Green Guide for Health Care

In 2002, Health Care Without Harm teamed with the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems to develop and launch the Green Guide for Health Care, the first free self-certification green building rating system specifically tailored to the unique design, construction and operational realities of the health care sector.  The Green Guide is the first green building tool to directly correlate green building strategies with health through specific health issue statements for each credit.  It expanded beyond the US Green Building Council LEED® tools to address evidence based design issues such as outdoor places of respite and acoustics, as well as an increased emphasis on daylight and views.  

Having achieved the goals it set out when it began more than 10 years ago, the Green Guide for Health Care was sunset at the end of 2011. The GGHC began as a collaborative effort to provide a blueprint for sustainable health care building and design, and green health care operation. The GGHC has been one of the most important forces in green health care design and operations over the last decade, and has been a catalyst for the incorporation of green building, design and operations to improve patient outcomes, provide community benefit, and for improving public health.

Among the decade of ground-breaking accomplishments are the following:

  • The catalyst and foundation for the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Healthcare, advancing the Green Guide's human health-focused design and construction content into a third party certified rating system and Pilot Credit Library – achieving a Green Guide core objective.
  • Creation of an on-line community of more than 35,000 registrants, including more than 25 percent from outside the U.S. sharing a website with the most comprehensive sustainable healthcare resources available on line.
  • Tracking and data reporting for 293 registered projects, representing more than 41 million square feet of health care facility new construction and renovation influenced by the Green Guide
  • Launch of a comprehensive green healthcare operations self-certification rating system and completion of its related Green Guide v2.2 Operations Pilot in collaboration with Practice Greenhealth.

This impressive roster of accomplishments includes the creation of health-based design tools customized for the healthcare sector, broadly used in the national and international marketplaces. Additionally, a host of associated tools and resources are now prominently positioned at other organizations, including Practice Greenhealth and the U.S. Green Building Council.

These accomplishments are testament to the vision, expertise and dedication that the Green Guide catalyzed and carried out through its volunteer Steering Committee, Co-Coordinators, the Operations Pilot team, staff, and the support of Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems and Health Care Without Harm. This unique, powerful collaboration transformed the definition of high performance healing environment, and ushered in a groundbreaking focus on environmental health and stewardship in the context of green building.

The Green Guide for Health Care retain its website,, as an archival holder of the Green Guide's publications and resources. As ever, these resources will remain available free of charge to all of our registrants.

For specific questions about the Green Guide for Health Care, please contact