The Hastings Center just released a set of articles as part of a report examining how design benefits patient care and business.

“Fable Hospital 2.0: The Business Case for Building Better Health Care Facilities" is the lead article in the series appearing in the research institution’s The Hastings Center Report, offering an analysis of research that shows how specific design innovations can yield benefits, ranging from reducing healthcare-related infections in patients to cutting energy use.
The “Fable Hospital” began in 2004 as an imaginary hospital that comprised the best in design innovations in order to analyze the economic impact of such innovations. Today, numerous hospitals across the country have implemented these practices, many of which have been studied through The Center for Health Design’s Pebble Project. Among the major healthcare trends identified as being crucial to analyze in the second incarnation of the project was sustainability and green construction. The article cites a 2007 survey of healthcare leaders planning capital projects, showing 90% of respondents reporting they will incorporate or plan to incorporate green concepts despite a perception that making such a move would result in higher capital costs. The report states that this indicates sustainable design is becoming an integral piece to healthcare construction.

“The benefits of sustainable design include improved indoor air quality, reduced consumption of energy and potable water, and staff satisfaction and retention. Energy efficiency is generally the first place that healthcare executives look for a measurable return on investment. In the 2007 survey, leaders of 13 projects certified by LEED, a green building certification program, predicted average annual energy demand reductions of 22%,” the article states.

What do you think? Are you seeing sustainability begin to take on a larger share of clients’ requirements for new construction projects? Are you ready to handle a greener future moving forward?

Along the same lines, don't miss our Building Green column in the Winter 2011 issue of Healthcare Building Ideas, to be published in late February, in which author Michael Vanden Berg, PE, discusses energy conservation comparisons and how to decipher which option is right for a particular building project.