Barry Rabner, President and CEO Princeton HealthCare System, for his leadership with the development of the University Medical Center at Princeton

Barry Rabner

If you travel through Plainsboro Township on Rt. 1 you will undoubtedly be impressed by the new University Medical Center of Princeton. Your eye is caught by the curved, mostly glass, façade that faces south and overlooks the Millstone River. For Barry Rabner, however, it is the inner workings of the building and the composition of the health campus that excite the most.

Under Mr. Rabner’s leadership as CEO and President, the Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) is developing a $1.1 billion, 171-acre health care campus in Plainsboro. The relocation from downtown Princeton enables the Medical Center to accommodate new technology, to offer new methods of care delivery, and to meet increasing demand for services. The Center will provide a broad-spectrum of medical related service, ranging from full service hospital care to medical offices to physical rehabilitation, child and adult daycare, assisted living, and fitness and wellness facilities.

From conception, Mr. Rabner and his team were focused on building a state-of-the-art medical facility that would also improve patient outcomes. Mr. Rabner credits the architects and engineers for expanding the vision for the new Center to include sustainability and employ green building technology.

Architect's Rendering of University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro

In researching innovative hospital design, Mr. Rabner and his team of clinical and design experts became devotees of evidence-based design.  For example, rather than automatically commit to the US Green Building Council standards, Mr. Rabner insisted on running the numbers.  The evidence was convincing.  “By bringing the best technology together in one building, we could reduce energy costs, reduce the building’s carbon footprint and improve patient outcomes” he said.  He notes that there were substantial upfront costs; but the longer-term cost reduction, combined with generous donors who helped with the up-front costs, weighed in favor of using green design standards.  The result is a state-of-the-art facility that has it all: design elements which improve patient outcomes by reducing errors, falls, and infections; the latest in high-tech medical equipment; and low-impact, environmentally sustainable design.

There are two aspects to the Medical Center that represent commendable resource efficiency. The first has to do with energy. An on-site co-generation plant will supply 100 percent of the hospital’s  heating and cooling needs. In addition, the hospital can also boast a chilled water thermal energy storage system; a photovoltaic installation; high efficiency motors; thermal energy transfer; and water-saving fixtures.  Together, these systems will reduce carbon emissions by 18.1 million pounds annually.

The second area of resource efficiency is in the area of transportation.  As part of a Redevelopment Zone, the Medical Center will benefit from a new bus rapid transit system. The site is already well-served by mass transit and that service will increase as the campus develops.  In addition, roads are being improved and a new turning lane is being added to Harrison Street, along with a new signal at the intersection. The campus is also designed with bike paths, pedestrian paths, and easy access to shuttles as well as the future platform for the bus rapid transit system.

For these many reasons, we are pleased to acknowledge the vision and leadership of Barry Rabner with our 2011 Resource Efficiency Achievement Award for the outstanding qualities designed into the University Medical Center of Princeton.


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