The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) lineup of LEED Rating Systems just got larger. Last week, the organization announced LEED for Healthcare at the CleanMed 2011 Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
The foundation for the LEED for Healthcare certification program began with the launching of a Green Guide for Healthcare (GGHC) pilot program in 2007. The GGHC, a best practices guide for the construction and operation of sustainable health care facilities, is a project sponsored by the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems and Health Care Without Harm
“LEED for Healthcare represents a milestone for green building,” said Gail Vittori, Co-Director of Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems and Founding Chair of the LEED for Healthcare Committee. ”Building on the foundational work of the Green Guide for Healthcare, it provides an explicit recognition of health consequences associated with a spectrum of building-related decisions—from location, to water and energy sources and use patterns, and materials specification—and emphasizes integrative design as requisite for a successful design, construction and building performance outcomes.” Source: USGBC (PDF)
Although there are already more than 200 LEED Certified healthcare facilities and more than 1,000 LEED registered projects, the LEED for Healthcare Rating System was created to address the unique needs of hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Several modifications to the LEED for New Construction checklist were made to accommodate these needs. Ultimately, 6 prerequisites and 25 credits were changed and 3 prerequisites and 15 credits were added.
LEED for Healthcare certification will be offered to a variety of healthcare facilities including hospitals, inpatient care centers, outpatient care facilities and long term care centers.
For more information, visit the LEED for Healthcare portal page at the USGBC website.