As more facilities strive to become certified in the U.S. Green Building Council’s program for sustainable structures, some hospitals are considering following their example and making the switch to LEED buildings, Healthcare Design Magazine reported. The LEED program, short for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is designed to certify buildings that improve resource conservation and are built with green building materials. Owners of buildings that participate in the LEED program aim to benefit from not only saving on energy costs but also improving the well-being of a structure’s occupants. Providing a healthy indoor air quality by way of environmental air cleaning systems, is the first step in achieving their goals.
Effects of improved air quality on hospital staff
The concept of building a “green” structure, also includes using both local materials and ones that have low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are known environmental contaminants, causing a multitude of problems in a healthcare setting. The simple act of choosing building materials that emit fewer chemicals, such as paints or carpets, can help improve the air quality of healthcare buildings to benefit both patients and staff.
Keeping facilities clean and sterile
Filtering out air impurities, such as dirt and microorganisms, plus using high efficiency air purification systems, is essential to ensure a clean and safe environment for patients who may be recovering from illnesses or injuries. As part of a $34 million investment in Geary Community Hospital in Junction City, Kansas, the hospital invested heavily in improved indoor air quality for its rooms, Infection Control Today reported.
The hospital upgraded to positive pressure ventilation systems, medical HEPA filters, air handlers and dedicated dehumidifiers to boost the air quality of its operating rooms and more. Since heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can experience build-ups in air impurities, hospitals need to ensure these systems are kept clean.
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