Vol. 2, Issue 5 | 05.2010

A fundamental goal of TAG's green building and sustainability practice is to integrate ecological, aesthetic and experiential factors into the building process – to, ultimately, achieve greater well being for both the planet and the individuals who occupy the built space.

This is especially true in the healthcare arena, where the “built environment of care” plays a critically important role in facilitating healing for patients who have a heightened need for a healthy environment.

At TAG, we believe that creating a true healing environment necessitates more than just incorporating the latest green materials and techniques. It requires a wholistic perspective that incorporates healing considerations at each and every phase of the Building Potential lifecycle.

From project planning, design and construction, to the on-going operation of the healthcare facility… concerted care must be taken to fully understand and implement the specific green strategies and healing features that create and sustain an optimal patient care environment.

— TAG International, LLP

Maximizing Your Green Building Potential®
A Practical Guide to Sustainable Development

Step 4: Architecture and Design

Rule of Thumb: Create innovative solutions.

In the building and land development process, the architectural design phase plays an essential role in bringing your sustainability goals and project vision into reality. At this stage, integrating optimal sustainability concepts into the design provides invaluable opportunities for “creating more from less.”

Sustainable design considerations include five key areas of concern: site planning and space utilization, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

A wide array of design strategies, best practices, material selections, technological innovations, and construction techniques can be employed in each of these key areas to help you create an optimal environment, achieve major benefits in terms of ongoing maintenance and lifecycle costs and, ultimately, establish a better foundation for your organization’s future growth and evolution.

Industry Focus: Healthcare

The cornerstone of any healthcare organization’s commitment to its patients is the maxim: “first do no harm”. Yet, the built environment of care is often underestimated in the crucial role it plays in creating – or hindering – a healing environment.

The most intuitive aspect of green practices in a healthcare project is the use of non-toxic materials during the construction and operation of the facility. However, there is a spectrum of other green considerations and choices to be made, at each phase of the building process, that can significantly enhance patient health and the well being of the medical staff, the community, and the environment.

Many healthcare facilities must meet the 24/7 needs of its patients under care. This intense demand requires sustainable approaches that are highly effective at reducing the extraordinary levels of energy and water consumption inherent in operating such a facility.

Space utilization is another major consideration in a healthcare setting, where achieving optimal functionality and operational flow is key. Connection to the natural environment, such as incorporating daylighting and providing views to the outside, can be especially important for creating a healing environment for patients, as well as enhancing medical staff morale.

Project Spotlight: Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital

TAG International recently completed the design of a new addition to the Meadowbrook Rehab Hospital -- the only facility of its kind in Kansas.

Currently under construction, this facility expansion project will provide 18,000 square feet of additional space for treating patients with severe brain trauma using intensive physical therapy programs.

For the design of the addition, TAG incorporated a variety of sustainable building practices, such as high efficiency HVAC and lighting systems, low VOC finishes, and natural daylighting and outside views throughout the facility.

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