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Embodying the Patron of Ecology

By Aura Rose
Healthcare Design, Clean Design Supplement

How often do we lay the blame for greenhouse gas emissions squarely at the door of cars, trucks, and SUVs? While 28% of U.S. greenhouse gases do come from transportation, the majority of that being our vehicles, it's our buildings—our homes and workplaces—that are even bigger culprits. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, buildings consume 16.2% of world marketed energy and are responsible for 48% of the increase in U.S. carbon emissions since 1990.

In healthcare facilities, boilers, air conditioners, refrigeration units, and emergency generators are some of the sources of harmful emissions. Buildings designed 50 years ago are no longer up to the challenge of delivering good healthcare in 2008. But there are solutions to reduce our carbon footprint. Using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC) standards, we can design healthy, comfortable spaces while using less energy.

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