Revisions Announced for Green Guide for Health Care Operations Section

A revised version of Green Guide For Health Care (GGHC) Version 2.2 Operations has been released for public comment.

A revised version of Green Guide For Health Care (GGHC) Version 2.2 Operations has been released for public comment.

"The revised Operations section heralds a new era in sustainable facilities operations in health care," says Adele Houghton, AIA, Project Manager 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."

The Green Guide for Health Care, a project of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems and Practice Greenhealth established in 2002, is the first voluntary, best practices green building and operations toolkit customized for the health care sector.

Green Guide uses the LEED Green Building Rating System, with permission, and offers 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 18,000 website registrants, and 150 registered projects representing more than 34 million square feet of green health care facilities in the U.S. and abroad, 60 percent of which are pursuing or have pursued the Operations section in tandem with new construction, additions and renovation projects. These facilities are integrating the Green Guide's enhanced environmental and health principles and practices into their planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance.

The update emphasizes continuous improvement and frames best practices in operations and maintenance protocols, keeping abreast of the momentum in policy and practice towards green building and operations methods and materials. The update was developed in part by the experience of GGHC's roster of registered projects, and a volunteer committee that included representatives from membership organizations such as the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES) and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology (APIC).

Highlights include:

*    A more user-friendly tool - Strategies are now grouped by facility department.
*    Updated standards - 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.

Due to the extensive nature of the GGHC Operations review process, the revised toolkit has been released for public comment until midnight Pacific Daylight Time on May 16.

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  posted on 4/24/2008   Article Use Policy

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