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How an AnteRoom Fits with LEED Certification Objectives (2)

When a term becomes a buzzword, it can get easier to ignore. Such is the case for terms like “sustainability” and “green construction.” But the power behind a buzzword comes from a swell in popular interest. A great deal of interest in the realm of green construction is buzzing around LEED certification for all types of buildings, including healthcare facilities.

LEED certification is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a system developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to assess the implementation of sustainable, environmentally-friendly construction and operation practices.

Why is LEED Certification a Goal for Healthcare Facilities?
From when the USGBC introduced LEED certification in 2000 through 2006, approximately 60 buildings per month joined the registry. By the end of 2008, more than 700 buildings were joining the registry each month, and those numbers have only continued to grow. LEED certification is not a legal requirement, so why are so many buildings buying into the idea that they should be certified?

LEED certification makes sense for many facilities. Because of the LEED emphasis on efficiency, implementing LEED-friendly policies can mean tremendous cost savings. With the amount of energy a healthcare facility consumes, this is no small matter.

But cost savings is not the only reason buildings seek certification. LEED certification measures can mean a better experience for both patients and employees. At one Texas facility with LEED certification, employees were more engaged and overall staff had lower turnover rates than nearby facilities that did not have the certification. Clearly, these policies are about much more than an official stamp of approval from USGBC.

LEED Certification & Anteroom Use
Two of the categories considered in LEED certification are Storage and Collection of Recyclables and Construction and Demolition Waste Management. The use of a hospital anteroom can potentially have an impact on both of these assessments during the initial construction of a facility or during the operations and maintenance phase. For the first part, using an anteroom can limit the amount of recyclables collected. Dust containment methods that are not reusable (e.g., plastic sheeting) must be recycled and replaced after each use, adding to the facility’s waste on a regular basis. Because an anteroom is reusable as well as recyclable, it limits the amount of containment waste produced.

Anterooms can also impact waste management, for similar reasons. A well-constructed anteroom can last for years, meaning it produces no waste until the end of its life, which it is fully recyclable.

Other Resources to Support LEED Certification
If your facility or healthcare construction project is serious about developing a plan to become LEED certified, there are plenty of resources available to you. Start by exploring the US Green Building Council’s LEED website. Also be sure to subscribe to the HEPACART blog for regular posts about hospital construction.

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