Healthcare Evolves from Sustainability to Wellness


pic_rome_rick150x180Rick Rome


As a Senior Vice President at WSP, Rick has encouraged those he works with to buck the stereotype that engineers have to be boring. He is passionate about collaborating with clients and design teams to look for creative ways to enhance project sustainability and functionality. Over his 30-year career, Rick has led project design for medical complexes, corporate high-rises and much more. Rick is a registered professional engineer in several states and an accredited LEED professional.

Nolan Rome


Nolan, a Senior Vice President at WSP, has been involved in the engineering consulting business since his high school years when he worked for the firm doing CADD work. Since then, he has been responsible for the design of all types of healthcare facilities including greenfield hospitals, major urban hospital expansions, cancer centers and LEED awarded facilities in 14 states around the country. Nolan has presented at the ASHE national PDC conference on integrated project delivery, Med Star Emergency Department conference, and been published in national trade magazines. Nolan is a registered professional engineer in several states and an accredited LEED professional.

pic_hurley_daniel150x180Daniel Hurley


Dan is a Senior Vice President and Senior Electrical Engineer at WSP with experience in the design of numerous new and renovation projects in the healthcare environment. Dan has been responsible for the project management and the electrical engineering design, system upgrades and feasibility studies on a broad range of projects, including numerous higher education, healthcare, corporate, science and research facilities. Dan is a registered professional engineer in several states and an accredited LEED professional.

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Healthcare Evolves from Sustainability to Wellness

How are healthcare systems embracing LEED in the USA and other tools for measuring sustainability around the world? This presentation hypothesizes that around the world, users are moving beyond the ‘necessity’ for using measuring tools to determine if they are achieving sustainability goals towards a more holistic definition of sustainability that incorporates the concept of wellness.

They are recognizing and embracing sustainability in their everyday lives and operations as critical to quality improvement in service delivery and the patient experience, as well as creating financial efficiencies. This is now driving new ideas and process improvements to support ‘wellness’ in healthcare environments that in turn creates higher productivity levels and improves the morale of staff, visitors, patients and the local community.

Sustainability has been classically interpreted as improving efficiencies such as energy for lower carbon footprints, better material selection and water use reduction. However, the sustainability concepts and design processes at hospitals such as Dell Children’s (LEED Platinum), Birmingham Children’s (LEED Gold) and THR Flower Mound (LEED Silver), have led to greater recognition by US healthcare systems of the economic and employee ‘payback’ of applying their sustainability programs to other systems. These healthcare organizations understand that the ‘thinking journey’ that sustainability has inspired, and the tools that have been developed and applied to other daily operational processes could dramatically improve:

    • The efficiency of the healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, technicians), who represent their largest expense category, thus lowering the overall cost of healthcare.
    • The application of the ‘well’ concept, not just for the hospital but also the community around the hospital, to develop a civic pride and confidence in their built environment