This Issue

human health Tag

Healthy Approach

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16914" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] By Karen Aho With sustainability and community in mind, Gundersen Health System strives for zero energy this year.   [dropcaps type='normal' color='' background_color='' border_color='']W[/dropcaps]hen designers talk about healthy buildings, they often focus on interior considerations: air circulation, light, temperature, and maybe energy efficiency as it translates to lower customer costs. Gundersen Health System takes a broader view. The physician-led nonprofit, which includes a leading teaching hospital, trauma center, and dozens of community clinics in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, didn’t think it was right to go green without considering the more far-reaching effects beyond its buildings’ walls. Whether powering boilers or running chillers, Gundersen wanted to develop efficient operations with the health of everyone in mind, and that meant tapping into alternative energy sources. Ideally, those sources would also create local jobs and improve air quality, even for those living hundreds of miles downwind. “We really take to heart our organization’s mission and purpose, to say that we are about the health and well-being of our patients and communities,” says Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, Gundersen’s CEO. For Thompson, setting a goal of eliminating his health system’s dependence on fossil fuels represents a vital step toward improving public...

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Preventive Medicine

A discussion with HOK’s Henry Chao on what makes a healthy building.

Healthcare in the United States is undergoing major changes, with the underpinnings of the system shifting away from simply treating incidents of illness toward promoting overall health and well-being. And for architects like Henry Chao, design principal for the global healthcare practice at the international firm HOK, this shift provides an opportunity to create hospitals and facilities that contribute to this broader purpose. Chao’s most notable projects have included the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Expansion in Columbus, Ohio; the Cleveland Clinic Miller Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio; Kuwait University College of Science in Kuwait; and Ng Teng Feng (Jurong) General Hospital in Singapore. Here, he speaks about subtle design decisions that change perceptions of illness for the better, the parallels between planning hospitals and planning cities, and LEED’s role in fostering a 21st-century sense of what it means to be healthy.

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