Greening Healthcare Facilities
The healthcare industry is undergoing a boom in the renovation and construction of healthcare facilities. The construction of a hospital is a multimillion-dollar proposition, with costs easily rising past the tens of millions of dollars for a single small to mid-size hospital. There are numerous aging facilities to renovate and replace: the American Hospital Association in 1999 estimated that there were about 6,000 hospitals in the U.S.A., and the World Health organization estimates that there are 1,650 medical schools in 155 countries. With so many facilities ready for renovation or replacement, this construction activity places owners, designers, and contractors in the perfect situation to “do no harm’, by offering opportunities to construct and operate green, high-performance buildings. Due to the complexity of healthcare facilities, even moderate steps towards reducing their “ecological footprint” of energy use and environmental impact is desirable. The research objectives of this paper are in part, to raise awareness of the necessity of improving the ecological footprint of healthcare facilities, and to acquaint readers with practical ways in which renovated, new, and even those healthcare facilities currently in operation can improve their environmental impact. In support of these objectives, the authors will present six ways in which to incorporate sustainable “green” design into the construction and operations of renovated and new healthcare facilities.
Keywords: Healthcare Facilities, Healthcare Design, Sustainable Design, Ecological Footprint, High-Performance Buildings, pvc, Volatile Organic Compounds, Dioxin, Electronics Disposal, Preferred Purchasing Program
Lisa M. Graham
Associate Professor, Art and Art History Department, University of Texas at Arlington
Architect, Callahan & Freeman Architects