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A big part of the medical center project was the development of design, construction and maintenance standards for Kaiser Permanente. Standards have existed at Kaiser since the 1980s, Cooper says, and the company developed many of the most innovative standards in the mid- to early 1990s.
“We try not to focus as much on the first cost as total cost of ownership,” Cooper says. “As we develop standards, we involved the folks that need to maintain it to understand how to adapt the standards so we can save money operationally and make their jobs easier by taking into account the total cost of a product or building system. That’s a very critical part of how we develop standards.”
Some green elements implemented at the medical center are new to the maintenance and operations staff, and Kaiser is using the department’s experiences to improve similar projects down the road. Dialogue takes place between the maintenance department and those responsible for developing the design and construction standards.
“We typically get that feedback on an ongoing basis as we implement standards from buildings that either have been retrofitted or have been around for awhile,” Cooper says. “Within the first couple years, you get a lot of great feedback on things we need to change on our standards.”