Building design and performance: A comparative longitudinal assessment of a Children's hospital

Cassandra L. Thiel, Kim La Scola Needy, Robert Ries, Diane Hupp, Melissa M. Bilec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to conduct a whole-building analysis using a host of metrics, including green building metrics, with the goal of providing designers and healthcare providers quantitative data that can be used in their design and operations decisions. The intent was to fill a gap in the research, which previously analyzed only individual rooms, specific design elements, and green building metrics. Therefore, a comparative longitudinal assessment was completed that quantified the effects of building design on performance of a pediatric healthcare facility by comparing a new, LEED-certified hospital relative to its previous, traditional counterpart. This study found statistically significant improvements in productivity, staff satisfaction, and quality of care, including a 19% decrease in actual mortalities despite an 11% increase in expected mortalities (both P=0.005). Children's energy consumption and electricity per square meter decreased over 50%, while water and sewage intensity decreased over 60% (all P<0.001). In their LEED-certified facility, Children's significantly improved their productivity, quality of care, and staff satisfaction, in addition to utility intensity. These improvements can be credited to green building design, mechanical equipment upgrades, and organizational or cultural shifts related to Magnet nursing designation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-136
Number of pages7
JournalBuilding and Environment
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Comparative longitudinal assessment
  • Evidence-based design
  • Green building
  • Healthcare
  • Hospital
  • LEED

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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