Hospitals are usually not associated with pollution and wastage. In fact, hospitals generate thousands of tons of hazardous waste and consume a lot of resources for heating. Plastic waste, toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases are some of the common pollutants of hospitals. There are numerous ways to make hospitals greener, both new and older constructions.
Innovative strategies to make your hospital greener
1. Natural light
Innovations in healthcare have led to many diseases having much better outcomes than earlier. But people need a healthier environment within the hospital to heal faster. If you are constructing a hospital, then, one of the ways to make it eco-friendly and contribute to your patients’ healing is to incorporate natural light. Large windows which let in natural light will save on your energy cost long term, and improve your patient’s morale.
Energy monitoring systems can be installed which would automatically switch on or switch off the lights in areas of the hospital which receive ample sunlight. Corridors and nursing stations could be designed near exterior walls, allowing these spaces to enjoy daylight as well.
2. Reuse materials for construction
Instead of using new material for construction, you can use materials already at the site. Such as rocks under the topsoil, which would have to be removed to construct. The rock can be used for structural fill as well as landscaping. If a previous structure has to be demolished to make way for the new one, then the debris can be used for landscaping too.
3. Use eco-friendly energy sources for power generation
Instead of relying completely on conventional energy sources, your hospital can use renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy, and use biofuel to heat and cool the building. Solar panels can be installed to provide energy for lighting, fans and so on. This will reduce electricity use and your energy bills to a great extent.
4. Install energy star rated HVAC units and appliances
HVAC units which have energy star rating consume less energy, while providing good functionality. Along with this, using computers to monitor the amount of light being used or required can go a long way to reduce electricity use.
5. Construct green area
Green spaces in and around the hospital can inspire patients to care for greenery as well, apart from them enjoying natural beauty in the process of healing. Rooftop gardens can cool a building and provide space for patients to soak in much needed sunlight.
6. Manage waste efficiently
Hospitals generate plastic as well as toxic waste. Having a good waste management program can make the hospital sustainable. Disposing of hazardous waste responsibly is important. The use of single use plastic should be minimum, and there should be a recycling program in place. Instead of methods such as incineration for disinfection before disposal, eco-friendly methods such as microwaving and autoclaving should be adopted.
7. Conserving water
Water is a resource which is depleting fast. Hospitals use up millions of gallons of water. Fitting low flow faucets, showers and water-efficient medical devices as well as kitchen appliances can help in saving water. Rainwater harvesting and recycling and reusing water are other strategies to make your hospital greener.
8. Use local produce
You might be serving a fair number of people in your cafeteria. If you use local produce, then you would be decreasing your carbon footprint in terms of emissions, and be contributing to the local economy. Many hospitals have started their own organic vegetable gardens tended by local people. People in your hospital can enjoy fresh, chemical free vegetables grown on location. Compost made from food waste can replace regular fertilizer.
These are a few strategies to make your hospital sustainable. You will reap the benefits of going green in the long run, and also establish yourself as a planet friendly hospital thus attracting more eco minded people.
Article Submitted By Community Writer