A classification of healthcare facilities: Toward the development of energy performance benchmarks for day surgery centers in Australia

Tarek M.F. Ahmed*, Priyadarsini Rajagopalan, Robert Fuller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: In the literature, there is no consistent classification of healthcare facilities. In order to benchmark, assess, and compare the environmental performance of these buildings, it is important to clearly identify the typology within the scope of a particular research. This article identifies the different typologies within the healthcare sector, particularly in Australia, with the aim of the development of energy performance benchmarks for day surgery/procedure centers. Background: Healthcare buildings encompass a wide range of facilities. They all share the same purpose of healing and offering a health service for patients. However, they vary significantly in terms of patient type and service provided. These buildings consume a considerable amount of energy, and as a result of the different designs and sizes, their pattern of energy consumption varies. Methods: The research used a systematic review of the literature to determine how the term ''healthcare facility'' has been employed in different contexts. In order to better understand the differences in healthcare facilities, definitions and the origin of hospitals and healthcare facilities are introduced and a framework for the classification of healthcare facilities and hospitals is proposed. Results: Healthcare facilities are classified into the following six categories: patient type, care provided, management and ownership, level of care, facility size, and location. Based on these classifications, a categorization for the studies of energy performance in healthcare is introduced. Conclusions: This study provides a basis for assessment and comparison for a particular healthcare building typology that will assist researchers working in the field of design and energy assessment of healthcare facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-157
Number of pages19
JournalHealth Environments Research and Design Journal
Issue number4
Early online date8 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

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