Opportunities for Sustainable Design in Skilled-Nursing Culture Change

Oct 24, 2012

The skilled-nursing industry is undergoing a great evolution, renovating and re-organizing in a national movement known as “culture change.” Values of culture change include providing more choice, dignity, respect, self-determination and purposeful living for residents. The building industry as a whole is undergoing a similar evolution in sustainability – focusing on energy efficiency, cleaner interior air quality and healthier urban environments. Most hospital administrators indicated that they generally perceive evidence based design as synergistic with eco-effective design. This should make sense intuitively – that a natural building would in fact feel better than a “conventional” building. Do sustainable buildings generate better healthcare outcomes? What would an environment look like that seamlessly integrates both culture change goals and sustainable design goals into an elegant home for healing and wellness?
This article originally appeared in The Academy Journal, published by the AIA Academy of Architecture for Healthcare (15th edition, 2012).

Sara Mae Martens, AIA, LEED AP
The Academy Journal of the Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects

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