Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program might be in a health system's budget after all.
A recent study by sustainable design firm Perkins+Will found that the average capital cost premium for LEED-certified hospitals under 100,000 square feet was 1.24 percent. For hospitals over 100,000 square feet, the average cost premium was 0.67 percent.
That data was based on analysis of 15 LEED-certified hospitals completed between 2010 and 2012.
It is the first study to focus solely on the capital cost premium for hospitals to achieve LEED certification.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the health care sector is responsible for 8 percent of the nation's total carbon dioxide footprint. Hospitals are the largest contributor of carbon dioxide, with the average facility in the U.S. using as much energy in a single year as 3,500 households.
Hospitals also use about 2.5 times as much energy per square foot as a commercial office building.