Foleshill the UK’s first Passivhaus health centre features in Government sustainability construction guidance

Multi award winning Foleshill Health Centre, the UK’s first Passivhaus Healthcare building, has appeared as a case study in a HM Government publication Promoting Net Zero Carbon and Sustainability in Construction -Guidance Note (see page 39 PDF). This guidance  supports The Construction Playbook (PDF Sept 2022).

This net zero carbon and sustainability guidance note collates and builds on practical resources available to assist with decarbonisation for Government Departments, their Executive agencies, the NHS, and other public bodies procuring construction, infrastructure projects and refurbishment programmes.  It covers pipeline planning, contracting, the need for early market engagement, clear specifications and delivery options.

Foleshill Health Centre aligns to The Construction Playbook

The Construction Playbook focuses on getting public sector projects and programmes right from the start by using the principles and policies to transform how organisations assess, procure, and manage public works projects and programmes. The Construction Playbook helps need to think about projects and programmes in new ways. The Playbook demonstrates the need to harness the excellence which already exists and learn from this to drive progress and strengthen the health of the construction sector, including by addressing productivity and future skills shortages.

Foleshill Health Centre – the first Passivhaus Healthcare building in the UK was delivered before The Construction Playbook first edition was published (Dec 2022) but was very closely aligned to the principles.  

These principles include:
  • Foleshill Health Centre is an innovative project – a pathway beacon for the NHS Estate
  • supports the Greener NHS net zero carbon commitments
  • Focus on whole life carbon approach
  • Used Offsite and Modular Construction (Modern Methods of Construction)
  • Used an outcome based approach
  • Early supply chain involvement including Portakabin as the main contractor.
  • a collaborative, integrated design and construction team resulted in a smoother project management process.
  • Use of an existing procurement framework
  • Driving greater value through public spending
  • Up front investment of time and resources to set the project up for success on site
  • Promoting social value through improvement of wellbeing

"CHP are delighted that our Foleshill project has been recognised for its innovative approach which demonstrates that the principles of The Construction Playbook work in practice.  Coupled with the sustainability benefits of Passivhaus, this exemplar project demonstrated the power of partnerships and leaves a legacy for the health service and patients of Foleshill” 

Promoting Net Zero Carbon and Sustainability in Construction


Front cover - Promoting Net Zero Carbon and Sustainability in Construction Guidance Note Sept 2022Download Promoting Net Zero Carbon and Sustainability in Construction Guidance Note (PDF) September 2022HM Government 'The Construction Playbook' v1.1 Sept 2022 front cover

Download ‘The Construction Playbook’ v1.1 (PDF) September 2022
Additional information is available on HM Government Construction Playbook website:

This pilot project is pushing the boundaries of offsite construction within the public sector as well as the perceptions of that which can be achieved with MMC (Modern Methods of Construction). Foleshill is showcasing the flexibility of MMC and is a bold and brave step toward creating a legacy of buildings that will help the construction industry proactively tackle climate change.

About Foleshill Health Centre

Foleshill is a partnership between DHSC-owned CHP, NHS Coventry and Warwickshire with Coventry and Rugby GP Alliance (the GP tenants). Foleshill Health Centre is a two storey, 619m² building serving up to 10,000 patients in inner-city Coventry. The GP surgery has five consulting rooms and two treatment rooms. Work began in August 2020 on 14 specially designed Portakabin modules, which were transported, assembled and watertight in three days in December 2020. The health centre was completed in June 2021 costing £3.3m capital funded by CHP.

Foleshill – A flagship Green NHS building

CHP chose the Passivhaus approach because of its overall sustainability ethos with low running costs and health benefits.

Foleshill leads the way for carbon emissions reduction in this type of modular building but also demonstrates its potential for repetition and upscaling across the future health estate.

This is the first time that NHSE/I has approved this type of energy-efficient Passivhaus building for the NHS in England.  It is an example for the rest of the NHS showing what can be done using the most modern, innovative volumetric building methods – a benchmark for how health buildings can be sustainable in the future.

Foleshill contributes to the GreenerNHS carbon net-zero target and supports its aim to be the world’s first net-zero national health service. Foleshill Health Centre has an EPC A rating (12) close to net-zero CO2 and is BREEAM Excellent.

Passivhaus and Sustainability features support low energy consumption

The highly insulated Health Centre is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  It is full of sustainable features including photo voltaic panels, no fossil fuels on-site, triple glazing, LEDs, filtered air, etc.  It took only 10 months to build during the pandemic using modern methods of construction, 30% quicker than a traditional health care building.

Foleshill leads the way for carbon emissions reduction in the NHS. Energy consumption at Foleshill is equivalent to an average 4-bed house but it is four times the size.  The energy consumption is less than a third of a similar size conventional health centre.

Partnership working at Foleshill

CHP are proud to work with our NHS and delivery partners on the first UK health building built to meet Passivhaus standards.  This innovative, sustainable building will continue to provide high quality care for the people of Foleshill, in a modern, innovative 21st century primary care building.

Foleshill Health Centre NHS Partners: NHS Coventry and Warwickshire with Coventry and Rugby GP Alliance.
Delivery partners: Portakabin (Main contractor), Tooley Foster Architects (Passivhaus experts), AECOM infrastructure consultants and Arden Estate Partnerships Limited (development management part of gbpartnerships).

Passivhaus Trust           Video: Passivhaus explained in 90 seconds

News and Awards: Foleshill Health Centre

Photography: Beth Walsh
Drone/Timelapse: Heavy-Duty Time-Lapse

Recent news

Skip to content