Healing Waters: How (SuDS) Enhance Health and Hospitals - GreenBlue Urban
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Healing Waters: How (SuDS) Enhance Health and Hospitals

In the hustle and bustle of modern healthcare, it’s easy to overlook the importance of sustainable environmental practices in supporting patient recovery. However, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) offer a transformative solution that goes beyond managing stormwater – they have the potential to significantly improve the health and well-being of patients, staff, and visitors alike.

Redefining Recovery Spaces:
Imagine stepping out of a bustling hospital ward into a serene oasis of greenery and flowing water. SuDS installations in health centres and hospitals can transform outdoor spaces into tranquil retreats, providing patients with much-needed respite and aiding in their recovery process. Research has shown that exposure to nature can reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and accelerate healing – benefits that are invaluable in a healthcare setting.

Investing in nature-based solutions, focusing on climate-resilient water access, sanitation and hygiene, and concentrating efforts on net-positive water impact – all offer opportunities to confront climate challenges. – Jason Morrison – President Pacific Institute, & CEO Water Mandate 

Chase Farm, Enfield

Chase Farm HospitalOne exceptional feature of the hospital is the use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). Using a mixture of swales in soft areas, and GreenBlue Urban ArborFlow systems in hard areas, stormwater is checked and held on-site for as long as possible.

Community Collaboration in Maintenance:
One common misconception about SuDS is the perceived burden of ongoing maintenance. These schemes so look after themselves, all we ask is that the establishment phase of trees is considered.
This is also where community collaboration shines. By engaging volunteers from the local community, hospitals can easily mobilise resources to maintain SuDS installations.

Retrofitting for Multiple Benefits:
Large car parks, often associated with healthcare facilities, provide the perfect opportunity to implement SuDS features, tree pits and rain gardens not only to manage runoff but also to enhance the surrounding environment.  SuDS can be retrofitted into various areas within healthcare facilities, including public spaces such as courtyards and gardens. These green infrastructure features not only improve the well-being of staff, visitors, and patients but also attract wildlife, creating biodiverse ecosystems within hospital grounds. From trees, green walls, and rain gardens to permeable pavements, these installations offer aesthetic appeal while serving functional purposes.

Climate change is compounding public health issues and calling for new approaches to support transformative, sustainable and resilient health systems. We must act now to protect children. – Gwen Hines CEO – Save the Children

St Ann’s HospitalRecognising the benefits that trees bring to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure and improve mental health, GreenBlue Urban tree planting products were specified as a long-term solution to ensure that these benefits were felt by visitors and patients for decades to come.

St Ann’s Hospital, Poole

Enhancing Environmental Health:
Beyond their aesthetic and recreational benefits, SuDS contribute to environmental health by cooling buildings, improving air quality, and mitigating the urban heat island effect. By incorporating vegetation and natural filtration mechanisms, SuDS help to purify the air and create a healthier indoor and outdoor environment for all occupants of healthcare facilities.

Yateley Care HomeThe GreenBlue Urban ArborSystem tree pits were built on top of the attenuation tank, maximising the effectiveness of the storage and cleansing aspects of stormwater management. The final effect is visually very pleasant and actively effective – the thriving trees soften the entrance and visitor parking and will fo for years to come!

Yateley Care Village

Seasonal Delights and Therapeutic Spaces:
Green infrastructure introduced through SuDS installations provides opportunities for seasonal change, offering patients, staff, and visitors a dynamic and visually stimulating environment to enjoy. From the vibrant blooms of spring to the golden hues of autumn, these spaces evolve throughout the year, providing a source of joy and inspiration to all who encounter them.

In conclusion, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems offer far-reaching benefits beyond managing stormwater. By integrating SuDS into health centres and hospitals, we can create healing environments that support patient recovery, enhance staff well-being, and foster community engagement. From tranquil retreats to biodiverse ecosystems, SuDS have the power to transform healthcare spaces into vibrant hubs of health and healing. Let’s harness this potential to create healthier environments for all.