SERF understands the unique needs of healthcare facilities especially those that relate to health and safety of patients and staff. Most healthcare facility sustainability certification programs amount to little more than minor variations to their standards they utilize for other facility types. This causes problems for healthcare facilities as most medical equipment is highly sensitive to building design and operation; incorrect operation of medical equipment result from facility failures can be fatal. This is also true for standards applied to patient and surgical rooms.
Reduction in a facility’s water and energy usage are universally accepted steps to sustainability, and a requirement to achieve LEED certification. The obvious methods to achieve such reduction are to use low-flow water fixtures and reduced temperature levels. These are unfit for environments like hospitals where high levels of hygiene and comfort have to be maintained every time. With 100,000 deaths per year from Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI), and HAI’s being driven in part by poor hand hygiene, the need for high-flow water fixtures is evident as it removes risky contaminants more effectively and faster.
Yet, high-flow fixtures are counter to LEED certification requirements. Healthcare facilities are in a quandary: engage in unhealthy building practices in order to comply with an out-of-touch standard, or forgo certification. With SERF, healthcare facilities should not be asked to put lives at risk t attain incompatible green certifications.
SERF has industry-tested the healthcare standards before releasing them. Hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient surgery centers, and physician office buildings have responded positively to the criteria. Certification standards are logical and represent forward-thinking in facility design. In fact, SERF has incorporated guidelines from across the industry, including organizations such as the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities.
Browse SERF certified Health Care facility case studies and profiles.