Hospitals are widely recognized as the pinnacle of health and healing and have continuously placed high importance on modernizing their infrastructure to maintain patient and environmental health as well. These facilities have a particularly significant impact on their surrounding environment, due to generating infectious, hazardous, and toxic waste, large amounts of energy consumption from 24/7 operation of the building, and extensive water usage, which is necessary to maintain a clean environment for patients and staff.
Multiple hospitals throughout Michigan have made steps towards sustainability within their facilities. Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids saves around $75,000 a year by reprocessing materials, which has also reduced waste by 5,000 pounds. They have installed LED lights in all operating rooms to reduce energy consumption and have achieved LEED Silver certification.
Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, also in Grand Rapids, was awarded LEED Gold certification in April 2012, thanks to regionally sourced construction materials and custom-built glass to reduce solar heat. Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak received the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth in 2016 after converting its fluorescent lighting systems to less costly and more energy-efficient LED lighting.
In Kalamazoo, Bronson Methodist Hospital underwent an extensive $181 million redevelopment to add a chiller plant that supplies chilled water for air conditioning, and cutting energy costs by 75% after switching all outdoor lighting with LED technology.
By making the commitment to sustainability, hospitals can continue to provide the highest level of care to their patients and the most cost-effective solutions for their facility, while safeguarding the environment around them.