Given the built environment’s responsibility for the current state of the climate, the ongoing push for sustainable development is an incredibly positive one to see. However, the speed at which sustainability goals have been established and adopted have led to unforeseen consequences. Projects seeking to cut down on water and energy usage and achieve top-level Green Star ratings have commonly specified low-flow taps or reduced the temperature of hot water circulation after construction. These common sustainability measures might help the environment but have created perfect environments for the proliferation and transmission of Legionella bacteria.

The downside to green development: face-value efficiency and its relationship to Legionella growth is a new whitepaper that has recently been released, commissioned by health and safety and plumbing manufacturing expert, Enware.

The paper goes into more depth around Legionella’s risk and its relationship to green building practices, noting the disconnection between aspects of a project related to its design and construction, and that which are related to its ongoing occupancy. Both sides hold some portion of the responsibility to ensure the lethal bacteria cannot grow – particularly within the hospital and aged-care sectors, where the bacteria’s presence holds the most risk – but this ability is hampered without adequate communication between the two different groups responsible for the management of each.

The paper goes on to discuss the problematic nature of the current situation regarding Legionella management, and how this can be improved in both the design and occupancy stages of a building’s lifespan.

Furthermore, the majority of existing guidelines on the management and reporting of the bacteria are not up to the task of guaranteeing public health and safety and generally come about in a highly reactionary manner. While Queensland has recently implemented new legislation designed to crack down on lax requirements, this has only occurred after the deaths of two patients in Queensland hospitals and is still not without its faults.

The whitepaper is free to download and comes with additional information on how Enware proposes to assist the management of hot water systems in order to reduce the risk posed by Legionella in health and aged care environments.

To find out more about the effects of sustainable design and building mismanagement on Legionella growth, click here to download The downside to green development: face-value efficiency and its relationship to Legionella growth.