GGHC Releases Prescriptive Path to Energy Efficiency
The Green Guide for Health Care's report, “A Prescriptive Path to Energy Efficiency Improvements for Hospitals,” is a peer-reviewed methodology for hospitals greater than 70,000 square feet to achieve a 14% energy efficiency improvement over ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 in all U.S. climate zones. Compliance with this methodology is designed to qualify projects to earn two points through the Energy & Atmosphere Credit 1: Optimize Energy Performance. The report's methodology has been adopted in Green Guide for Health Care v2.2, and is being considered for adoption in LEED for Healthcare through the public comment process.
Clinical Trials to Test Antimicrobial Properties of Copper
Congressionally appropriated funds to continue clinical trials determining the antimicrobial effectiveness of copper, brass, and bronze have been awarded to the Copper Development Association. Of the two studies funded by these appropriations, one is focused on the ability of copper alloy surfaces to kill deadly pathogens and impede cross-contamination.
The monies will be used to complete the pilot conversion of touch surfaces in healthcare facilities in New York City and Charleston, South Carolina, where extensive clinical trials have begun. The other study is designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of copper components in HVAC systems in reducing the incidence of harmful microbes that spread throughout indoor air environments.
Tips Provided on Joint Commission's Building Maintenance Program
HCPro, Inc., a provider of integrated healthcare information, has published a report detailing tips on The Joint Commission's optional building maintenance program in its Statement of Conditions document. The report explains the scoring behind the building maintenance program and provides ideas on how to best comply with it.
Census Bureau Observes Increase in Healthcare Construction Value
The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce has announced that the seasonally adjusted value of healthcare construction put in place amounted to $47,249 million in November, up 0.2% from October and 14.2% from November 2006. The total nonresidential sector value amounted to $673,038 million, up 2.1% from October and 18.1% from November 2006.
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The Role of Built Environment Factors on Patients
In an example of evidence-based design in action, hospital planners Susan Lipka and Wayne Fischer discuss a research project underway at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The project examines the influence of built environment factors (BEFs) of three newly constructed clinical units on patients, family members/caregivers, staff, and physicians from four multidisciplinary care centers at two time points after moving to the new Ambulatory Clinical Building at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Comparing the results with those from the same measurements in a traditional unit, the goal of this research is to determine the impact of six BEFs—noise levels, pleasant distractions, safety features, wayfinding systems, support spaces, and patient and family member/caregiver sense of control—on perceptions of the clinical units and, eventually, healthcare outcomes.