New HealthSouth Hospital a Milestone Project for Sustainability and Community Revitalization

When the new HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Western Massachusetts opened its doors in December 2013, it marked an important step in the revitalization efforts of the historical mill town of Ludlow, Mass. The 74,000-square-foot hospital is the largest newly built facility for HealthSouth Corporation, and it is also anticipating LEED Silver 2009 HC certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The $27,000,000 project was one of the largest to be recently built in Ludlow, and the 53-bed rehabilitation facility contains a shell space that can be expanded to 70 beds in the future. The HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital is one of many revitalization efforts for historic Ludlow Mills, which will also include a balance of retail, office, light industrial and residential development.

Victoria Healy, CEO of HealthSouth, said she has enjoyed working with the project team and is absolutely thrilled with the results.  “Now patients who choose to continue their higher level of rehabilitation care will be able to work with disease specific trained professionals using the latest technologies in a state of the art rehabilitation hospital in Ludlow, Massachusetts,” she said.

The project’s brownfield industrial site was once a rope mill in the 1800s, and it had a tremendous amount of salvageable brick and other material that could be incorporated into the new structure, helping to reach the goal of LEED Silver certification. General contractor Robins & Morton and designer Gresham, Smith & Partners were able to divert 91% of all construction waste and 98.9% of concrete waste from heading to landfills.

Other elements of reuse and sustainable construction include:

  • Reuse of more than 100,000 bricks from demolished on-site warehouses
  • All other non-organic demolished materials/debris were crushed on-site and used to create 4,000 yards of structural fill and base
  • 28% of total material was from sustainable sources
  • 9.76% of total material is recycled
  • 12.54% of total material is local or regional
  • 250 linear feet of reclaimed timbers are used in the lobby
  • 60 kW of solar power (more than 10% on-site renewable energy) generated from photovoltaic cells on roof
  • High-efficiency HVAC systems
  • 45% water reduction
  • 20% reduction in energy

Robins & Morton has been a construction partner with HealthSouth for a number of their rehabilitation hospitals, including another facility in Dothan, Ala., which completed in October 2013. Also a state-of-the-art rehabilitation hospital, HealthSouth Dothan underwent a 17,500 square-foot addition that added 12 patient beds to the facility. Robins & Morton has also recently completed HealthSouth rehabilitation hospitals in Middleton, Del. and Plano, Texas.

About Robins & Morton

Founded in 1946, Robins & Morton is a privately held engineering and construction firm that consistently ranks among the 100 largest U.S. contractors in Engineering News-Record Magazine. The company has also been named one of the best mid-sized companies to work for in America because of its worker-friendly and family-friendly practices.  Robins & Morton is based in Birmingham, Ala. with offices in Dallas, Texas; Huntsville, Ala.; Orlando, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.  For more information, visit