After becoming the baseline for building requirements, sustainable healthcare design has emerged again as a top issue of interest.
Findings from Healthcare Design Expo and Conference surveys are revealing what keeps the architecture and design crowd up at night. A dark horse has emerged – or rather, returned: sustainability. In fact, sustainable design ranked number three among an informal list of attendee’s top issues. To put that in perspective, sustainability wasn’t even included as a topic to choose from in 2014. Healthcare Design Magazine reports:
“If sustainability has lost its luster in determining your own design goals lately, and you’ve mostly continued to rely on the same old strategies and patterns, it’s time to take another look. The potential—and the payoff—are coming into focus.”
The publication credits a growing focus on cost savings, efficiency and public perception as critical factors for this shift in focus to sustainability. So what does this mean for the healthcare design world? It means a renewed focus on building efficiency (geothermal heat pumps, energy recovery air handling units and the like). It means loftier goals, such as achieving net-zero energy use status. It means more impressive LEED-certified projects. And it means that the expected requirements for sustainable building design have now become the norm – and are approaching the next, advanced stage of green.