LEED for Healthcare Debuts at CleanMed Conference
The new rating system distinguishes construction of high-performance healthcare facilities, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced its latest green building rating system, LEED for Healthcare, at the CleanMed conference last week. The rating system guides the design and construction of both new buildings and major renovations of existing buildings, and can be applied to inpatient, outpatient, and licensed long-term care facilities, medical offices, assisted living facilities, and medical education and research centers.
"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, USGBC. "LEED for Healthcare is now six years in the making, addressing the healthcare industry's unique green building needs."
The rating system represents a culmination of close collaboration between the Green Guide for Healthcare (GGHC), a project of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems and Health Care Without Harm, and USGBC. The GGHC pilot launched in 2007, and feedback from the projects helped inform the creation of LEED for Healthcare.
LEED for Healthcare was developed to meet the unique needs of a 24-hour operational facility, including process water use related to medical equipment, rural facility locations, patient populations, often with compromised immune systems, sensitive to chemicals and pollutants, patient and staff health and many other issues that are unique to this building type.