»Sustainable by Design by Amy Eagle

»Green Facilities Finish First by Amy Eagle

Hospital design considerations get more complex by the day. First, there are the ever-expanding regulatory issues, codes and standards, and having to work with fewer resources. Then, there are the higher expectations for hospital designers to increase energy efficiency, optimize workflows and minimize infection risks — all in a more homelike setting. More recently, there are the considerations of identifying and specifying environmentally friendly building materials.

This installment of "Interiors" is devoted to the increasingly important issue of sustainable design. Our reports highlight some of the ways design team leaders and vendors of building materials, furnishings and waste man­agement services are meeting today's many challenges.

Our lead feature, Sustainable by Design, provides examples of how some firms are sharing with the health care building community what they've learned about hazardous construction materials. It also illustrates a variety of ways some vendors are reducing or eliminating hazardous materials in their manufacturing processes.

Our second feature, Green Facilities Finish First, centers on why some hospitals are focusing more intently on finishing materials before they build. They're carefully weighing such factors as the toxicity of the finishing material, the amount of waste produced in the manufacturing process, the maintenance and durability of the finishing materials, and more. The aim is to create a safer, more sustainable health care environment. Here again, the manufacturing community has responded with a broader range of finishes that will help facilities meet or exceed their patient and staff safety goals.

Eliminating hazards from facilities design isn't always easy, but the organizations profiled here demonstrate that it can be done.

Bob Kehoe
Associate Publisher Health Facilities Management



A note of acknowledgment

The editors would like to thank the many manufacturers and health care design firms who participated in this supplement. The following industry firms provided images that were used in the project:

Allsteel (Muscatine, Iowa), Benjamin Moore & Co. (Montvale, N.J.), Cactus LLC (Charleston, S.C.), Earl Swensson Associates Inc. (Nashville), HDR Architecture (Omaha, Neb.), Herman Miller (Zeeland, Mich.), HOK (International), KI (Green Bay, Wis.), KMD Architects (International), Perkins + Will (International), Steelcase (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Taylor (Newport Beach, Calif.), Waste Management Inc. (Houston)