Health-industry buildings that are Green Star-rated have better patient outcomes, improved productivity and reduced ongoing energy costs, according to a new research report.
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), with the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC), has released ‘The case for sustainable healthcare’.
The report outlines the benefits of green-certified health facilities following a review of national and international healthcare facilities.
GBCA CEO, Romilly Madew, said there were demonstrated benefits from sustainable buildings and challenged the healthcare industry to step up.
“Hospital patients and vital healthcare workers deserve better,” she said.
“We know patients and workers in Green Star-certified buildings report higher health and productivity. This can lead to faster patient recovery times, increased employee satisfaction and lower staff turnover, as well as lower ongoing energy costs. The positives are too big to ignore.”
Ms Madew pointed to the ten per cent and growing healthcare share of GDP – about $170 billion in 2015-2016 – saying vital funds should be used to deliver the most efficient healthcare infrastructure possible.
“We must become smarter about stretching our healthcare spend further,” she said. “Green buildings have proven cost benefits, in addition to the improvements for patients and workers.”
Ms Madew said less than one per cent of more than 2,000 Green Star-rated buildings across Australia were in the healthcare sector, and most were offices.
“If office workers are benefiting from a healthy sustainable workplace, then so should sick people and their doctors and nurses,” she said.
‘The case for sustainable healthcare’ report was sponsored by NAB, which is supporting the transition to a low carbon economy through a commitment to provide $55 billion dollars in environmental finance by 2025.