Hospitals and a healthy environment

Hospitals and a healthy environment

July 03, 2011 at 04:07am

From offices, to factories to residential apartment blocks and villas, sustainable building practices are more important now than ever before. But what about our other public buildings, such as hospitals? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in the US, for example, hospitals generate 6,000 tons of waste daily – 15 per cent of that being hazardous waste that requires costly disposal methods.

And then there’s the environmental cost of running the building itself – hospitals typically have a large environmental footprint, consuming three times the energy of a commercial building, and , again, in the US, the Environmental Protection Agency says hospitals could reduce their impact by up to 30 percent simply by switching to more efficient systems.

With healthcare being one of the growth industries in the Gulf region, it’s no surprise that the focus is now not just on building more clinics and hospitals, but on ensuring these new healthcare facilities are “green” from the get-go.

Combining GE Healthcare’s healthymagination initiative with its ecomagination initiative to address environmental concerns, GE held a focused workshop on Green Hospitals at the Hospital Build Exhibition at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.
Delegates heard not only the environmental case for Green Hospitals, but the financial one, too. Just like with any other building, paying a little more during the construction phase can pay back many, many times over during the lifespan of a typical hospital. GE Healthcare’s green hospital approach is focused on improving energy efficiency, optimizing resource consumption, and increasing the share of renewables in energy generation for a significant reduction of carbon footprint.

Global standard of living surveys always show that access to good, affordable healthcare is one of the cornerstones of a successful society. Living in a clean environment is another. With enough ecomagination, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive!

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