Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 12


MONITOR
PERSPECTIVE

Can healthcare design
affect climate change?
An emerging conversation about climate change places
healthcare institutions, and the buildings that house
them, at an inflection point.
The 3rd U.S. Climate Assessment, published in 2014,
found that climate change both amplifies existing health
conditions (such as asthma, allergies, and cardiovascular
disease) and threatens human health in new ways (such
as the threat posed by contact with disease-carrying
insects as they migrate to more temperate climates or
closer to human settlements).
Two reports issued this summer underscore the
significance of health as an opportunity to galvanize action on climate change: the papal encyclical released by
Pope Francis in May and a report released in June by the
Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change.
The encyclical calls on all people, not only Catholics,
to respond to environmental degradation and climate
change from an ethical framework: It's humanity's
responsibility to protect the poor, who are both most
vulnerable to exposure during climatic events and least
capable of recuperating after them.
Hospitals contribute to climate change through their
operational practices-they are the second most energyintensive commercial building type in the U.S., according
to the Energy Information Administration's Commercial
Buildings Energy Consumption Survey. And their contribution to the 31 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
attributable to power generation is proportional to their
electricity usage, according to the U.S. EPA.
On the other hand, regulations require hospitals to plan
for utility outages. In this way, they are a natural partner
for community resilience initiatives aimed at transitioning
our energy and water infrastructure from a centralized
system to multiple, distributed systems.
The Lancet Commission's report offers a framework
for the healthcare industry to raise the profile of climate
change as an urgent health threat-through both physician advocacy and facility leadership. It concludes that
climate change may actually be "the greatest global
health opportunity of the 21st century" (emphasis added),
because so many strategies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions also benefit human health.
The two examples relevant to the building industry
called out in both the papal encyclical and the Lancet
report are energy efficiency and renewable power. Pope
Francis describes them as beneficial to health, because
they can help alleviate poverty. Energy efficiency reduces
the day-to-day financial burden on the poor. And renewable power is a technology that can spur economic
growth and independence in poor, rural communities.
The Lancet Commission points to the specific health
12

HCDmagazine.com 10.15

outcomes associated with each strategy. Replacing fossil fuel
energy sources with renewable energy can lead to improved
cardiovascular and respiratory health among populations
downwind from legacy power plants. Energy efficiency, together with access to active transportation and green spaces,
is a key feature of green urbanism.
There are many examples of health systems across the
U.S. championing both of these strategies in the name of
green building. However, more can and should be done to
demonstrate the healthcare sector's leadership in protecting
their patients from the health effects of climate change.-Adele
Houghton, architect and president of Biositu LLC

BY THE NUMBERS

Weighty issue
Despite the growing awareness of obesity and efforts to promote heathier lifestyles and
communities, the issue of overweight adults in the U.S. continues. Adult obesity rates
increased in Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Utah, and remained stable-
but still high-throughout the rest of the country this past year, according to "The State
of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America," a report released in September
from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The most recent data found that seven out of the 10 states with the highest rates of
obesity are in the South, and 23 of the 25 states with the highest rates are in the South
and Midwest. The 12th annual report also notes that nationally more than 30 percent
of adults, nearly 17 percent of 2-19 year olds, and more than 8 percent of children ages
2-5 are obese.
Here's a look at the states that fall at both ends of the spectrum (For the full report,
rankings, and charts, visit http://stateofobesity.org):

States with highest rates of adult obesity:
* Arkansas: 35.9 percent
* West Virginia: 35.7 percent
* Mississippi: 35.5 percent
States with lowest rates of adult obesity:
* Hawaii: 22.1 percent
* District of Columbia: 21.7 percent
* Colorado: 21.3 percent
Source: Statista


http://www.stateofobesity.org http://www.HCDmagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - October 2015

Healthcare Design - October 2015
Contents
hcdmagazine.com
Editorial
Show Talk
Monitor
Interiors
The Center
Adapt and Overcome
Seeds of Change
Site Seeing
State of Mind
Research
Special Advertising Section: 2015 Landscape Design Portfolio
First Look
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Healthcare Design - October 2015
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 1
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Contents
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 3
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - hcdmagazine.com
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 5
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Editorial
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 7
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Show Talk
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 9
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Monitor
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 11
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 12
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 13
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 14
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 15
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 16
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 17
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 18
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 19
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Interiors
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 21
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 22
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 23
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 24
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 25
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - The Center
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 27
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Adapt and Overcome
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 29
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 30
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 31
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 32
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 33
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 34
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 35
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Seeds of Change
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 37
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 38
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 39
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 40
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 41
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Site Seeing
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 43
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - State of Mind
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 45
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 46
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 47
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 48
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 49
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 50
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 51
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 52
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 53
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Research
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 55
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 56
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 57
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Special Advertising Section: 2015 Landscape Design Portfolio
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 59
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 60
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 61
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 62
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 63
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - First Look
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Cover3
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Cover4
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - SCover1
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S1
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S2
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S3
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S4
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S5
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S6
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S7
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S8
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S9
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - SCover3
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - SCover4
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