I hope you’ve enjoyed the Winter 2012 issue of Healthcare Building Ideas (HBI) and the ongoing editorial features posted here on our website, because there is plenty more on its way.

The team here at HBI is preparing articles scheduled to appear in print and on the Web for Spring 2012. We have a great lineup, and I’m happy to share some sneak peeks with you here.

Coming up first is our Project Profile by Contributing Editor Barbara Horwitz-Bennett. Barbara focuses on the Phoebe Sumter Medical Center, a new, state-of-the-art campus with a 76-bed main hospital and three specialty clinic buildings in Americus, Georgia.

Some of you may recall the devastating tornado that hit the town on March 1, 2007, destroying the county hospital. After 4.5 years and transitions from tents to modular units, the Phoebe Putney Health System now opens a replacement facility.

Challenges included pursuing LEED Silver certification, weaving the structure into the town’s historic core, and incorporating structural components to ensure the new facility won’t suffer the same destruction as the last.

Also on tap is a look at the financing options available for new construction projects, tackled from both the perspectives of the administrators who need to pursue these options as well as the project teams who will need to work with them throughout the process.

As facilities weigh the avenues to pursue against other financial issues ranging from changing reimbursements to capital-heavy projects like IT upgrades, it’s imperative that a value-driven construction solution be made clear.

Covered in this article by freelancer Gwynneth Anderson are self-funding, lend lease, participation loans, mergers, public-private partnerships, and HUD 242.

Finally, I’ll be taking on an interesting topic regarding sustainability issues at healthcare facilities across the country. We’ve all been talking about energy efficiency for years, but what kinds of programs exist today to balance those efficiencies with goals to simply use less energy?

As our board member Kim Shinn, PE, LEED Fellow, CxA, BEMP, principal/senior sustainability consultant with TLC Engineering for Architecture, says, “Instead of increasingly expensive and complicated machines and systems, we should be thinking of ways to conserve first. I would really like the healthcare industry to take a critical look at the opportunities to turn things ‘off’ and/or ‘down’ when we aren’t using them."

Look for these and more articles coming soon. And, as always, please shoot me an email with project and/or industry trends you’d like to see covered in HBI.