Exploring the Effectiveness of LEED Certification in LEED Certified Healthcare Settings in Climate Zone 2 and 3
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Most LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings are commercial office buildings and multi-use buildings. As of October 2009, 35,000 projects were registered in the LEED system, "comprising over 4.5 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 91 countries." However, as of April 30, 2009, only 43 healthcare projects had achieved LEED certification. Currently, most studies focus on the economic benefits and energy consumption of LEED certified buildings, rather than human factors. A small gain in productivity can result in a heftier financial gain. Even modest improvements in productivity and absenteeism can substantially outweigh the energy cost. This study surveyed 164 staff in the two healthcare settings for case study, and 146 staff in the six LEED certified healthcare settings for the main study in climate zone 2 and 3. Telephone interviews with the six facility managers were used to verify the survey results and further examine the healthcare facilities? performance and the effectiveness of the LEED strategies from facility managers' perspectives. Independent t-test was used to examine the difference between the LEED and Non-LEED hospitals in one healthcare system and results showed that building performance were rated higher by staff in LEED certified hospital than Non-LEED hospital. MANOVA was conducted to compare the staff's ratings between Silver and Gold certification levels, male and female, and also explore the possibility of interaction effect. Multilevel regression modeling was used to test how the building performance variables affect the overall comfort and productivity. Study results showed that staff in the Gold certified hospital had significant higher ratings in most the performance variables. Gold certified healthcare settings were significant better in rated building overall, overall comfort and controllability than Silver certified healthcare settings. And males felt more comfortable in temperature than females in healthcare facilities. Regarding the overall comfort and productivity, building design, efficiency of the space use, temperature comfort and controllability over building system were significant predictors for staff overall comfort; and lighting comfort, temperature comfort and controllability over building system had significant positive relationship with perceived productivity. LEED certified healthcare settings appear to have a good environment and building performance for occupants. Controllability, lighting, temperature, use of space, building design were important factors in staff comfort and productivity.
Xuan, Xiaodong (2012). Exploring the Effectiveness of LEED Certification in LEED Certified Healthcare Settings in Climate Zone 2 and 3. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from