5 Tips to Build an Eco-Friendly Hospital
By Team Altus
Published Nov 11, 2019
| Updated Jan 25, 2023
| 5 min read
In recent years, topics regarding the environment have increased in number. Some experts are saying steps need to be taken to increase sustainability and help the environment as a whole, and others are talking about the benefits when choosing to be eco-friendly. These benefits range from attracting more investors to saving money.
Hospitals are opting for earth-friendly initiatives in part due to the benefits they experience, but also to keep their communities safe even for future generations. When starting the process of m implementing more sustainable and eco-friendly movements, Altus created 5 quick tips for building an eco-friendly hospital.
1. Choose local
Shopping locally is more than just a mantra people say. Sourcing hospital supplies, food, and equipment from places local to your location has several ecological benefits. It does help support the local community and ensures the people surrounding the hospital have positive opinions of the building, it also lowers the number of emissions in the atmosphere. The less gas used to transport materials from one side of the world to the other is significantly larger than moving it from one town to the next.
Shopping locally also includes buying hospital equipment, such as computers on wheels (COWs), from a supplier in the same country as your location. Choosing a company, such as Altus, that is located in the United States allows them to work with local vendors to save money on shipping, lower the emissions, and even get it faster than if working with a supplier from overseas.
2. Resource efficiency
Hospitals use a range of resources. Checking that your hospital is using them as efficiently as possible, and swapping them for “green” methods is an easy way to make the move to building an eco-friendly facility.
Implementing reusable equipment, such as chargeable powered carts, is one method. They can be used repeatedly without needing to buy new materials. When coupled with energy-efficient components, they can charge within 2 hours and not use more electricity than needed. Hospitals can take this a step further by including motion sensors to keep lights off in unused rooms, using solar panels during warmer months, and even using LED bulbs in all fixtures.
Water is another main resource that can benefit from efficiency to be more sustainable. Conserving water by opting for fixtures that regulate the amount of water used. These fixtures can reduce the amount of water used by up to 700 gallons a year.
3. Waste disposal
When it comes to waste disposal in hospitals, finding an eco-friendly way that complies with bio-hazard waste regulations can be hard. However, it can be done. Using steam sterilization, hospitals can regulate their medical waste and it can be placed into regular landfills. This takes the waste from sitting where can potentially contaminate the ground and treats it so it’s no longer dangerous so it is no longer harmful to the Earth.
Hospitals are now also implementing their own autoclave processes. These processes take steam sterilization a step further. It includes using extremely high-pressured steam at a high temperature to kill pathogens and disinfect that item in the machine. Autoclaves can sterilize equipment, instruments, and more. Some facilities have been able to continue to use the equipment, or even use them as fuel, keeping their waste levels down.
4. Choose recyclable equipment
One of the aspects of a hospital that can be the easiest to change to be more sustainable is the chosen equipment. Before purchasing new equipment for your hospital, first, check whether or not it can be recycled. Recycling the equipment when it's no longer able to work the way it’s required can save the materials from ending up in landfills when they can be used again in another form.
Ask the supplier what their policy is on recycling, and what programs are in place for their products. For Altus, being environmentally friendly is at the top of our list. All of our computer workstations are 95% recyclable, and we have options for shipping to allow your hospital to be as eco-friendly as possible.
5. Build green
Perhaps the biggest tip we have when it comes to building an eco-friendly hospital to to “build green.” There’s a lot hospitals can do within their walls that are already built, but when it comes to expanding, building new facilities, or even updates, the changes need to be made proactively.
This includes having a plan on where to recycle leftover construction materials, and any construction waste, and incorporating new eco-friendly ideas into the overall design. The outside of any new healthcare facility should have ample storage for bikes, special parking for low-emission vehicles, and even bus stops.
Hospitals can also build their physical facility to meet LEED requirements. LEED is the green building standard and is what any building striving for sustainability should look at. Some of the ways to earn LEED points are by building with recycled materials, low-emission paint, FSC-certified wood, and plants to assist in air purification. All of these are easy to implement while building, and help work toward a green hospital.
When you choose Altus, you’re choosing green.
Since we started in 2001, we’ve been committed to not only creating durable workstations for healthcare but also doing so in a way that leads to sustainability. Altus builds durable workstations that are known to last well beyond the industry standard. Each workstation is 95% recyclable, and we can recommend a recycling program when the workstation is at the end of its lifecycle.
Altus took the eco-friendly commitment a step further than recycling. We source as many materials from the United States as possible to cut down on fuel emissions, build everything in-house to keep our products close to you, and our worksurfaces are made of low-emitting materials. By implementing Altus workstations in your hospital, you can be eligible for LEED points as well.
Contact us today to learn more about how our workstations fit into LEED and our recycling programs.