New Study Finds Health Care Industry Embracing Green Buildings

New Study Finds Health Care Industry Embracing Green Buildings

The latest "Smart Market" report from McGraw-Hill Construction finds that the health care industry has taken the latest developments in green and sustainable building to heart, and expects green buildings to transform the industry.

The "Health Care Green Building" SmartMarket report finds that green building -- the fourth largest commercial construction sector, behind education, office and retail construction -- has seen great growth in interest in green buildings.

Respondents in the $23 billion health care market largely believe that sustainable building practices will transform how health care facilities are designed. And 19 percent of respondents said their organizations would be "significantly involved" with green building in 2008, a growth of more then 300 percent the number who said the same thing in the last survey.

"Given that creating improved well-being is the overall mission of the healthcare industry, we are pleased to see evidence that the industry is aligning with green building practices," said Harvey M. Bernstein, a vice president at McGraw-Hill. "Our SmartMarket reports show further evidence of the growing trend toward green, and also point out the uniqueness of each market. These findings allow us to be strategic in how we can work toward encouraging the sea change," he added.

The report also notes that a company's internal management and designers and architects have the most influence on whether a company goes green. And 66 percent of respondents said they do not think energy reductions are the only reason to go green, while 57 percent saw a lack of information on green buildings to be the largest obstacle.

One result of this is that the perception remains that going green is costly to companies, even though there is no shortage of evidence to the contrary. About a third of the respondents said they thought a lack of a specific LEED program for health care facilities is another obstacle to spreading the word in the industry.

"Green buildings can have a significant impact on the health and comfort of their occupants, and nowhere is this more critical than in health care institutions," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, which administers the LEED program. "Patients can clearly benefit from the natural light and cleaner, fresher air that are cornerstones of green buildings, and hospital staff benefits as well. These findings suggest health care administrators are beginning to believe that and to bring green building practices into their facilities, and we're pleased that our tools and programs are helping them get there."

The study was based on a survey of senior health care and hospital administrators, collected online from January-February 2007, with a total of 95 respondents. The qualitative findings point to underlying opinions and trends motivating and influencing green building in the healthcare construction sector. Survey respondents were geographically diverse, with nearly equal numbers urban, suburban and rural. Twenty-eight percent were C- level executives.

For more information on the Health Care Green Building SmartMarket Report, visit McGraw-Hill's website.