Sustainability, Health facilities, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System
One of the main aims of the green building movement has been a desire to create a healthy indoor environment for building occupants. In terms of improving or enhancing occupant well-being, a unique case emerges for healthcare facilities, whose main existence is based on the principles of improving the health of their patients. In the U.S., the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system has become the most widely recognized and used certification system for green buildings, including green hospital buildings. However, hospitals with high total scores may be green buildings but not necessarily the optimal green healthcare environment from a patient’s wellbeing perspective. The goal of the study was to identify whether hospitals and healthcare facilities actually value the specific criteria that influence the health of patients and their recovery period. In-depth analysis of LEED healthcare specific credits revealed general tendencies and practices for green healthcare buildings. Based on a statistical analysis, the mean of percent healthcare specific scores were calculated as 48% for those certified under LEED Healthcare, 62% for hospitals certified under LEED New Construction v3, and 52% for hospitals certified under LEED New Construction v2 rating systems. While hospitals included in the Healthcare category were initially expected to be the most successful ones in terms of achieving patient recovery and wellbeing related credits, they proved to earn the lowest percent of relevant points in this analysis. The result may be attributed to heightened restrictions and requirements of credits in the Healthcare scorecard, or hospitals may be valuing the level of certification more than those credits that were deemed relevant for patient wellbeing and rate of recovery, either due to lack of information or due to economic constraints. A high correlation coefficient was calculated among total scores and healthcare specific scores for the Healthcare dataset. On the other hand, correlation coefficients calculated for the other two datasets indicate a more random pattern among the two variables. For hospitals certified under the New Construction rating system, there seem to be weak support to claim that hospitals that receive high total scores and thus certification levels have high healthcare specific points as well.
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Golbazi, Maryam and Aktas, Can B., "Analysis of Credits Earned by LEED Healthcare Certified Facilities" (2016). Civil Engineering Faculty Publications. 22.
Golbazi, Maryam, and Can B. Aktas. "Analysis of Credits Earned by LEED Healthcare Certified Facilities." Procedia Engineering 145 (2016): 203-210.