California Hospitals Consider Environment in Projects To Comply With Seismic Safety Rules

In a California Healthline Special Report, three experts discuss incorporating green practices and materials into new hospital construction projects as hospitals work to comply with state seismic safety rules.

California law requires hospitals to be seismically sound — able to withstand and function after a major earthquake. While hospitals are upgrading existing facilities and building new ones, they are also using greener technologies to try to minimize any negative health consequences from building materials or systems.

The Special Report includes comments from:

  • Anna Gilmour Hall, co-executive director of Healthcare Without Harm;
  • John Kouletsis, Kaiser Permanente’s executive director of strategy, planning and design; and
  • Walter Vernon, a principal with the engineering firm of Mazzetti and Associates.

Vernon, who consults with major health care organizations including Kaiser and Catholic Healthcare West to make their facilities more environmentally friendly, said the motivation goes beyond the state mandate.

“The health care industry is increasingly aware of the connection between environmental change and climate change and public health,” Vernon said.

“Health care buildings are some of the most energy intensive buildings out there, and they have a disproportionate impact on the climate change equation,” Vernon said (Kennedy, California Healthline, 7/30).

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