Revised Green Guide for Health Care Operations section released

Updated section of the best practices toolkit focuses on continuous improvement in facility operations.

January 14, 2009 |

The most significant revision to the Green Guide for Health Care Version 2.2 Operations section to date has been released, marking the completion of a rigorous development process including two public comment periods. The Green Guide for Health Care, a project of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems and Health Care Without Harm, is the first voluntary, best practices green building and operations toolkit customized for the health care sector.

“The revised Operations section heralds a new era in sustainable facility operations in health care,” said Janet Brown, director of Sustainable Operations at Practice Greenhealth who, along with Cecilia DeLoach Lynn, Lorissa MacAllister, and Adele Houghton, led the revision of the Operations Section of the Green Guide for Health Care. “The expanded scope and revised organization around departmental work will appeal to operational facilities eager to establish their leadership in environmental excellence.”

Practice Greenhealth is the principal implementation vehicle for the Green Guide for Health Care and had a leadership role in the revision process for the Operations Section.

The Green Guide for Health Care, initiated in 2002, spans the continuum of health care design, construction, and operations, offering tips and tools for adding healing design and facilities operations features, energy and water efficiency strategies, and safer materials to the health care setting. To date, the Green Guide has attracted more than 160 registered projects representing close to 40 million square feet of green health care facilities in the U.S. and abroad. Sixty percent of these are pursuing or have pursued the Operations section in tandem with new construction, additions, and renovation projects.

Highlights include:

A more user-friendly tool – Strategies are now grouped by facility department.

Up to date – Updated regulatory standards, best practices, and resources reflecting the most current available information, including alignment with the 2008 revision of LEED for Existing Buildings-Operations and Maintenance rating system, with permission, where applicable.

Expanded scope – Emerging priorities in health care operations and maintenance are reflected in the update, including emissions reporting, low-impact grounds maintenance, sustainable food service, and multi-attribute environmentally preferable purchasing policies.

Emphasis on continuous improvement – The self-certifying nature of the GGHC lends itself to continuous improvement. The revised Operations section emphasizes goal setting and establishing ongoing environmental programs by requiring periodic performance evaluations and outlining aspirational innovation points for industry leaders.

Emphasis on Integrated Operations and Education – Strategies focus on establishing a cross-departmental structure governing environmental programs and emphasizing ongoing education of staff, patients and visitors, and the general public on the connection between greening a facility’s operations and human health.

The Green Guide for Health Care is available as a free download from the GGHC website:

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