The new Foleshill Health Centre in Coventry, the UK’s greenest health building, is taking shape fast. Built with specially designed Portakabin modules using Passivhaus technology, Foleshill will have an air source heat pump, no fossil fuels used on-site and has photovoltaic (solar) panels to generate some of the energy for the GP surgery. The GP surgery team will move into the building in Summer 2021. The £3.3 million project is a partnership between (CHP) and NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
There is continuous fresh air with heat recovery, and all the triple glazed windows can be opened as required. Fresh air circulating, at operating theatre level quality, as part of the Passivhaus technology, will be an important benefit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Foleshill Health Centre will be a new, high-quality facility for GPs, primary care staff and patients who are currently using a temporary surgery on a car park. The new building will have five consulting rooms and two treatment rooms. There will also be electric car charging points and secure cycle storage to encourage sustainable transport. The new surgery is close to bus routes in Foleshill and is a five-minute walk (one-third of a mile) from their current location.
Foleshill Health Centre timeline
On 2 December 2020 the foundations were laid, incorporating all underground utilities, and the concrete poured. The delivery and installation of the 14 specially designed Portakabin modules for the two-storey building (620m²) took only two days on 10/11 December thus making the building watertight.
Read More: UK’s Greenest healthcare building on-site in just 10 days (16 December 2020)
Fitting the triple glazed external windows, which open to help regulate airflow, began in mid-December. By 8 January, the stairs and window installation were finished; the power for the building and the plumbing was connected on 10 February and the external doors were added in March. Due to the very cold weather in February, there was a delay in starting the external insulation as the temperature needs to be above 5 Celsius.
Insulation to meet Passivhaus standard
The insulation installation has begun and will take approximately 14 weeks. The insulation and cladding will act like a ‘tea cosy’ to keep heat in the building in the winter and maintain a comfortable temperature for the occupants in the summer. The insulation levels on this building exceed the Building Regulations fabric insulation values by about 40%.
Foleshill Health Centre will be clad with white render and wood effect Rockpanel boards on the ground floor. Rockpanel boards are durable; they are made of highly compressed stone wool fibres made from the natural material basalt (a volcanic rock). Each panel is at least 50% recycled material, with a 60-year life span, and will be recycled at the end of their life. Rockpanel has been recycling its panels since 1992.
While waiting for the insulation installation the team focused on internal work. The ceilings, flooring and joinery are all making good progress and the lift installation will be completed on 19 March. The next major milestone for the building is the first airflow test to meet the Passivhaus certification.
Eugene Prinsloo, Developments Director for Community Health Partnerships said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to pilot innovations like Passivhaus in healthcare to support the NHS’ commitment to Net Zero Carbon by 2040. The lessons learnt from projects like Foleshill will be useful in scaling up sustainability initiatives across the NHS.”
It is anticipated that the annual utilities running costs for Foleshill will be approximately a third of the cost of a traditional build, giving significant savings over the lifetime of the building.
15 March 2021