The most significant revision to the Green Guide for Health Care Version 2.2 Operations section to date has been released for public comment. Because of the extensive nature of the GGHC Operations review process, the revised toolkit has been released for a 30-day public comment period beginning April 16, 2008, through midnight Pacific Daylight Time on May 16, 2008. Visit www.gghc.org to download the toolkit and submit comments.Building on the experience of the Green Guide's roster of registered projects, a volunteer committee of professionals representing a broad spectrum of healthcare sector perspectives, and technical experts and representatives from membership organizations, the update emphasizes continuous improvement and frames best practices in operations and maintenance protocols, keeping abreast of the momentum in policy and practice toward green building and operations methods and materials. These strategies yield measurable improvements in enhancing a facility's health and environmental performance.
• A more user-friendly tool—Strategies are now grouped by facility department.
• Up to date—Updated regulatory standards, best practices, and resources reflecting the most current available information, including alignment with the 2008 revision of LEED for Existing Buildings-Operations and Maintenance rating system, with permission, where applicable.
• Expanded scope—Emerging priorities in healthcare operations and maintenance are reflected in the update, including emissions reporting, low-impact grounds maintenance, sustainable food service, and multi-attribute environmentally preferable purchasing policies.
• Emphasis on continuous improvement—The self-certifying nature of the GGHC lends itself to continuous improvement. The revised Operations section emphasizes goal setting and establishing ongoing environmental programs by requiring periodic performance evaluations and outlining targeted innovation points for industry leaders.
• Emphasis on integrated operations and education—Strategies focus on establishing a cross-departmental structure governing environmental programs and emphasizing ongoing education of staff, patients, visitors, and the general public on the connection between greening a facility's operations and human health. The Green Guide for Health Care, a project of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems and Practice Greenhealth established in 2002, is the first voluntary, best practices green building and operations toolkit customized for the healthcare sector, The guide uses the LEED Green Building Rating System, with permission, and offers tips and tools for adding healing design and facilities operations features, energy and water efficiency strategies, and safer materials to the healthcare setting.
To date, the Green Guide has attracted more than 18,000 Web site registrants and 150 registered projects representing more than 34 million square feet of green healthcare facilities in the United States and abroad, 60% of which are pursuing or have pursued the Operations section in tandem with new construction, additions, and renovation projects. These facilities are integrating the Green Guide's enhanced environmental and health principles and practices into their planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance. Get more news and products like this delivered right to your inbox: subscribe to the HEALTHCARE DESIGN eNews .