A picture of Foleshill Health Centre

UK’s greenest health centre opens its doors to patients

The UK’s award-winning, greenest health centre built to meet Passivhaus certification – Foleshill Heath Centre in Coventry – has opened its doors to patients following completion.

The £3.3 million project is a partnership between DHSC-owned Community Health Partnerships (CHP) and NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the new tenants Foleshill Surgery, a GP practice, part of Coventry and Rugby GP Alliance, have now moved in. It has five consulting rooms and two treatment rooms and serves an area of Coventry with high health needs.

Side image of Foleshill Health Centre
Side view of Foleshill Health Centre

Foleshill Health Centre reception and waiting area

Foleshill Health Centre Consulting Room

Foleshill Health Centre Treatment Room


Foleshill Health Centre – 14 specially designed Portakabin modules on-site -December 2020

The centre is one of the most energy efficient buildings in the NHS estate and was constructed on site in just 25 weeks, significantly quicker than a traditionally constructed building.  It was built with Portakabin modules specially designed to international Passivhaus sustainability standards* and is a major milestone for volumetric modular construction. Initial construction information is currently prepared for submission to the Passivhaus Institute in Germany for official certification.

The modules were designed and manufactured by Portakabin at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in York. Using exacting standards of engineering to tolerances of 1mm, the Portakabin team delivered precise control across every aspect of the project from product design to manufacturing, measuring every resource used and any waste generated.  The units were then transported to Coventry and reassembled, becoming watertight in just three days. The final fit out, plus adding the insulation and the roof were completed on site.

Energy efficiency at Foleshill Health Centregraphic of passivhaus building showing air flow and heat source pump

Foleshill has an energy performance certificate (EPC) A Rating (12), making it one of the most energy-efficient health building in the UK.  The annual utilities running costs are projected to be around a third of the cost of a traditional build, giving significant savings over its lifetime.

There is a small heating system using air source heat pumps connected to small radiators.  Photovoltaic (solar) panels are provided on the roof and all the lighting is provided by energy efficient LED lamps.

Read: Foleshill Health Centre case study


The £3.3 million building is a CHP-delivered, public capital funded scheme. It has been delivered through partnership between CHP and NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) without the need for debt funding or joint ventures and using the NHS SBS procurement framework.

Delivery partners included Portakabin (main contractor), Tooley Foster Architects (Passivhaus specialists), AECOM infrastructure consultants and Arden Estate Partnerships Limited (development management).

Foleshill Health Centre – June 2021

What is Passivhaus?

Passivhaus is the leading international low energy, design standard.

Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling. They are built with meticulous attention to detail and rigorous design and construction according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany and are certified via an exacting independent quality assurance process.


“This is a very exciting project which has taken a lot of work to get over the line,” said Malcolm Twite, CHP’s Executive Director, Property Performance.  “It paves the way for future sustainable developments which will make a valuable contribution to the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus target for net zero by 2045.  Health estate makes up 4-5% of England’s carbon footprint, so it is vital to find ways forward to reducing this. We are very proud to have led the way with our partners at Foleshill.”

Lee Connolly, Head of Project Design and Engineering at Portakabin commented: “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.”

Dr Sarah Raistrick, Chair of NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group had this to say,

“We are really excited to see patients move into this fantastic efficient modular build. The services that will be provided from this building will ensure we continue to provide high quality, safe and effective care for the local residents of Foleshill.”

“We are really happy to continue to offer our patients a high-quality service from within a modern and energy-efficient new building.” said Dr Peter O’Brien, the Chairman of Coventry and Rugby GP Alliance.

Entrance to Foleshill Health Centre – The UK’s greenest healthcare building

12 August 2021

Delivery partners:

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

Passivhaus Trust           Video: Passivhaus explained in 90 seconds

Read: Foleshill Health Centre case study
News and Awards: 
Foleshill Health Centre
 Foleshill Health Centre video


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

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