Green light for UK’s greenest health building

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NHS England and NHS Improvement has given the go ahead for one of the most energy efficient buildings in the NHS which will be the first of its type in the UK to be certified to the Passivhaus standard.


The Foleshill Health Centre building in Coventry will be a new resource for doctors and patients currently using a temporary GP surgery situated on a car park.

The £3.3 million development was created in partnership between Community Health Partnerships (CHP) and NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). CHP has already acquired the land on which it will be sited, on Livingstone Road, Foleshill, Coventry, and most of the cost will be funded by CHP from its capital programme. The build cost is also being supported by a Section 106 contribution for health in the locality.

The scheme reached financial close this week and will now proceed quickly, with an expected delivery date of April 2021. It will house a GP practice including five consulting rooms and two treatment rooms, which will serve one of the areas of Coventry with the highest health needs.

At a time when Covid-19 is in the news, this building will have a ventilation system that delivers air clean enough for an operating theatre to the whole of the building and all of the supplied air is fresh and filtered.

The development team at CHP chose the Passivhaus design approach for its health benefits and low running costs. Over the building’s lifetime Passivhaus enables the total costs of operation and construction to be lower than ordinary new buildings. This will make available more resources for healthcare.

The Foleshill building also avoids fossil fuel consumption on site, with heating provided by an air source heat pump. There will also be charging points for electric cars and secure cycle parking to encourage cycling. Photo voltaic (solar) panels on the roof generate some of the energy to be used in the building.

Modular off-site construction delivers high quality buildings that can be installed quickly. Portakabin is the market leader in modular, and the Portakabin modules have has been specially adapted to meet the Passivhaus standard at Foleshill.

“This is a very exciting project which has taken a huge amount of effort to bring to a conclusion,” said CHP’s Chief Commercial Officer Malcolm Twite. “As the first health building development of its kind in UK we had to ensure that every option was thoroughly explored and evaluated prior to gaining national approval from NHSE. However, this now provides the opportunity to evidence the case for sustainable development and will make a valuable contribution to the Government targets of reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050; no small challenge when the health estate makes up 4-5% of England’s carbon footprint.”

A spokesperson from NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said “We are proud to be part of this new, exciting and sustainability-focused development. As a CCG, we need to ensure that our own organisation works sustainably as well as encouraging sustainability in the services that we commission. It is about using resources wisely to make sure that they will still be available in the years to come. In addition, reducing our carbon footprint will have a positive impact and help us work towards improving the health and wellbeing of our population.”