Green design

The health of the planet and the health of those who inhabit it are undeniably intertwined. Understanding this correlation, Kaiser Permanente is a leading advocate for wellness-based green building strategies in the health care sector. We've worked with architects, engineers, and public health care advocates to design and test strategies for the Green Guide for Health Care—a tool for building hospitals that are healthy for people and the planet. Our work has received national recognition and includes everything from taking toxins out of our hospitals to reducing our energy and water use and using design to support the healing process.

Over the past eight years, Kaiser Permanente's green building team has accomplished the following:

  • Chosen ecologically sustainable materials for 7.5 million square feet of new construction.
  • Eliminated the purchase and disposal of 40 tons of hazardous chemicals.
  • Diverted thousands of tons of demolition debris from landfills.
  • Installed more than 50 acres of reflective roofing.
  • Worked with suppliers to introduce several new PVC-free products to the market at no additional cost.
  • Sponsored the California Sustainable Hospital Forum, in which 400 architects, designers, and engineers learned state-of-the-art green building techniques.
  • Helped launch the Global Health and Safety Initiative, which seeks to collaborate with others in the health care industry, government, universities, and nongovernmental organizations to improve workplace, patient, and environmental safety.
  • Zero exporting of e-waste. Zero e-waste sent to landfills.

As the nation's largest nonprofit health plan with more than 68 million square feet of real estate, we are in a unique position to drive positive change. Our 10-year capital plan is to build, replace, or renovate 27 hospitals and 100-plus outpatient care facilities. Moreover, we recognize that the choices we make now will have a major impact for many years to come. Total health starts in the design phase of each Kaiser Permanente hospital and medical office building, and grows from there. Approaching the way we design, build, and maintain our facilities with sustainability in mind allows us to enforce our commitment to spreading health among our members, colleagues, communities, and planet.

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