood Bank, Diagnostic Images and Operating Rooms. In the second phase, the hospital will have the Advanced Cancer Care Center, Neuroscience Ward, Advanced Trauma Ward, Plastic, Aesthetic and Maxillofacial Center, Women´s and Neonatal Attention Center and Psychiatric Ward.

The goal is to take care of a larger number of high complexity patients with the top service and security conditions and provide a friendly atmosphere with an architectural design based on the care needs and quality expectations, not only of the patients but for all the users and employees.

The architectural structure reflects the new approach for treatment of specialized centers, where the users can easily locate the center specific to their particular disease.

The architectural design is modern, agile, efficient and safe, centered on the different audiences that the new institution will attend and enables scalable growth over time without affecting its operation.


“Supported on experience, knowledge, credibility and belief, the hospital thinks it can expand its scope, reach out to other additional sites and still be in tune with the developments of knowledge and technology, in an atmosphere that provides comfort, company and healing.


What´s the point of a hospital if is not for comforting and healing? That has been the task of the Hospital in its 97 years, a task that will always be unfinished, because someone will always ask for a hand and also for comfort, “says Dr. Julio Ernesto Toro Restrepo, Director of the Hospital.

National and International Accreditation

The San Vicente de Paul Hospital in Rionegro will offer the highest standards of care and patient safety, nationally accredited by the ICONTEC1 and internationally by the Joint Commission International and also will have LEED (The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System ™) to show this is an institution committed to sustainability and the environment.

Thus, the architectural approach gives a particular relevance to the protection, conservation and environmental sustainability, for this new hospital was proposed as the first Green Hospital in Colombia.


It will be a space free of architectural barriers, which will use clean technology, with a design that allows different alternatives for energy use, natural ventilation, noise control, water conservation, fauna and flora. Building will be automated, easy to maintain, versatile and adaptable to the needs of the Hospital and its visitors.


Among the projects developed to meet LEED certification requirements are:

Sustainable Sites

Prevention of the pollution of the elements water, earth and air during construction of the Hospital, protection of the water sources located in the lot of the project, with the planting of over a thousand trees of native species, use of the soil extracted in the excavations to repair environmental damages caused by traditional mining along the Rio Negro.

Parking lots designed under the concept of “park parking”, which will include: exclusive and privileged areas for bicycles (150 spaces) with support facilities such as showers and dressing rooms for people who use this type of transportation, and preferential parking zones for carpool and alternative fuel vehicles.

Water Efficiency

The utilization of rainwater and wastewater, which, after a rigorous treatment with microorganisms and ultraviolet light, are accumulated in a reservoir and used in processes that do not require 100% potable water is one step. We will also employ a Sustainable Landscaping Program in which the tree species used for planting are all native and adapted, which means that they do not require a permanent irrigation system.

Energy and Atmosphere

Using solar collectors and the byproduct of the generation of air conditioning will be used to heat all the water required in the processes of the Hospital, thus avoiding the consumption of electricity for this purpose. Maximum automation of the building with special emphasis on air and lighting is also implemented.


Spaces are designed under the concept of bioclimatic architecture (do not require air conditioning) ensuring air changes without the need for energy consumption, with estimated savings of around 35% over conventional consumption.


The architectural design managed through patios and pavilions, allows about 75% of the building spaces to have natural light. The equipment will use environmentally-friendly refrigerants and low-energy consumptions.

Materials & Resources

Over 80% of the materials required for the construction of the building come from the region and its manufacture and removal is less than 800 km away from the construction site. San Vicente de Paul Hospital uses materials that come from important recycling processes such as reinforcing steel and aluminum, whose cost exceeds 10% of the overall value of the materials.


Marlene M. Liriano, Principal at Perkins+Will, worked closely on this Project and the environment of Columbia made for a unique approach. “It is using the same type of sustainable strategies that we use and have used in the past, and in some instances, strategies that are more innovative as the climate in Columbia tailors to the ability of using the raw, natural environment to support these strategies,” she states.

Indoor Environmental Quality

Using materials with low emission of pollutants for furniture, carpentry, paint, coatings and seals of the building, as well as the automation will be possible for patients and people who occupy the spaces of the building, to have control over variables such as lighting and air conditioning avoiding the misuse of the same.

The project will ensure air conditioning system filters are changed prior to the occupation of the building to ensure total cleaning of dust and harmful substances resulting from the construction process. Also, there will be ongoing monitoring of fresh air to all areas of the building. The Hospital is a Smoke Free space, therefore smoking is forbidden both inside and outside of the building.

Innovation & Process Design

The project has an alternative transportation plan for patients, families and employees of the Hospital providing an outsourced bus service, with specific timetables to ensure the transportation service between Medellin and Rio Negro, at specific times required by staff and employees, and in regular intervals for patients and their families. The water management on site is another design innovation credit.


The project will use lamps with low mercury content and there is also non-chemical treatment of the wastewater from the building. These certifications and national and international accreditations will be a pledge of quality assurance in the provision of services at the new Hospital.

Permanent Special Free Trade Zone Service in the Country

By Resolution No: 007,849 of July 27, 2009, the DIAN2 declares Permanent Special Free Trade Zone San Vicente de Paul Hospital Rionegro, thus becoming the first zone of this kind in the country, as a result of its commitment with investment and employment generation.

The Zone system allows the new Hospital San Vicente de Paul to operate under special regulations in tax, customs and foreign trade, with benefits such as equipment and technology imported free of duties and VAT (Value Added Tax) for strengthening our experience in exporting health services.

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