Research indicates a trend of faster healing among patients admitted in ‘green’ healthcare services facility that leads to shorter stays, according to the U.S. Green Building Council which has recently launched a new rating system under the LEED for Healthcare.
By green healthcare services facility is meant the inclusion of “a healthy indoor environmental quality” that connects patients to outdoors, according to Scot Horst, USGBC Senior Vice President of LEED, citing the said research.
At its CleanMed conference, the USGBC has launched the new green building rating system for LEED for Healthcare. The green council intends to give guidance to the design and construction of both new buildings and the rest that may undergo renovations.
The new green rating system will apply to “inpatient, outpatient and licensed long-term care facilities, medical offices, assisted living facilities and medical education and research centers.”
LEED for Healthcare was first introduced in 2005 and has since been “addressing the healthcare industry’s unique green building needs,” Horst said.
The new rating system marks the efforts put together by the USGBC and the Green Guide for Healthcare (GGHC), a project of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems and Health Care Without Harm. Immediately after its launch in 2007, the GGHC has drawn feedbacks that contributed in the creation of the new LEED for Healthcare rating system.
Gail Vittori, Co-Director of Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems and Founding Chair of the LEED for Healthcare Committee, noted that the new rating system for healthcare services facility recognizes that consequences of building-related decisions, including location, water and energy sources and use patterns, and materials specification.
The primary goals of LEED for Healthcare are aimed at fulfilling the 24-hour operational facility requirements, which include process water use related to medical equipment, rural facility locations, patient populations, and patient and staff health.
The USGBC noted that a mammoth population of patients in one healthcare facility compromises the immune systems and increases sensitivity to chemicals and pollutants.
The new rating system for healthcare was formally passed by the USGBC in a balloting in November last year. So far, more than 225 healthcare services facilities have already received the LEED certification, with 1,176 more to follow.