Exterior shot of Foleshill Health Centre with wood effect cladding white render and metal canopy with blue sky above

National NHS Estates Team visit Foleshill the UK’s first Passivhaus health building on Estates and Facilities Spotlight Day

On Monday 22 November for the Greener NHS Estates and Facilities Spotlight Day, key staff from the National NHS Estates Team visited Foleshill Health Centre, the UK’s first Passivhaus health care building, as part of a tour of NHS sites showing how estates and facilities teams are already contributing to the NHS net zero commitment.

Fiona Daly, National Sustainability and Workforce Lead and Michael Waithe, Deputy National Sustainability and Workforce Lead travelled between locations in Fiona’s electric car. They saw work that has taken place since the launch of the Delivering a Net Zero NHS report in October 2020. Read more: Greener NHS website

Julian Humphreys​ who is the CHP Programme Manager for Foleshill Health Centre showed Fiona and Michael around Foleshill Health Centre.

“It was great to be able to show the sustainability leads from the National NHS Estates and Facilities Team at NHS England and NHS Improvement around Foleshill Health Centre.  As the greenest  health care building in the UK, packed with sustainable innovations, it demonstrates the real benefits of Passivhaus design, both in operating the building and also delivering on the Greener NHS aspirations,” said Malcolm Twite, Executive Director Property Performance, CHP.

Malcolm who is also Executive Lead for Sustainability at CHP added, “Foleshill is already contributing to the NHS net zero target.  We are proud to work with our partners on the first UK health building built to meet Passivhaus standards.”

Fiona Daly, National Sustainability and Workforce Lead, Julian Humphreys (CHP Programme Manager) and Michael Waithe, Deputy National Sustainability and Workforce Lead

Sustainable buildings supporting excellent patient care

Foleshill Health Centre provides excellent care for patients in an innovative, 21st-century building.   Dr Mesbahuddin Syeed, a GP at Foleshill Health Centre, said; “We are proud to have the UK’s greenest health building in our community. It provides a calm and reassuring environment for our patients.”

Dr Syeed appeared in the NHS England photography exhibition “Care for the future: delivering the world’s first net zero health service,” which was displayed at COP26 in Glasgow.  The photography exhibition features NHS staff who have pioneered greener healthcare initiatives for the benefit of their patients and the communities they serve.

Read more: A GP at Foleshill Health Centre features in greener healthcare photography exhibition at COP26 – world’s largest climate action event

About Foleshill Health Centre – an example for future sustainable NHS buildings

The award-winning Foleshill Health Centre is the first healthcare building in the UK to receive Passivhaus certification, a rigorous global standard for energy-efficient design. The building is highly insulated with sustainable innovations including solar panels, triple glazed windows that open, LED lighting, and a heat recovery system. It is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, with very low energy costs. It has an electric car charging point and bike storage.

CHP chose Passivhaus for its overall sustainability ethos with low running costs and health benefits.  The centre was created in only 10 months from groundworks to completion during the Covid-19 pandemic – nearly 30% quicker than a traditional building by using modern methods of construction.

Foleshill is an example for the NHS showing what can be done using the most modern, innovative, sustainable volumetric building methods – demonstrating how health buildings can be sustainable in the future.  The primary care building has an EPC A rating (12) close to net zero CO2.and is BREEAM Excellent (March 2023).

Foleshill Health Centre NHS Partners: Coventry and Warwickshire CCG + Coventry and Rugby GP Alliance
Foleshill Health Centre summary: £3.3m, 619m² primary care building for up to 10,000 patients in inner city Coventry – five consulting rooms + two treatment rooms.   Opened in August 2021.

Watch: Foleshill Health Centre video
Read: Foleshill Case study
News and Awards: Foleshill Health Centre

Fiona Daly, Julian and Michael Waithe discussing Passivhaus technology and air source heat pumps – Foleshill visit 22 November 2021
Air source heat pumps on north side Foleshill Health Centre

About Greener NHS Estates and Facilities Spotlight Day

The Greener NHS Estates and Facilities Spotlight Day aims to build support across the estates and facilities workforce for a Greener NHS, help staff discover the difference we’re making already – and encourage them to join in and act now for a Greener NHS.

The National NHS estates and facilities team will be providing a Toolbox Talk to introduce the new Estates Net Zero Delivery Plan (, which sets out how estates and facilities staff can support our journey to net zero.

Follow the story: NHS Estates and Facilities: LinkedIn    @GreenerNHS #GreenerNHS

Timetable for Greener NHS Estates and Facilities Spotlight Day 22 November 2021

As well as visiting Foleshill Health Centre, the team visited Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust in Surrey, to see a new standalone Energy Centre, replacing an inefficient combined heat and power system.

Next Fiona and Michael stopped off at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in NW London, where a Nature Recovery Ranger works with the estates team to encourage staff and patients to use green spaces around the Centre.  As well as meeting the local team, they toured the wild planting area and a project to encourage nesting birds.  The project is funded via the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare ( and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

At Milton Keynes University Hospital Fiona and Michael went on the roof to see 2500 solar panels.  These panels, along with improving roof insulation, means solar panels will generate more than 15% of the total electricity at the hospital and save over £225,000 a year in energy bills.  Then onto Foleshill Health Centre in the afternoon.  Their last stop was at City Hospital Nottingham where a new energy centre is being built to improve the hospital’s carbon footprint. In addition, the hospital team are installing 6,000 LED lights, adding solar panels and other sustainable innovations.

Greener NHS – Healthier Planet Healthier People

In October 2020, the NHS became the world’s first health service to commit to reaching net zero carbon. Thanks to the efforts of staff across the NHS, we’re already making progress towards this ambitious goal. Across the NHS, we are developing more sustainable ways to deliver care, reduce waste, electrify transport, improve nutrition, and save energy – among many other areas.

NHS Carbon Footprint

The NHS in England was the first health system in the world to make a commitment to achieving net zero-emissions. As one of the world’s largest employers, contributing almost 5% of UK carbon emissions, the NHS can play a vital role in supporting the UK Government’s climate change targets.

  1. The NHS Carbon Footprint (emissions the NHS control directly), will be net zero by 2040, with and ambition to reach an 80% reduction from 2028-2032.
  2. The NHS Carbon Footprint Plus (emissions the NHS can influence), will be net zero by 2045, with an ambition to reach 80% reduction from 2036-2039.

Greener NHS

For more information and to get involved visit: Greener NHS and Healthier Planet Healthier People

23 November 2021

Delivery partners:

Portakabin (Main contractor), Tooley Foster Architects (Passivhaus experts), AECOM (infrastructure consultants) and Arden Estate Partnerships Limited (development management).

Find out about Passivhaus: Passivhaus Trust Video: Passivhaus explained in 90 seconds

Read more:
Case study: Foleshill Health Centre
News and awards: Foleshill Health Centre, Coventry

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

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