When it comes to sustainable design, the bigger the building, the bolder the goal in its scale. The larger the scale, the more important and influential it becomes when it’s achieved. LEED Design is now the healthcare norm and for good reason. Green practices can make a huge impact on the hospital’s efficiency and environmental footprint. Implementing LEED design can feel like a daunting task but I assure you that even small changes can make a huge impact on the environment, and a hospital’s bottom line.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community, and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.
LEED Design Adds Value
LEED buildings attract tenants, cost less to operate and boost employee productivity and retention. Implementing LEED design will help hospitals save millions. Its sustainable design makes hospitals a perfect candidate for implementation. LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health.
The energy conservation techniques used in LEED design may require higher upfront costs but they will yield massive cost savings over time. The cost savings are found in reduced operational costs and state-based tax credits given for LEED certification. Another huge perk is expedited permitting.
Overall, LEED-certified hospitals produce less waste and are more energy efficient than they would be otherwise.
LEED certification is done on a point based scale. Buildings can qualify for four levels of certification:
- Certified: 40–49 points
- Silver: 50–59 points
- Gold: 60–79 points
- Platinum: 80 points and above
Implementation at any Scale
In order to achieve LEED® certification, sustainable green buildings are rated in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Hospitals interested in becoming LEED Certified can start at any scale using environmentally friendly measures like:
- installation of low-VOC emitting floors
- low-flow water systems
- better ventilation
- daylighting techniques
- rooftop gardens
I have worked with hospitals that strive for the highest certification and those that implement small measures at a time. Either way, the hospital, the environment, the staff and the patients benefit. At any scale, the result will be better working conditions and arguably, happier, more productive clients and staff.
Better Buildings Are our Legacy
LEED has changed the way we think about a building’s design. It has changed the way we think about our community and how it’s planned, constructed, maintained and operated. Leaders around the world are striving to build and maintain LEED-certified buildings. LEED has expanded to address all types of buildings. If you are looking to achieve LEED Certification at any level, please contact me.
About the Featured Image:
Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin — the first hospital in the world to achieve LEED Platinum certification. See how this did it.