Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2013 - (Page 14)

RESEARCH HOW HEALTHY IS YOUR HOSPITAL? THE CLIENTS SPEAK!— HOW HAVE GREEN ROOFS IMPACTED YOUR LOCAL HOSPITAL? BY: JENNIFER FODEN WILSON T here are dozens of scientific studies that illustrate the positive effects of implementing green elements into/on healthcare facilities. Everything from daylight exposure to access to plants, water and trees have impacted recovery rates, medication dependency, reduced staff and more. Take Joanne M. Westphal’s therapeutic garden design for Alzheimer patients in a long term care facility in Holt, Michigan, as an example. Westphal’s two-year research study noticed a significant decrease in aggressive and non-aggressive behaviours, reduced requests for non-prescription medication and improvements in weight, heart rate and blood pressure readings for residents spending an average of ten minutes per day in the garden. Those who spent less than five minutes per day in the garden continued to maintain their behaviour or got worse. So how does research, such as this, translate financially? Westphal’s study notes that better patient behaviour not only impacts the nursing staff (they’re less likely to burn out, which in turn, decreases the costs associated to hiring), it impacts how patients’ loved ones view and treat staff, which impacts occupancy rates—therefore affecting the organization’s bottom line. Terrapin Bright Green released a report in 2012 called “The Economics of Biophilia: Why designing with nature in mind makes financial sense.” They claim that over $93 million could be saved annually in healthcare costs as a result of providing patients with views to nature. Using Roger Ulrich’s 1984 study, “View through a window may influence recovery from surgery,” which concluded that giving recovery patients a room with a view to nature resulted in an 8.5% shorter hospital stay; and the average inpatient stay is 4.8 days — almost half a day (.41) is saved, when given views to nature. When applied to the average expense of inpatient care after surgery ($5,059), the savings ($2074.19) multiplied by the 44,994 comparable operation procedures that happen every year in the United States—the savings are just over $93 million. And this is just inpatients. And just in the United States. David Suzuki, Award-winning Scientist, Environmentalist and Broadcaster We are a resilient species. It’s time we start building like it. Jason F. McLennan, Creator of the Living Building Challenge and Buckminster Fuller Challenge Prize Winner BAINBRIDGE GRADUATE INSTITUTE ONE PACIFICCOAST BANK PAE CONSULTING ENGINEERS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2013

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2013
From The Founder
On the Roof With...
Policy and Standards
Current Research
Living Architecture Meets Hurricane Sandy
How Healthy Is Your Hospital?
New Corporate Members
Professional Calendar
GRHC Board Member Updates
GRHC Buyer’s Guide
The Lucky 7

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2013