10 Ways Hospital Construction Can Go Green

Automate Everything

Ah, humans. If we can futz with things, we will -- even if it doesn't make it any better. Take the thermostat in any grandparents' home. No one can pass that thing without making an adjustment, and it's still never warm enough or cold enough. Or it's too warm or cold. Or you hear this: "You're lucky we even have a thermostat. When I was growing up, we had a frozen lake or a tire fire. Those were your choices."

For a hospital to maximize its green-ness and its energy efficiency (which saves the other kind of green -- money), everything needs to be automated, from temperature to air flow to lighting to water use. Lights can be timed to come on at sunset, or sensors can be used to turn on lights when someone enters an exam room or it becomes too dim to read the charts. A thermostat that can't be easily futzed with -- maybe by keeping it away from finicky grandparents -- will keep heating and air conditioning in check.

Why bother letting the robots do the work? "It's not only the good thing to do environmentally," Messervy said, "but it saves you money, obviously. You use less power, your utility bill is smaller."

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