The Case for Better Buildings

Experts at the Center for Health Design recently published an article about how health-conscious, environmentally- and psychologically-sound health care buildings are well worth the investment. Though they may initially cost more, better, greener buildings will help decrease construction and medical waste, and will also help improve patient care and increase staff loyalty. ::Center for Health DesignA major part of the report, published in Frontiers of Health Services Management , focuses on the greening of buildings and processes. Improved indoor air quality; conservation of materials, energy and water; transference of bio-haz materials; and surrounding outdoor areas are all elements of designing an ecologically healthy building and improving public health, which the report details through evidence-based case studies. And even though these precautions cost more up-front, the investment is quickly returned (usually within a few years). After all, you should go to the hospital to get better, not sicker. Luckily, healthcare design is one of the fields where green construction is gaining momentum. The Center for Health Design, by the way, is a non-profit advocacy group.