The place where people go to get well — the hospital — is now also striving to heal Mother Earth of the wounds inflicted by pollutants and greenhouse gases. This is because an increasing number of hospitals in the United States are joining modern efforts to go green. Although going green does have its challenges, two Chicago-area hospitals are proving that it indeed is possible, and they’re breathing new life into the green movement.
Those two hospitals are Skokie Hospital and Highland Park Hospital, which are both part of the NorthShore University HealthSystem in Chicago—the home of U.S. Green Technology. Their newest green features include a new HVAC system for operating rooms that utilizes digital controls. This will decrease airflow when procedures aren’t scheduled in the rooms. Traditionally, operating rooms use full airflow around the clock to meet healthcare code requirements, but the new green controls will cut down on the use of energy used for electrical fans, air conditioning and gas heating.
Lighting is another area the hospitals are targeting in their efforts to be more eco-friendly. The operating rooms’ new surgery-related lighting systems will use LED technology. This will dramatically decrease lighting energy because each new light will use just 105 energy watts rather than the 450 watts previously used.
Four new rooms used for operations will include these new features Highland Park Hospital, while six existing rooms will be upgraded. Meanwhile, eight new operating rooms will include them at Skokie Hospital, and four existing Skokie rooms will be upgraded. NorthShore University HealthSystem’s green efforts are life-giving, as they benefit not only the sick and injured today but also their offspring tomorrow.