Sourced from Triple Pundit
In April, the new 521,000-square-foot expansion at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital earned Platinum LEED certification. Designed by architectural firm Perkins+Will, the facility incorporates “biophilic” design concepts that not only make the building resource efficient, but helps ease the trauma and stress of visitors, patients, and hospital staff. Not an easy thing to do for a hospital. The facility is the fifth hospital – and only the second children’s hospital in the U.S. – to achieve LEED Platinum status.
One reason for this, says Breeze Glazer, who worked as Sustainable Healthcare Leader for Perkins+Will during the project, is that “historically” hospitals are considered a “nightmare for sustainability.” There is no “down” time, he says, and running a hospital is a very resource-intensive operation, especially for energy and water.
For example, Glazer told Triple Pundit that an average “Packard-sized” hospital consumes as much energy in any given year as 3500 homes. Water use has “similar impacts,” says Glazer.
The life-and-death nature of a hospital also brings with it the challenges not typically required of a school or office, such as infection control or human well-being. Arguably, these issues with considerations beyond the scope of typical resource efficiency.
The demands of healthcare stretch the concept of sustainability, and that’s a good thing. Stretching creates new thinking.
“Once you get into it,” says, Glazer, “you see many areas that actually represent an opportunity.”