Lean, green, and team were topics for discussion by Craig Beale, executive vice president and global healthcare director for HKS (Dallas), in a presentation to attendees at The 3rd Summit Forum of Chinese and Overseas Hospital Architects, part of the 15th Hospital Build and Infrastructure China Exhibition and Congress held June 21 to 23 in Nanjing, China.

Hospitals are energy hogs, second only to U.S. fast food restaurants in consumption. But the average hospital has the potential to save 30 percent of its energy costs through green design and sustainability. Most savings come from reduced heating and air conditioning costs.

Balancing energy savings versus return on investment is an important part of the design process, said Beale, who recommended looking at how buildings are structured for light, energy, and thermal efficiency. These factors, as well as at lighting and other environmental conditions, are essential not only to energy efficiency, but to the work-life environment.

Beale then turned to focus on waste in the design and construction processes, citing 12 percent waste in manufacturing and more than one-third in design. The key reason for the waste, he said, is the misalignment of goals for each member of the typical project team: They all have separate goals and separate incentives.

Teams can save money by adopting Lean methodologies to eliminate waste and aligning goals, he urged. Advocating for integrated project delivery that not only combines teams with common incentives, common goals, and common outcomes, Beale emphasized the importance of bringing the design/build team on early in the process and at the same time.

Charlene Marietti is executive director of editorial initiatives for Vendome Healthcare Media, publisher of Healthcare Design. She can be reached at cmarietti@vendomegrp.com