From green roofs to new ENERGY STAR® standards, these facilities are setting the bar for sustainable design.

The past year has seen green leaders emerge in the field of healthcare design. From unseen levels of energy efficiency to innovative ways of saving money through building and operating standards, architects and designers have overcome challenges that so often put a halt to many sustainable goals. In an extensive article exploring three hospital case studies, Healthcare Design Magazine notes what designers have done in the past year to set the bar for sustainability. Take Palomar Medical Center (PMC) in Escondido, California, for example:

One of the most striking—and visible—green design features is a 1.5-acre green roof over the diagnostics and therapeutics wing. The undulating roof was designed to allow for 30-foot-high ceiling spaces in the unit to house the HVAC, IT wiring, and plumbing, which otherwise would be placed in vertical columns, making future renovations difficult and costly.

In several cases, the cited hospital projects didn’t meet anticipated marks when they first opened their doors. But with continual adjustments and even redesign, they ultimately met their goals and improved their communities through a commitment to both sustainability and the bottom line.

Check out the entire list of sustainable design leaders at Healthcare Design Magazine.