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Companies & People: Five questions with Debra Lemons

LEED certification isn’t always necessary, but it still pays to go green

By John B. Mugford

Debra Lemons

Is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification necessary when developing a new medical office building (MOB) or other healthcare real estate (HRE) facility? Is it worth the extra time, effort and expense? And should LEED certification affect decisions about financing and investment?

Many HRE professionals have probably asked themselves those questions since U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced the LEED program in 2000 – and probably even more so since LEED for Healthcare was added in 2007.

However, as we at Healthcare Real Estate Insights have been hearing lately, gaining LEED certification for healthcare facilities is not necessarily a widespread goal.

This, however, does not mean that healthcare providers, developers and architects are not finding value in occupying, building and designing facilities that are considered secure, safe and “green.”

To find out more about where green design is heading and its important for the HRE space, we recently posed some questions to Debra Lemons, an architect and director of interior design with Orlando, Fla.-based HuntonBrady Architects. The firm has a long history of designing hospitals and MOBs.

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