Bracing for Change

Brett E. Farbstein, LEED AP, CEM, CBCP, EBCP, CDT, Associate Vice President and Noelle Thornton, PR, CxA, BCxP, at CannonDesign presents an article “Brace for Change” with Medical Construction & Design (MCD) magazine.

Climate change and increasingly frequent extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, wildfires, floods and heatwaves, are an undeniable reality posing significant challenges to the healthcare sector and the communities they serve. Communities rely on hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to be operational during severe storms and natural disasters.

A major metric for climate change is the average global temperature. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, since 1981 the rate of warming has doubled and the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010. One of the most noticeable consequences of the warming climate is an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme events, which has caused a subsequent rise in billion-dollar-level disasters. An unprepared health system can end up dealing with damage to critical equipment, costly repairs, loss of revenue during shutdown and/or loss of patient lives.

So the question is: how can healthcare systems best prepare for resiliency and how does commissioning of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, plumbing and other major systems factor into the equation?