LEED on Healthcare: New Standards for Interior Design
The U.S. Green Building Council has announced it’s latest green building rating system which will specifically impact the commercial Interior Design Industry. The new LEED rating system is geared towards creating a higher standard of energy efficient architecture for medical and health-care facilities, as well as licensed long term care facilities and medical education and research centers.
The green building rating system, used to determine the new LEED ratings, was actually implemented as a pilot program back in 2007 by the Green Guide for Healthcare. Several factors for the system were taken into consideration, such as; processed water used in conjunction with medical equipment, rural medical facility locations, specific patient issues and the needs of healthcare providers. It was a direct result of that feedback that created the catalyst for the creation of LEED for Healthcare.
Improving on Healthcare via Design
“Research has shown that when we are treated and heal in a green healthcare facility — one that has a healthy indoor environmental quality and connects us to the outdoors — we heal faster, have shorter hospital stays and fewer return visits,” said Scot Horst, senior vice president of LEED for the USGBC. “LEED for Healthcare is now six years in the making, addressing the healthcare industry’s unique green building needs.”
Gail Vittori, co-director of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems and founding chair of the LEED for Healthcare Committee, also pointed out that, “LEED for Healthcare represents a milestone for green building.” She added, “Building on the foundational work of the Green Guide for Healthcare provides an explicit recognition of health consequences associated with a spectrum of building-related decisions — from location, to water and energy sources and use patterns, and materials specification — and emphasizes integrative design as requisite for a successful design, construction and building performance outcomes.”
According to the U.S. Green Building Council’s press release, the Interior Design Industry can expect to receive additional information and resources via continuing online educational workshops, webinars and podcasts. In addition, an LEED for Healthcare guide will be issued once the enrollment process is fully in place.
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