Power it with beer!
Saving the best for last, courtesy of Messervy: "One of my favorite ways of using alternative energy is a hospital in Wisconsin that's using the biogas from a brewery down the road. It's far enough away I guess that they don't smell the brewery, but not so far that it's uneconomical. They built a pipeline from the brewery and they get the biogas from the brewery, which otherwise is a waste product from the brewery, and they're able to generate electricity."
There are tons of other ways to lessen the load on the grid, like geothermal energy or solar voltaic panels on the roof, or steam heat like they use at Swedish Issaquah hospital in Washington state.
For the record, Messervy says they are not serving beer in the cafeteria of that Wisconsin hospital, which seems like a waste of a perfectly good pipeline. They must have other priorities.
Author's Note: 10 Ways Hospital Construction Can Go Green
I knew very little (all right, exactly zero) about building green hospitals when I started this assignment. I figured not using endangered trees for wall studs would be a good start. And maybe recycle some paper.
But after reading up on the subject, and especially after interviewing two of the major players in the movement to reduce the environmental impact of hospitals in the community, I feel like an expert. I could probably build you an environmentally friendly hospital right now, if you need one.
- A Green Hospital Initiative. "A Global Approach." Hospital 2020. (May 15, 2012) http://hospital2020.org/Agreenhospital.html
- Brown, Janet. Director of Facility Engagement at Practice Greenhealth and Director of Content and Outreach for the Healthier Hospitals Initiative. Telephone interview conducted on May 23, 2012.
- Center for American Progress. "It's Easy Being Green: Environmentally Friendly Hospitals." AmericanProgress.org. March 31, 2010. (May 15, 2012) http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/03/ebg_033110.html
- Children's Memorial Hospital. "Healthy by design: Building a 'green' hospital." ChildrensMemorial.org. 2011. (May 15, 2012) http://www.childrensmemorial.org/newsroom/feature.aspx?pid=3606&sid=6336
- Collier Cool, Lisa. "Hospitals Go Green to Heal the Planet." Healthymagination.com. July 22, 2010. (May 15, 2012) http://www.healthymagination.com/blog/hospitals-go-green-to-heal-the-planet/
- Gellerman, Bruce. "Green Hospitals." Living on Earth broadcast. Nov. 21, 2008. (May 15, 2012) http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=08-P13-00047&segmentID=7
- Hiskes, Jonathan. "A green hospital is a comfortable hospital." Sustainable Industries. June 29, 2011. (May 15, 2012) http://sustainableindustries.com/articles/2011/06/swedish-issaquah-tries-show-green-hospital-comfortable-hospital
- Messervy, John. AIA. Chair of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative and Director of Capital and Facilities Planning for Partners HealthCare. Telephone interview conducted on May 23, 2012.
- US Green Building Council. "LEED for Healthcare." USGBC.org. (May 15, 2012) http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=1765
Green Roofs And White Roofs: Low Tech Ways To Save Tons Of Energy. Keep reading to learn about Low Tech Ways To Save Tons Of Energy.