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Published on February 13, 2012

Ford, Simpson, Lively and Rice Pediatrics Opens Green Building to Patients and Staff

Winston-Salem, NC — When Ford, Simpson, Lively and Rice’s Bonnie Barth, LPN, found her young patient trying to "swim" on the blue stream-shaped floor tiles leading into the exam room of the new pediatric office, she knew the whimsical ambience that includes flower-shaped lighting, large kite-like leaf hangings, and fluffy light blue clouds, was having the desired effect. "The feedback from our patients and their parents has been overwhelming," said Susan Kerby, manager of the busy Winston-Salem pediatric practice, "They tell us it feels more like an amazing outside play area than their doctor’s office – and when they find out it is environmentally-friendly, they are even more excited."

Ford, Simpson, Lively and Rice opened their new office at 2933 Maplewood Avenue this week after building it in complete compliance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The new 10,171 square foot building, possibly the first green pediatric practice in the Southeast, was completed ahead of schedule by Advance-based Davie Construction. Many of the environmentally-conscious building details are not visible to the practice’s young patients, but the whimsical interior design by LEED certified Barbour Spangle Design in High Point, with its natural themes including trees, flowers, clouds, and the signature stream inlaid into the flooring, make it clear from the moment of entry that this is not your typical pediatrics office.

"We wanted to create the healthiest environment possible, and to provide a feeling of warmth and cheerfulness while subtly communicating the special green aspects of the new building. Based upon the reactions we’re hearing from our patients and their parents, Christi Barbour and Brianne Verstat did a wonderful job accomplishing that goal," said Dr. Robert Ford, who spearheaded the 9-month LEED project with his nine partners after they outgrew their 4,800 square foot office next door to the new location.

"I was a member of the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina when Davie Construction built their new LEED Certified offices last year. I was impressed by the process and the outcome. And while the extra 3% to 5% cost was a consideration, the positive impact on the environment and long-term reductions in energy costs convinced us that it was the right way to proceed for the health of our patients, staff and the community," said Dr. Ford.

Ford, Simpson, Lively and Rice Pediatrics is a Cornerstone Health Care practice, and Dr. Ford credits the large multi-specialty physician practice’s top management for supporting the project, both morally and financially. “Cornerstone is committed to investing in the future of health care delivery to the benefit of all our patients, employees, physicians and the communities we serve. When Dr. Ford and his partners asked us to help them construct a green building, we saw this as a tangible way to promote the health of each of these groups, now and in the future,” said Grace E. Terrell, MD, President and CEO of Cornerstone.

Dr. Ford and his partners plan to hold an Open House featuring tours of the building for local business and civic leaders in March. “We hope that by showcasing the steps we took for compliance to LEED standards – using upholstery materials that are green, biodegradable or have recycled content, purchasing mostly from local manufacturers, using low emitting carpeting and low VOC paint, and specifying the most energy efficient systems – that we may inspire other Triad businesses to consider the many benefits of building green.”

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