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Colorado's Healthcare Building Boom

Healthcare facilities across Colorado are growing at a rapid pace, providing potential work opportunities for landscape designers, especially those with knowledge of sustainable techniques. Boulder Community Foothills Hospital (pictured), the first LEED-certified campus in the state, added a green roof to the cardiology building at the end of 2012, and other facilities are likely to share equally 'green' design goals.

About 50 construction projects are creating and expanding healthcare facilities throughout Colorado, to the tune of $3.4 billion, according to a Colorado Public News study.

Research found five new hospitals underway or opened within the past three years, from Denver's urban center to the city of Rangely in northwestern Colorado, population 2,405.

Eleven major additions are underway in Aspen, Boulder, Grand Junction and Pueblo, along with Denver and its suburbs. The developments include towers for inpatient beds, stand-alone emergency rooms, surgery centers and clinics.

The federal health care law is expected to insure half a million more Coloradans beginning in 2014, raising demand for hospital procedures. At the same time, the state expects a 54 percent rise decade in the number of Coloradans 65 and over by 2020, and they will need more care as they age.

Many of the new facilities are integrating strong aesthetic improvements with the expansions, with therapeutic additions like fireplaces, gardens, atriums and recreational areas replacing cramped lobbies.

Research shows that ''colors and light and arts and all of that complement the healing process,'' said Jerrod Milton, Children's Hospital's vice president of operations, ''and helps get people out of the hospital quicker.''

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December 7, 2019, 4:41 am PDT

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