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Hospital Green Building Movement Gaining Acceptance – But Not Always Done Right

By November 5, 2010 No Comments

11/05/2010 // Riverdale, NJ, USA // Camfil // Lynne Laake // (press release)

Without question, the first decade of the 21st century has seen strong growth in the hospital green building movement. Standards such as the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) system are helping developers and building owners — whether the structure be a hospital, office building, or apartment tower — save energy, water, and emissions. That’s been a boon to the environment, but it could also be a boon to the budget, if green building is done right. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Facilities might be built with all types of environmentally friendly materials yet still be operated in ways that, over the long run, are less efficient and cost effective than they could be. Indeed, something as seemingly simple as a hospital air filter can have a major long-term impact on sustainability — and savings — if the right product is used.

With standards like LEED gaining traction, hospital green building is increasingly being embraced among public agencies and private developers. The health care industry is no exception, hospitals, too, are seeing the benefits that ‘going green‘ can bring. Indeed, those benefits can be substantial. In 2009 alone, LEED-certified buildings saved 15 billion gallons of water and 2.9 million tons of CO2 emissions. Productivity benefits from LEED buildings have been estimated, to date, at between $230 million and $450 million, according to the 2009 Green Building Market and Impact Report, by GreenerBuildings.com.

Yet as eye-opening as those benefits are, they could be even greater if the same developers, managers, and owners considered the long-term impact of sustainability efforts — not just in a building’s design, but in its operational systems, as well. A good place to start is the HVAC system, a major user of energy within a facility, especially hospitals, where it is vital to maintain a healthful indoor environment and keep harmful particles — which can easily spread infection to patients and staff — out of the circulating air.

That’s why it is imperative to look at the day-to-day systems and products a hospital uses. Products engineered from the ground up to facilitate sustainability can provide long-term benefits more traditional products cannot. Camfil clean air solutions, for example, incorporate an innovative design — using fine fiber media — that enable them to operate at peak efficiency throughout their service life. That’s a huge change from standard hospital air filters, which degrade over time and require more and more energy to maintain air flow. And the return on investment is huge, too. Camfil air filters have enabled the hospitals and other health care facilities using them to reduce their HVAC energy costs by 10 to 30 percent. That’s not a one-time savings, either, but a continual benefit the hospital reaps for as long as it uses the Camfil air filtration systems.

At the same time, the increased life of the air filters means that they can be replaced less often — resulting in less waste and lower disposal costs. That means less stress on landfills — and hospital budgets. Finally, a more effective air filter means, simply, better, more healthful air. Staff and patients benefit from an optimal indoor environment where comfort is maximized and risk of harmful particles and infection is minimized.

Hospital air filters, of course, are just one example of how sustainability can pay off. By looking at all of the many products and systems that make a hospital run, health care executives and administrators can easily find ways to improve patient care while improving their bottom line. The world leader in air filtration systems and clean air solutions — for health care and other industries — Camfil provides the tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections; all while lowering total cost of ownership. We’ve helped hospitals, office buildings, hotels, and other facilities go green without ever sacrificing performance. For more information on hospital green building, visit our newsroom at http://breakingnews.green-air-filters.com, read about the Clean Air Solutions Company at http://green-air-filters.com, or call us at (toll free) 888.599.6620.

Media Information:

Address: 1 North Corporate Dr. Riverdale, NJ 07457
Phone: 888.599.6620
Url: HVAC Air Filters