The new Franklin Woods Hospital in Johnson City is going green and saving money. The hospital, which was built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, is expected to be the first to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The 240,000-square-foot facility offers a variety of green features including Energy Star-rated appliances and parking with electrical outlets for golf carts. According to James Watson, spokesman for the Mountain States Health Alliance, the hospital is a visual reminder to the community that “consideration of the environment is important.”
Not only does the hospital feature environmentally-friendly attributes, but they are also creating more family- and patient-friendly environment. For example the hospital has increased the size of patient rooms to accommodate visiting family members and has created more numerous nursing units throughout the wards to promote communication between visitors and hospital employees.
The Mountain States Health Alliance believes the $122 million investment will pay off. The hospital’s air conditioning and power systems alone should allow the facility to pocket $6 million to $8 million over the next two decades. According to Bill Alton, Mountain States Healthcare Alliance assistant vice president for construction, for every $1 the hospital spends of energy, the facility has to make $20 to pay for it.
Is going green really worth a hospital’s time and energy? Hospital CEO David Nicely sure thinks so. It seems to be a win-win situation. Why not invest in protecting the environment and consequently reduce energy and healthcare costs?
For more, check out this story on Knoxville News Sentinel: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/aug/16/new-hospitals-green-efforts-produce-savings-as/
Guest Post by Stephanie Cohen, Jennings Intern & UNC-Chapel Hill Student