Hospitals must stay green and hold back the tide

Published: 6 May 2016 at 11:30

Man carrying two sandbags on a flooded road

Paper written by Anglia Ruskin University academic wins journal's annual award

A study by an Anglia Ruskin University academic on the need for hospitals and healthcare facilities that can withstand worsening natural disasters such as flooding while reducing their impact on climate change has won an award from a scientific journal.

In the paper published by the International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Dr Nebil Achour, Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Management at Anglia Ruskin, warned that, with global warming increasing the number of natural hazards we face, healthcare facilities must be resilient enough to withstand all that nature can throw at them, but also must be designed so they do not contribute to climate change. 

The paper has received the journal’s Highly Commended award in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2016.

Dr Achour said: 

“It is accepted that global warming is increasing the intensity and complexity of natural hazards, and low-lying areas such as East Anglia are under threat from rising sea levels and storm surges. 

“Healthcare buildings such as hospitals play a major role in post-disaster situations and it is vital to ensure new projects and refurbishments of these facilities will not only stand up to natural hazards, but also do not contribute to climate change itself.

“The aspects of resilience and sustainability are too often treated separately by developers and architects but marrying both aspects together is technically possible. The question is one of priority and while in countries like Japan and Germany there has been some success, other areas are lagging behind.”

The full paper can be read here.