The Longfellow House was a unique project made possible by an unprecedented partnership between KCMO Parks and Recreation, Hallmark Corporation and Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). RMHC built a new 41 bedroom Ronald McDonald House in Longfellow Park directly west of our existing house on Cherry Street. The facility was designed with many “green” or environmentally sustainable features that enable it to be ultra-efficient in terms of energy consumption and a healthy atmosphere for children and their families who call the House their “home away from home” while in Kansas City for medical care.
From a user standpoint, the design of the building engages the park and the community to promote a comfortable, healing environment for the guest families staying at the facility. Every aspect of the design promotes a stress-free environment where families with critically ill children can rest and retreat from the pressures of hospitals, treatments and the inconveniences of being away from home for up to six months. Likewise, the design actively promotes a sense of healing and safety though superior air quality, energy-efficiency, access to daylight, natural amenities, color, noise control, spatial comfort, privacy, etc. Since its grand opening in February 2006, more than 1,000 families have stayed in this new Ronald McDonald House.
Sustainable features include:
- Environmental Assessment Program - Children’s Mercy Hospital developed an Environmental Assessment Program and instrumentation to measure indoor air quality and scan spaces for micro-toxins harmful to kids with suppressed immune systems. The House will be measure twice yearly.
- The facility utilizes environmentally benign building materials such bamboo wood floor, recycled carpet, and minimal off-gassing finishes to promote sustainability and human health.
- Mold-inhibiting materials and systems ensure high air quality.
- Strong indoor/outdoor connections promote restorative experiences in the park setting.
- A design initiative was to revitalizing the adjacent Longfellow Park with Tripling plant material and a net increase in park area.
- A Healing Garden and Sense Garden around the building’s perimeter encourages interactive gardening for families and staff.
- A walking path throughout the park promotes human health and fitness as well as a connection to the outdoors.
- Native plant materials provide restorative, low maintenance landscaping that requires minimal watering.
- The facility and site landscaping are designed to minimize storm water runoff to the city system.
- The building configuration promotes natural daylighting, which saves energy by reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day.
- Low Emissive glass is used to reduce heat loss and gain.
- The facility features an energy-efficient building envelope.
- A highly energy-efficient geo-thermal ground source heat pump system uses a natural, renewable energy source.
- Motion and photo cell sensors are used to operate electric lighting in some areas.
- The House features a green roof system used as a roof deck.